County to address winery rules

Proposed winery regulations to be studied

An comprehensive series of monthly meetings aimed at balancing the practical needs of an evolving wine industry will begin to culminate this Thursday.

A Planning Commission Workshop for South County wineries will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the conference room on the seventh floor of the county building at 70 West Hedding in San Jose. The meeting is open to the public.

The purpose of the workshop is to review proposed guidelines for a county winery ordinance, which is intended to address rules and regulations surrounding industry-relevant topics such as hosting events, commercial expansion, investing in agritourism accommodations, serving food and showcasing live music.

These proposed guidlines to regulate South County wineries were drafted by the Wineries Working Group.

Known as WWG, the group consists of a dozen local winery owners, the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau, staff from the County Department of Planning and Development, Division of Agriculture, Department of Environmental Health, the Fire Marshal’s Office and Jane Howard, executive director of the Gilroy Welcome Center. The gatherings were initiated in September by District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman with the goal of helping the burgeoning wine industry in South County grow.

During Thursday’s meeting, “interested parties will have an opportunity to provide input on the WWG policy recommendations at this workshop and at subsequent hearings,” according to the Planning Office’s website. 

Following the meeting, the Planning Office will analyze the WWG’s policy recommendations. County staff will identify any recommendation where impacts could trigger more extensive environmental review, including the possibility of an environmental impact report.

Following the Feb. 2 workshop, formal public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will be scheduled, according to the Planning Office’s website. Click here to view a projected timeline.

To read more stories chronicling the WWG meetings, click here:

‘Happy’ winery rules

Full cup of winery worries


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