Vineyard gets OK from Knox County

Knox County SealAt long last, Hidden Hills Vineyards has been granted a conditional use permit to operate as a winery.

The decision comes after months of litigation stemming from complaints launched by residents who live near the future site of the winery on Fleisher Road near Knoxville.

During Wednesday’s Knox County Board meeting, the permit was approved unanimously.

Prior to the vote, Hidden Hills Partner Dave Poland spoke to the board regarding the legal process behind the upcoming vineyard.

“The judge made a ruling last year”about our case based on current Illinois laws,” Poland says. “What else can you expect but following the current laws?”

The county’s Zoning Board of Appeals had initially turned down the Hidden Hills application for a conditional use permit last year.

It was not until the matter went to court and Knox County Judge Scott Shipplett determined earlier this year that complaints surrounding the vineyard and winery were not legal reasons to deny the permit

Complaints included concerns about overcrowded roads along the rural path leading to the winery and possible increases in noise.

Shipplett issued a court order requiring the permit be approved.

According to the Count Board agenda item, the permit allows Hidden Hills Vineyards, a limited liability company, to operate a winery in the agricultural zoning district.

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