For Immediate Release
Board of Supervisors set to consider Winery Events Ordinance Tuesday
Santa Rosa, CA | March 09, 2023
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider adoption of Sonoma County’s first Winery Events Ordinance on Tuesday, March 14. The ordinance would establish new standards for winery events such as parking requirements, food service, traffic management, and noise standards to address the impact of winery visitor-serving uses on agricultural land. New and modified use permits would be subject to the new standards, while existing permits would not be impacted.
The standards will provide a baseline for how the County of Sonoma balances preservation of agricultural areas with sustainable development of wine industry events when evaluating individual projects and their impacts. Permit Sonoma will utilize these standards when considering new and modified use permit applications for winery visitor-serving uses outside of the Coastal Zone. The draft ordinance provides consistency and clarity to the use permit evaluation process, reduces impacts to surrounding properties, protects agricultural lands and preserves rural character.
The draft Winery Events Ordinance is the culmination of feedback from years of outreach and engagement with stakeholders and communities across the county. Input was received during numerous stakeholder meetings and community workshops, including a 195-person public workshop, and previous hearings at the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Additionally, Permit Sonoma has worked with three areas with a concentration of visitor-serving wineries in Sonoma Valley, Westside Road and Dry Creek Valley to establish supplemental local guidelines for their respective communities.
In October 2022, the Board of Supervisors considered a draft Winery Events Ordinance approved by the Planning Commission. The Board of Supervisors sought changes to the proposal, and staff is returning with modifications to the legislation.
Members of the public may attend the Board of Supervisors meeting and provide comments in person or virtually. More information about how to attend, provide comment, and the project documents can be found on the meeting agenda.
For more information about the project, please visit the Winery Events Project page. To submit comments, or to review project files digitally, members of the public may send an email to PRMD-WineryEvents@sonoma-county.org or call (707) 565-1900, and select option 5.