Soundfront winery wins Planning Board approval

67 steps Vineyard just west of Peconic Landing in Greenport.
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The Kontokosta family plans to build a winery at its 67 Steps Vineyard, just west of Peconic Landing in Greenport.

The site plan for the North Fork’s first winery near the Long Island Sound shoreline was unanimously approved by the Southold Town Planning Board Monday night.

The 8,419-square-foot winery, known by planners as JEMCO Winery, is proposed for a 60-acre property on the north side of Route 25, between Peconic Landing and The Portly Grape.
The property is owned by the Kontokosta family, which had planned to subdivide the acreage for residential development before legal hurdles prevented them from pursuing that plan. The Kontokostas’ 67 Steps Vineyard, already in operation on the property, was planted with 20 acres of grapes in 2004. The winery was proposed in April 2010.

Neighbors at Peconic Landing have expressed concern about noise from a 120-foot wind turbine proposed in the site plan, and from special events at the winery.

The wind turbine is outside of the purview of the Planning Board, according to town planning director Heather Lanza. She said the structure will require a building permit, which has an entirely separate approval process.

The applicants have included a 25-foot vegetative buffer between their property and Peconic Landing in an effort to address any potential noise from events.

Some related noise issues will likely be taken up by the Southold Town Board, which formed a new committee on special events last year. That committee is expected this year to propose town code changes to limit noise. The Town Board is also mulling over a proposed noise ordinance that would allow code enforcement officers to cite venues for excessive noise.

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