Planned Long Island vineyard near school prompts controversy

- Plans for a new vineyard in Suffolk County aren't sitting well with some residents. They think it would be too close to an elementary school.

Making wine is a family tradition for Lisa and Fred Giachetti. Their ancestors have been doing it in Naples, Italy, for the past 200 years. Now the couple wants to build their own vineyard right near their home in the small town of Northport on Long Island.

But neighbors don't love the idea because Norwood Elementary School is right next door. Some say that the vineyard will bring too many cars and limos. They are concerned about drinking.

The Northport-East Northport school district says it "...continues to work with legal counsel and communicate with town and state officials to determine the best possible outcome that would maintain the welfare of our students."

Giachetti has offered to plant a line of trees to create a barrier on the 10-acre property that was once an apple orchard. He bought it back in 2012 with intentions of developing it, but hopes to preserve the land and make the original farmhouse into tasting room.

The state has already designated the property as protected farmland. The family hopes to share it with the community soon.

The town needs to sign off on a site approval before the project can move forward. If that happens, the family plans to break ground here soon after. 

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