BURRILLVILLE/GLOCESTER – The owner of an 80-acre farm that straddles the town line between Burrillville and Glocester hopes to open a new campground and winery on the property, with plans set to go before the Burrillville Planning Board next week.
Robert Lohr, owner of Town Line Farm, has submitted a pre-application for a 20-site campground and winery on lots situated in both towns.
Lohr, who currently operates a farm on his properties, owns two lots in Burrillville totaling around 42 acres, as well as three additional adjoining lots across the border in Glocester. He is also a contractor, utilizing farming equipment to offer services that include septic installation, excavation and site preparation, storm cleanup and trucking.
An Air Force veteran, Lohr is a licensed septic installer, and holds a Class A commercial driver’s license and a heavy equipment operator’s license, according to the business’s website. He is also a single-engine private pilot, a licensed boat captain and a power plant mechanic.
“Having decades of experience servicing every engine imaginable, from C-5 Galaxy jet engines to power washers, all while keeping an 80 acre farm operational, no job is too big or too small,” notes the site.
The new business – under the name Town Line Farm Winery & Campground – would be accessed via an existing 800-foot paved driveway that runs off of South Main Street in Burrillville. The campsites would surround a pond on the property, and Lohr also hopes to install a toilet and shower facility, with a plan already approved by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
The winery, meanwhile, would be placed in an existing barn north of the current driveway, with parking in a field on the lots. According to a summary of the project by Burrillville Town Planner Raymond Goff, vines would be planted in three fields, with wine tasting and sales offered inside the barn.
But first, Lohr will need to obtain a special use permit from the Burrillville Zoning Board to conduct business on the lots, which are zoned F-2, or farming/residential. Goff is recommending that planners grant a positive review of the pre-application at a meeting scheduled for Monday, March 6.
“There is no need for additional lighting, and noise should not be an issue with this use, plus the use will
be setback from neighbors a great distance,” Goff notes, adding that handling and storage of materials and trash generated by the business will be addressed with a remainder of the existing building, and plans for dumpster to be placed on premises.
Goff notes Lohr also has plans in place for additional seating in the winery once the business grows, as well as additional restrooms once the need exists.
“The proposed uses are in keeping with the goals and objectives of the town’s Comprehensive Plan, as it embraces rural entrepreneurship while preserving the town’s rural character,” Goff wrote.