Winery lawsuit settled out of courtA civil battle over alleged township zoning ordinance violations and illegal construction at Cannon River Winery's vineyard in Warsaw Township has been settled out of court.
By: Jen Cullen, The Republican Eagle
A civil battle over alleged township zoning ordinance violations and illegal construction at Cannon River Winery's vineyard in Warsaw Township has been settled out of court.
Parties reached an agreement earlier this month, according to electronic court records. Terms of the deal were not made public. The case was scheduled to go to trial early next year.
A group of Warsaw Township residents filed the lawsuit last December against Goodhue County, Warsaw Township and Cannon River Winery owners John and Maureen Maloney.
"We are certainly pleased the litigation is over and see the Maloney's vineyard as a valuable business in the community," said Paul Reuvers, an attorney representing the county and township.
Plaintiffs Jason Fehling, Matthew Karl, David Bobert and other residents claimed the Maloneys violated township zoning ordinances and illegally built a barn/pavilion intended for commercial use on their agriculturally zoned vineyard property off Highway 57.
The lawsuit also alleges the county and township have done nothing to stop commercial activity at the site and that the structure has not been inspected by local, county or state authorities.
Defendants wanted the court to order a stop to all picnics, tours, receptions and other events on the Cannon River vineyard property.
They were also seeking monetary damages and an injunction to cease use of the barn/pavilion and vineyard property for anything other than agricultural use.
Reuvers said the plaintiffs dismissed their claims against the Maloneys without prejudice, meaning the case could be resurrected if the parties are not able to fully resolve any lingering issues over the next several months.
The lawsuit against the county and township was dismissed with prejudice so the plaintiffs cannot sue the county or township again over the same issue.
"We believe the Maloneys are in full compliance with all township and county ordinances and have appreciated the efforts of the Maloneys to address any concerns with the operation of their facility," Reuvers said.