Riley County commissioners approved amendments to the Preliminary and Final Development Plans associated with an existing Agri-Business Planned Unit Development in the county.
The business in question is Liquid Art Winery, owned by David and Danielle Tegtmeier. The property is on Wildcat Creek Road near Scenic Drive. The amendments include a new single family residence, conversion of an existing building into a restaurant, an amphitheater, expanded parking, and cabins.
County Planner Bob Isaac says the entire property is designated as Agribusiness Planned Unit Development.
The Riley County Planning Board voted in favor of all, but the amphitheater item, based on concerns regarding post-event traffic, particularly with congestion along Wildcat Creek Road. However, the commission could only approve the change in platting for the new residence, as the other amenities fall under state statute for agribusiness.
A full house of residents from the Wildcat Creek Township were in attendance to voice their opposition to the additional amenities.
Residents were concerned these new amenities would cause increased traffic on Wildcat Creek Road, harm conservation efforts in the area, and misuse of agriculture use.
One resident who lives right across the road from the winery, Mike Sheffield, says his biggest concern is the proposed three thousand seat amphitheater.
Sheffield’s wife Karen also spoke, saying alcohol will play a role in the drivers leaving the vineyard since it is a winery. Flint Hills Leadership Program Executive Director Jack Lindquist spoke in favor of the new amenities. While Lindquist is not a resident of the Wildcat Creek area, he wants to see an agribusiness be successful.
Commissioner John Ford says he understands the concerns of the nearby citizens, but says they all need to work through it.
The improvements Ford is referring to is the paving of Wildcat Creek Road, which has already been planned for some time. One of the biggest concerns brought by residents is the impact traffic will have on the road.
Ford says he hopes the owners of the winery will listen and work with the residents who brought up these concerns.
You can hear the entire discussion, along with other public comments, below.