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Top court says Lake Milton winery can stay

Published: Tue, July 12, 2011 @ 1:45 p.m.


A tiny Lake Milton winery has won a big victory at the Ohio Supreme Court for itself and for Ohio’s agricultural interests.

The state’s top court unanimously ruled Tuesday that the Myrddin Winery, 3020 Scenic Drive, is exempt from Milton Township zoning regulations.

The effect of the decision is that the winery may remain in its current location in a residential neighborhood off South East River Road along the east shore of Lake Milton.

Saying every Ohio township resident has a legal right to farm, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Mahoning County Farm Bureau declared their support for the winery while the case was pending in the courts.

“The court’s decision clarifies and affirms an important section of state law that limits counties’ and townships’ ability to regulate agriculture through zoning,” said Chad Endsley, director of agricultural law at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

The state legislature has exempted agricultural operations meeting certain criteria from some aspects of local zoning laws because it has recognized that “un-uniform local regulations can be a significant impediment to farming,” he added.

The decision’s primary effect “will be to open doors in the wine-making industry,” said David S. Pennington of Dublin, the lawyer representing Myrddin. “It’s an affirmation of the state legislature’s intent to support the wine industry in Ohio,” he added.

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