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Thread: Vineyard/winery zoning

  1. #1
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Hang on Sloopy...land

    Vineyard/winery zoning

    How have those of you with wineries within your bounds dealt with the zoning issues? Is it purely ag or do you go with mixed use because of the commercial component?

    Since the winery portion brings in traffic to tastings and tours, with the possibility of bus tours and such, shouldn't this be taken into account?

    Your insights would be greatly appreciated!
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  2. #2
    Feb 2004
    Check into the wine areas in California. I think some of them create zones that are very specific for the wine industry. Livermore, CA has a lot of places where wineries are adajcent to residential areas and served by local roads.

    I would say that you would want your ordinance to address the uses based on the full impact. There are other ag uses that bring in traffic as well, consider those uses as well.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Blog entries

    Crud....too early....

    The only reason I looked at this thread is to see RJ's response.....oh well....

    agriculture with a commercial component for wholesale warehouse and retail if needed. Potential special use for retail sales and commercial if you want more control, also that would limit all the other less welcome activities associated with a commercial zone.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Nov 2002
    Here they are allowed in certain zones by Special Permit (some residential, some commercial). The definition of "winery" includes the accessory uses usually associated with them.

    The winery can have "events" provided that they are auhorized by the Commission. The Commission doesn't review every little wedding, but generally is told that a festival will be held twice a year and is expected to bring x-number of people who will park in a certain area etc.

  5. #5
    Aug 2005
    Funky Town, CO.
    When I worked in Colorado's small wine region we just considered wineries as an accessory use in the Ag zone. They were mostly fairly small operations with simple tasting rooms attached to the warehouse. However, in the last ten years some have grown to be more of an entertainment use with small summer concerts series, conferences,seminars, weddings and other special events that require more and more parking. I would suggests a two tiered approach. One for those small and simple wineries that only occasionally see more than a handfull of visitors and another type of permit and process for those who hold special events on a regular basis. Try to be creative with the parking since it's used mostly for only special events. No one wants to pave land that can be used to grow grapes or antoher crop so a gravel lot may be an option. Perhaps an agreement with neighboring properties for occasional parking needs and even a shuttle bus for larger events could be considered.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Emerald Coast
    So as not to disappoint my good friend, The Desert Rat (aka,TO), here are my comments.

    First of all, understand the distinction between “vineyard,” “winery” and “tasting room.”

    Clearly, the growing of grapes in a vineyard is a commercial agricultural use. Generally, the winery is for the grape crushing, fermentation, bottling and aging of the wine, an industrial use. The tasting room is for sampling and retail sales of the finished product, a commercial-retail use. More frequently than not, they’re located on the same property or in very close proximity. Based on my experience, the vineyard is allowed on ag land as a matter of right while the winery and tasting rooms are allowed through a conditional use permit.

    Here’s where things start to get weird: most of the large up-scale vineyard/winery/tasting room combinations have incorporated offices, meeting rooms, kitchens and dining rooms into their buildings to entertain wholesalers, retailers and special guests (read that: big cat, deep pocketed private wine buyers (no, not me)). Additionally, the tasting rooms sell more than just wine. They can, and most do, sell logo clothing, art, a variety of souvenirs, etc. You name it and you can probably find it in one of these tasting rooms. And the big tasting rooms for popular wines are huge traffic generators during the popular visiting seasons. And the special events can develop into nightmares.

    Here’s some other mixed up stuff: some sellers of wine don’t grow their own grapes but rather contract with grape growers. Some wineries are simply custom crushing, fermenting, bottling, and aging operations for growers and/or sellers, with plenty of other combinations. One size does not fit all.

    Keep this all in mind when developing your regulations. And remember, the winery and tasting do not have to be located in the vineyard…they suck up a lot of prime agricultural soils.

    And I agree with cololi, review the ordinances for Mendocino, Sonoma and Napa counties. Like everything else, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

  7. #7
    Jun 2006
    the rainy state of Oregon
    In my experience, the county I used to work for had winery listed as a primary use (ag processing) and we had development standards specific to winery. Then we had allowed accessory uses that could be operated in conjunction with, and subordinate to, a winery (tasting room, restaurant, b&b, gift shop, etc....). If I remember right, the winery required a special use permit and the accessory uses also required a special use permit, which allowed us to review the proposal and ensure that all approval criteria for each proposed activity were met.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
    Aug 2001
    Gale Crater
    Peninsula Township in Michigan has an interesting ordinance for wineries and vineyards: http://www.peninsulatownship.com/zoning/ordinance.pdf

    It has regulations for Winery-Chateau and Remote Winery Tasting Rooms.

    You will find these zoning regulations specifically address your questions. However, one might consider them strict.

  9. #9

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