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Working Group Meetings

Agenda

Summary of Key Issues and Policy Options

The Winery Event Working Group has identified a number of key issues that include:

  1. business need for event and promotional activities;
  2. neighborhood compatibility concerns;
  3. potential impacts related to noise, traffic, dust and water supplies;
  4. potential commercialization of agricultural lands; and 5) maintaining rural character.

Several policy options have been identified that are summarized below.

Minimum Site Area:

  1. No minimum site area requirements for events
  2. Establish a minimum lot size of 7 acres for events.
  3. Establish a minimum lot size of 10 acres for events consistent with Ag Preserve minimums
  4. Establish a minimum lot size of 20 acres for events consistent with the minimum lot size for new parcels in Land Intensive Agriculture (LIA) zone
  5. Require a minimum of 50% of a site be planted.

Setbacks:

  1. Establish a minimum setback of 1,000 feet for outdoor event areas involving amplified sound.
  2. Establish a minimum setback of 625 feet for outdoor event areas involving acoustical music.
  3. Establish a minimum setback of 450 feet for outdoor event areas with no outdoor music.
  4. Allow reduction of setback where existing terrain or structures attenuate the noise without the use of sound walls.
  5. No minimum setback requirements, establish on a case-by-case basis in the use permit process.
  6. Limit all outdoor events to acoustic music only.

Tasting Room:

  1. Limit of one on-site winery and tasting room per parcel.
  2. Limit the number of tasting rooms to two per site.
  3. Limit custom crush operations.
  4. Allow tasting rooms only when accessory to a winery.
  5. Allow tasting rooms only when there is a minimum 6 acres of vineyard on-site.
  6. Establish a maximum site area devoted to tasting room and visitor serving uses to ensure the use is incidental.
  7. Continue to allow stand-alone tasting rooms
  8. Allow custom crush with tasting for each winery/brand in one tasting room as long as all wine is processed on-site.

Visitor Hours:

  1. Establish operating hours on a case-by case basis through use permit
  2. Limit events to tasting room hours only (10 am to 5pm)
  3. Limit only outdoor events to tasting room hours
  4. Limit events to the standard condition of 10 am to 9 pm with clean up by 10 pm.

Food Service:

  1. Allow food and wine pairing during tasting room hours only.
  2. Limit the number of seats or area where food service is provided.
  3. Limit meals to permitted events only.
  4. Limit facilities to a caterer’s kitchen with warming ovens but no stove top or hood.
  5. Prohibit other commercial kitchen appliances such as deep fat fryers, pizza ovens, ice cream makers, etc.

Promotional Activities:

  1. Define events by the number of persons based on parcel size
  2. Limit the number of events for each size threshold.
  3. Limit by type of event activity.
  4. Distinguish between indoors versus outdoors activities.
  5. Distinguish by whether fees are charged.
  6. Distinguish by whether the event involves outdoor amplified sound.
  7. Limit the number of industry-side event days by appellation.

Third party rentals:

  1. Prohibit rental of winery or tasting facilities to third parties.

Access:

  1. Require access from public roads or within ½ mile of a publicly maintained road for event activities.
  2. Require minimum pavement width of 18-feet for access roads.
  3. Establish a required minimum one-half mile distance between driveways serving sites conducting promotional events in concentrated areas.

Parking:

Require a parking plan for all event activities, including industry-wide to include:

  1. A parking attendant to be present at all times during events
  2. The use of dust control measures to keep dust generation to a minimum along access roads and to minimize the amount of dust leaving the site.
  3. Signs placed before each event directing visitors to parking areas and overflow areas.
  4. All event traffic queuing must be located on-site.

Monitoring and Enforcement:

  1. Require an on-site coordinator to address complaints regarding noise, parking or trespass and notice to neighbors of the 24/7 contact person.
  2. Require events to be calendared at the beginning of each year with an event coordinator, including industry-wide event permits.
  3. Require annual reports on event activities from the preceding year including number of events, number of attendees and hours.
  4. Establish an annual monitoring fee and conduct an audit of 15% of tasting room/event permits annually.
  5. Establish a process to randomly select use permits for annual audits.
  6. Employ code enforcement staff on evening and weekends

Contact Information

Phone Operator Hours
Public Lobby Hours
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465074, -122.723705