vineyard stock photo

Permit Sonoma is presenting an opportunity for the public to provide input at a virtual public workshop on Feb. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. regarding the development of the draft County Winery Events Policy. This effort is a countywide initiative related to agricultural zoning districts outside of the Coastal Zone.

The review of winery event rules and the cumulative impacts of traffic, noise, safety, congestion and related issues raised over the years by rural winery neighbors has been in the works since at least 2014.

In 2014, county supervisors appointed a Winery Event Working Group (WEWG) to help set definitions of winery events, agricultural marketing activities versus non-agricultural hosted events and specific traffic studies. A preliminary report has been delayed since last May, due to COVID-19 meeting restrictions and unavailable county staff time.

At the time of the announced delay in May, county supervisors questioned how the local winery and tasting room operation might be permanently changed due to COVID-19 public gathering and event restrictions. Many wineries have added more online sales and marketing activities and have been hosting virtual tastings and similar promotions.

The public workshop will be conducted via videoconference only, without a physical location from which members of the public may observe and offer public comment. Members of the public may watch listen, and participate in the workshop through Zoom or by phone. In addition, written comments can be submitted prior to the hearing via email at PRMD-WineryEvents@sonoma-county.org

The agenda and meeting materials for the virtual public workshop will be posted one week prior to the meeting at the project website: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Regulations/Winery-Events/Calendar/.

Members of the public can join the Zoom meeting from their computer, tablet or smartphone. The link for attending the meeting will be posted one week prior to the workshop on the project website. Participants are encouraged to register in advance for the workshop here: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Regulations/Winery-Events/Winery-Events-Public-Workshop-February-18-2021/.

For more information about the workshop, to submit comments, or to review the draft ordinance digitally, members of the public can send an email to PRMD-WineryEvents@sonoma-county.org, call 707-565-1900, option 5 or visit the project website at https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/WineryEvents.

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