Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Winery Events Ordinance Public Hearing
Tuesday, March 14, 9:30 a.m.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 14, at 9:30 a.m. both in person and virtually via Zoom, to hear the draft Winery Events Ordinance that was continued in the fall of 2022. This ordinance would set new standards for winery events/business activities.
Sonoma County Vintners strongly encourages you to participate in this important meeting.
This effort is a countywide initiative and Sonoma County Vintners has been extremely active in engaging and advocating with county officials regarding winery events/business activities and we encourage all of our member wineries to save the date to register, participate and provide feedback. Your participation, visibility and comments to our Board of Supervisors regarding this important issue are critical. Please email your supervisor and/or attend and speak at the meeting.
- Members of the public may watch, listen and offer public comment in the workshop through Zoom, in person, or by phone and that information will be posted on the County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors calendar.
- Meeting location: 575 Administration Drive, Room 102A, Santa Rosa, California
To express your comments regarding this issue, please contact the Board of Supervisors:
Susan Gorin – District 1
David Rabbitt – District 2
Chris Coursey – District 3
James Gore – District 4
Lynda Hopkins – District 5
For your convenience, the following is information for you to reference when addressing the Planning Commission officials. You are welcome to, and we encourage you to, share any of the following talking points.
- Like many Sonoma County businesses, our wine community has faced the challenges of wildfires, smoke exposure, floods, power shutoffs, diminished tourism and many catastrophic pandemic impacts.
- Our Sonoma County Wine community is a major employer and contributor to the Sonoma County economy.
- With ingenuity, creativity, flexibility and amazing effort, our wine community has survived; however, we cannot survive more regulation that is neither warranted nor necessary.
- Our wine community plays a crucial role in this community as it is involved in and supports significant philanthropic activity, including hundreds of non-profit charitable organizations throughout Sonoma County.
- Over the past five years, wine wholesale and distribution consolidation, and the ability of wineries to gain wholesale distribution across the country, has greatly diminished. With this, wineries are required to market directly to consumers in order to simply survive and sell their wines.
- Sonoma County Code Enforcement reports extremely minimal complaints related to winery activities and those few have been easily resolved with communication.
- Request that the Winery Guidance and Definitions developed by Sonoma County Vintners be incorporated into any draft recommendation or ordinance to be presented and considered by the Board of Supervisors.
- Planning and permitting should focus on compliance with planning documents and the mitigation of impacts. Wineries are subject to the general plan and the zoning code which clearly identify the facility capacity to address hours of operation, traffic, parking, sanitation and noise.
Sonoma County Vintners will continue to monitor this issue and update you on this matter, and additional government, policy and permit related matters as they develop.