What is being described as a “boutique winery” could be in the works for Waxahachie, according to a presentation Wednesday afternoon by city director of planning Clyde Melick to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Such a concept is highly regulated by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Melick said, saying state and federal guidelines allow for a winery to open even if a city is considered “dry.”

There are similar boutique wineries already operating in Grand Prairie and Arlington - and those went in to those locations when those communities were dry, Melick said was his understanding, noting the operations are considered tourist attractions.

Melick provided commissioners with a copy of the state Alcoholic Beverage Code, Section 16, which notes, “A winery permit may be issued for premises in an area in which the sale of wine has not been authorized by a local option election.”

Under the regulations, these type of winery operations are capped at 35,000 gallons in sales on an annual basis, with an individual’s purchases capped at 50 gallons a year. A winery under this code must use at least 75 percent of Texas-grown grape or other fruit juice in the production of its product. The winery may only sell its own product - no other alcoholic beverages can be sold - with all sales conducted on its own premises. The code further stipulates that the wine can only be sold to individuals, with purchases by businesses not allowed.

Chief building inspector Sanford Smith said the wineries typically have about a 2,000 square feet operation, with about 1,100 open to the public for such retail activities as wine tastings and purchases and about 600 to 800 square feet needed for a production area.

The applicants intend to locate the winery in a space at the Rogers Hotel, it was noted, with Sanford noting boutique wineries say their intent is to “cater to people who want to taste wine and relax.”

Additional research needs to be done relating to the proposed winery, Melick said, saying he was providing the information he had now to the commissioners as preparation for a project he expects to see on a future agenda.

In other business, the commission unanimously approved both items on its agenda.

With the first, commissioners gave their OK to a 50-feet by 80-feet horse barn on property at 121 Eagle Point Drive as requested by Robert and Angela Glass.

Builder Randy Stout said the structure would include a 50-feet by 40-feet enclosed center section with a 50-feet by 20-feet open addition at each end.

With some discussion as to the structure’s placement on the property as relating to city ordinance, Melick noted, “I think this is as good a place as possible to put it on the 9.2-acre tract.”

Stout said the barn - which will have a masonry facade to its enclosed portion - would be used to store trailers and other equipment as well as to house horses.

With the second agenda item, commissioners approved a preliminary plat for an amenity center at Garden Valley, located on the north side of Broad head Road.

Owner Clyde Hargrove spoke on behalf of the project, which will include the construction of a private cabana, pavilion and pool facilities on about a three-quarter acre tract.

The facility will be for the use of the development’s residents only, he said, noting about 50 families reside in Garden Valley at this time.

There are plans to add another amenity center when the development reaches a certain point in its growth, he said, noting the facilities will be overseen by a professional homeowners association management team.

E-mail JoAnn at editor@waxahachiedailylight.com