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Town of Geneva approves local laws covering ag commerce

The Geneva Town Board has approved two local laws that clarify the definition of agricultural commerce under the town’s zoning regulations.

Related: Debate over agricultural commerce “brewing” in the town of Geneva

Both laws passed 3-1, with board member Jeff Dunham voting “no” on both. Board member Kim Aliperti, who co-owns Billsboro Winery and would be affected by the laws, abstained. The regulations were modified after a public hearing at which some residents expressed concerns about traffic and noise. Geneva Town Supervisor Mark Venuti says between changes made to the laws and the regulations that already govern wineries and breweries, there are proper limits in place.

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Related: Geneva Town Board postpones vote on ag zoning change for winery, brewery events

Why were the new laws needed?

The original intent of the local laws was to clarify what is allowed on property zoned agricultural and in the town’s scenic overlay district along Seneca Lake on Route 14, after questions from winery and brewery owners about what was and what was not allowed.