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Allegheny Township considers opening way for more wineries

| Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 12:36 a.m.

The apparent success of the Wooden Door Winery on Greenwood Road is making Allegheny Township officials take a look at updating ordinances should someone else look to open a similar business.

Supervisors on Monday night discussed a conditional use ordinance designed to accommodate wineries and, possibly, small craft breweries.

With a conditional use ordinance, officials can regulate operational hours, serving food along with wine, planting trees to form a buffer zone and whether live music is permitted.

Currently, wineries can be set up in a residential zone, but there are no real regulations.

Officials said complaints regarding Wooden Door Winery have been minimal.

But the establishment has become a destination for people from inside and outside the Alle-Kiski Valley, including patrons with out-of-state license plates.

An inquiry reportedly was made to the township office by a family looking to open another winery.

An ordinance will be developed and township officials expect to schedule a public hearing sometime this fall.

Tredway Trail funds sought

Supervisors agreed to seek a $250,000 grant from the state Commonwealth Financing Authority to extend the Tredway Trail from the River Forest area to the confluence of the Allegheny and Kiski rivers.

CFA grants are financed by royalties gained from Marcellus shale natural gas drilling.

Extension of the Tredway Trail includes excavation, creating a trail base, adding gravel and creating a parking lot underneath the Freeport Bridge.

Supervisor Ren Steele said the Tredway Trail is part of a larger trail that will start in Pittsburgh, wind through New Kensington, Arnold and Lower Burrell, eventually making its way to Erie.

The deadline for CFA grant applications is Monday.

The township will submit an offer to Wailing Holdings, LP for 41.6 acres needed for the trail.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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