Neighbors concerned over proposed plans for Catalina vineyard

Wine worries

CATALINA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It’s wine that has some homeowners worried about the future of their neighborhood on the Pima and Pinal County line.

Signs on the dirt road near Catalina call for a “quiet & safe” neighborhood, rather than the proposed plans for commercial rezoning.

“I don’t think you should plop something down in the middle of a residential neighborhood. This is classic spot zoning that we are really not in favor of," said Jeff Neumann.

Neumann spends most of his year at his home off Edwin Road and Justin Lane, next to the vineyard. The snowbird worries that could change with proposed changes to zoning for Golder Estate Wines.

Property Owner Vicki Cox Golder is requesting for less than four acres to be re-zoned as commercial, so the family could add a tasting room, possibly an event space for weddings and reunions and possibly more.

(Source: Pinal County Planning and Zoning)

Neumann said the neighborhood could handle a low-key tasting room, but what would could be allowed in commercial zoning down the road, like a restaurant or bar, is the concern.

“Drinking and then driving down the road, I think that appropriately tasting rooms and establishments should be on Oracle Road or where there are others," said Neumann.

Neumann and other neighbors spoke to Cox Golder Thursday night to talk about changes to the proposed plans.

Tucson News Now spoke to Cox Golder before the neighborhood meeting. She asked for us to come after the meeting, worried cameras could be a distraction.

“Of course we are going to make some changes to the venue idea, maybe have the music inside and limit the number of events we have each year," said Cox Golder.

“You know, we want to work with the neighborhood because we have to blend in and we want the neighbors to hopefully come and also spend some time in the tasting room as well,” Cox Golder said.

According to minutes from a November Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, the county had received several letters of opposition from homeowners. There had not been any letters of support.

“Within three hundred feet of the proposed vineyard, I have 100-percent of the homeowners that have signed a letter of opposition," said Neumann.

There has already been one public hearing on the proposal back in November.

The county decided to push the case forward, with the next public hearing on Jan. 17.

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