By John Burton
LITTLE SILVER – The Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board will continue Wednesday evening in Freehold to hear a controversial proposal to establish a commercial winery on Seven Bridges Road.
The hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the county freeholders meeting room, in the Hall of Records building, 1 East Main St.
Seven Bridges Winery, 640 Seven Bridges Road, and its owner Richard DeBlasi, are seeking county and state approval under the state Right to Farm Act, to establish a winery, tasting room and small retail operation on Blasi’s 15-acre property where he currently has his vineyard.
Borough officials have expressed concern and area residents have voiced opposition over a commercial operation in a residential area, and one that fronts on an already very busy thoroughfare.
With the mayor and council’s cool reception to the proposal, DeBlasi submitted an application to the county agriculture development board, seeking the board’s approval for the winery’s management practice plan under the state statute, intended to protect farms and agricultural businesses.
The board began hearing the plan on Aug. 7 when lawyers for both sides and the public weighed in on the plan.