New winery could open in Lakeland

New winery could open in Lakeland

(WMC-TV) - Lakeland could soon be home to a new winery and wedding facility.

The Lakeland Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on first reading to amend a zoning ordinance to allow for small wineries and agricultural districts in certain areas of Lakeland.

It is something wine enthusiasts are ecstatic about. They are just waiting for the final approval from commissioners.

"We're excited about having a winery in Lakeland. We think if fits the context of Lakeland which is still mostly undeveloped. It still has a lot of land that's vacant or agricultural," said Growth Management Director for the City of Lakeland, J. Higbee.

The move comes just months after wine enthusiasts with Crown Winery in Humboldt proposed opening a winery called "Delta Blues".

It will be located on 15 acres of farm land just south of Paul Barret Parkway between Stewart Road and Palomino Drive.

"I think it's a community gathering place. I think it has economic development potential. The neighborhood up there appears to prefer this to some of the other things that can happen in the long term up near Highway 385," said Higbee.

Construction plans also include a vineyard and a building for wine tasting and other occasions.

"What we're doing now is an ordinance which creates the enabling for a winery to do other things such as small conferences and events. Once the ordinance is passed, we expect them to come forward with a site in that location," explained Higbee.

Final approval of the ordinance is expected January 3.

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