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August 18, 2022

6/24/2022 2:43:00 PM
County Board grants cider business request, denies Upland Road business

The County Board approved one land use application for the Pleasant Valley Orchard to amend its Conditional Use Permit allowing for making, tasting and marketing of cider, but denied a permit for a new winery on the edge of downtown Taylors Falls.

The vote was 4-0 to reject the winery and entertainment venue for Jim and Sherry Goodpaster on Upland Road, just north of County Road 20.  

The denial was based on the parcel being only about five acres, being situated adjacent to a number of homes (Victory Lane) and  the activity was simply too dense of a use.  

Chair Rick Greene commented that if the applicants are sincere about a commercial wine making facility and gathering venue;  there is a developed business park very close by that the City of Taylors Falls would be happy to negotiate with them to put to use.

Meanwhile;  Pleasant Valley Orchard just keeps growing and adding value to its basic product—apples.  The owners got the Conditional Use Permit originally in 1994 for seasonal sales of produce, crafts, etc.

 The CUP was amended in 2006 to add berries and a commercial kitchen for harvest related baked goods.

Last week marked another amendment to allow for the owners, Jim Birkholz and Judith Erickson, to add a cider making enterprise and music/gathering venue.

This amendment also changes hours of operation to year-round instead of taking June and July for a shutdown. 

Closing will now be 10 p.m. seven days per week.  The barn can be rented out for events, meetings, etc.  Cider tastings will be in the barn with the production in the “apple room.”

There’s 30 to 35 employed currently and three part time staff are planned to be added.

And, the 58-member Dale Evangelical Free Church got a Conditional Use Permit officially approved.
It has been functioning as a place of worship  since 1995.

The church use has been established since 1980, when the old original structure was replaced with a church moved into the site from Bock, MN.

The site was originally the First Baptist Church in Fish Lake Township in the late 1800s.

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