Southside Winery Goes To Court After Board Denies Use Of Outside Reefer

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A winery on the Southside has gone to court to try to overturn a decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals that would not allow an outside refrigerated area known as a reefer.

The writ was filed in Chancery Court by Debarge Vineyards at 1619 Rossville Ave. off Main Street.

The petition says the firm does not have enough refrigerated storage area inside its building and needs the additional refrigeration on a lot next to its building.

The owner of the adjacent property has agreed to lease the site, it was stated.

At a Jan. 8 hearing of the appeals board, Robert K. Leopold of Read Avenue opposed the approval of the reefer, calling it "terribly loud" when operated during warmer weather.

Dr. Raymond DeBarge said any noise associated with the reefer is due to an electric air conditioner, but he would be "happy to do whatever it takes to deal with the noise issues."

He said he would construct multiple noise canceling barriers between the property and Mr. Leopold's residence, including constructing a fence with insulation to deaden the noise and planting Leyland cypress trees between the fence and the Leopold property.

He said the reefer's air conditioning unit was only necessary during the hottest months of the year.

It was last operated last October, he said.

Despite the concessions, the board voted to deny the application for a variance to allow the continued operation of the reefer.

Dr. DeBarge said nearby businesses, including the Chattanooga Choo Choo, the Flying Squirrel and Koch Foods operate reefers. 


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