Wine issues shadow other counties, too
August 30, 2013
Santa Barbara County officials are looking at ways to control a burgeoning wine-making economy without fueling a war between agricultural and neighborhood interests — and it’s not about water. (Santa Maria Times)
Rather, planners and winery representatives seek a way to simultaneously ease the permitting process for new wineries, and attempting to regulate special events. Those events are growing in popularity, frequency, and size, and often create traffic and noise issues in adjacent residential areas.
One county official said the challenge is to balance the interests of “many stakeholders.”
That might not be easy, as some larger vintners have expressed dismay at a 7 p.m. event closure time, as well as skimpy limits on numbers of event patrons.
An additional workshop on the subject is scheduled for November, and proposals for changes in the county’s existing winery ordinance will then be presented to supervisors.