>Click the above to watch Tuesday’s County Commission meeting.
William Newby went before the County Commission seeking rezoning from Suburban Residential to Agricultural Residential as well as a Special Use Permit for a winery for the property at 602D Billy Pyle Road. The project is known as Newby Vineyard and Winery. Involved are 58 acres. Newby first spoke to the commission about the project and was followed by Rome attorney Louis Johnson who says the winery plans to produce 2,000 to 5,000 bottles a year as part of a “boutique” operation. Another speaker discussed how the farm already is family friendly, including recent harvests involving the community (see Facebook photos). In opposition, a nearby resident questioned dust, traffic and other concerns a winery would create. Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, the planning commission recommended approval, 6-0. One caveat was creating a tree buffer to some of the nearby homes; the Newby family occupies the two most-immediate homes at the site. A second speaker also questions increased traffic a winery would create. Johnson returns to the podium to say traffic created by the winery would be around 30 trips a day on weekends and 10 or so trips on weekdays. The County Commission voted 5-0 in favor of the project.