Winery, neighbors make deal

Published 6:42 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The owners of a West Point vineyard and its neighbors have worked out a deal that was approved unanimously by the Troup County Board of Commissioners of Tuesday.

Neighbors of the property and owner Donald Hughes worked out an agreement that allowed River Bend Vineyard
& Winery to keep operating, while also not disturbing the people living nearby.

“We took your advice and met as good neighbors should and worked it out and came up with an agreement,” said neighbor Kerry Franks. “We would like for the larger events to be moved to another area, but we increase the number of anytime events to 300 [visitors] but limit it to weddings, corporate events — that type of thing. We thought it was a good compromise.”

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Amanda Hughes, Donald’s daughter, spoke in support of the agreement for the vineyard.

“It works out very well for us to move our big events to a different area,” Amanda said.

The vineyard was first discussed at last month’s commission meeting, with Hughes asking that a self-imposed visitor limit be lifted. Hughes said in April that the growing vineyard had grown beyond the initial estimate of 75 visitors. Hughes said that he’d had 10 times that many people show up for events.

No agreement was made during April’s meeting, which allowed Hughes and the neighbors to come to an agreement.

All the commissioners were sent a letter about the agreement prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

“This was not really a problem the Troup County Commissioners needed to solve,” Franks said. “It was a problem we needed to solve, and I think we did a good job and came up with a good compromise.”

The commission was happy to have the issue resolved and was glad the neighbors came up with their own working solution.

“It is good when citizens come together and work together to find and solve problems,” said Troup County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews. “I’m very glad you were able to resolve that and not have to ask someone outside to make that decision for you.”