Saturday 3 December 2016

Winemakers 'block church expansion'

Published 22/09/2010 | 09:28

Californian winemakers want to block church expansion
Californian winemakers want to block church expansion

There is a bitter divide between churches and wineries in the rolling hills of Southern California, where vintners fear a push to allow more houses of worship will crush their business.

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Officials in Riverside County plan to vote in early November whether to recommend approval of a plan that would enable religious groups to build in the wine country.

Winemakers fear more churches would hurt views, limit wine sales and cause conflicts between agriculture and congregations.

But pastor Clark Van Wick says the current zoning rules violate a federal law prohibiting government discrimination against religious institutions. Van Wick's church wants to put up two buildings on a former vineyard.

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