Wine issues shadow other counties, too

August 30, 2013

vineyardsSanta 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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

At least Santa Barbara county has somewhat of a plan. They do not allow the tall deer fences that harm wildlife. Additionally, Santa Barbara county seeds their clouds which increases their rainfall approximately ten percent a year. The wine industry in my opinion, while beneficial to our economy, is high impact ag that needs to be aware of their impact on their neighbors. While for the most part I am opposed to government intervention, I also know that the wine industry will line the politicians pockets with contributions which will reduce the representation of the rest us deserve.

As a resident of this state for many decades, it’s become clear to me that greed, self indulgence, complacency, and a very myopic view of our future is contributing to the ruination of this once beautiful, incredibly resource laden state. No longer are we the golden state. Sadly, ALL the gold is gone….while the fool’s gold remains abundantly plentiful.

How very sage.

Fully adorned with glittering generalities.

(and entirely off the point of the article)

Oh, how Irony regards every simple truth as a challenge.

wtf does THAT mean?

As a native born son for many decades, what I see is a change in Agriculture that benefits the wine AG Industry over others. A few years back cotton farmers were stopped from planting because of water issues and demand. These days it is he who gets to the water first, regardless of priority or real need.

We live in a modified desert with limited rain fall. Even the areas of the county that get over 40″ of rain are not the primary areas for wine grape plantings.

The urgency ordinance is a joke, it allows county staff all the time in the world to study and come up with a plan on their schedule. If they had done their job decades ago this would already be done…

Does anyone else remember what it was like to be free? If Kalifornia doesn’t watch out the wine industry will follow the entertainment industry and the high tech industry and every other industry out of the state. Then no one will be left to support the welfare state we have become (because there are no jobs except of course in government).

today’s right wing trope brought to you by the letter K

FineWine, living in the United States means we have a representative democracy. We hope that our leaders consider the needs of all the citizens and not one group at the expense of others. Granted we usually fall short of this goal and often it is impossible to satisfy everyone. However, in the case of the declining aquifer in the Paso Robles basin it seems to me that the basic need is, at the least, to establish a “net neutral” draw in the aquifer. That is critical for survival. For anyone to “mine” the water for a profit that eventually leads to a collapsed aquifer that loses it’s ability to recharge is short sighted to say the least.

Getting used to the aggricultural industry develops a reason to stay, getting used to the housing industry develops a reason to leave.

The ag industry is different from the wine ag business industry. In traditional ag, you don’t have tourists, events with bands and music, drunk drivers on the roads, tasting rooms off dirt (dusty) roads where dust is spewed on other crops and in the middle of a formerly quiet countryside.

Sounds just like the Vina Robles ampitheatre in Paso= traffic and noise…