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Letter to the editor: Does Rapid Creek Cidery push the bounds of zoning?

The opening of the Rapid Creek Cidery at Wilson’s Orchard on Dingleberry Road has been noted in several media stories applauding the project. While I am agnostic about the new building itself, there is an aside to the cidery story that should concern all county citizens. The cidery offers unique amenities, but those came at a high price and I hope they remain one of a kind.

The item in the June 2015 agenda was simple: An application by Wilson’s Orchard for a conditional use permit for a retail orchard and winery. As defined in the Johnson County Code of Ordinances, a retail orchard is “land used for the growing and limited sale of trees, fruits, vegetables and the retail sale of assorted products not produced on site.” The ordinance defines a cidery as “a facility for the preparation, marketing and distribution of (cider). May include a tasting room or sales area.” Good for Wilson’s, I thought. Not thinking those definitions would be abused, I did not attend that meeting. […]

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