Tasting Room Regulation Update

Posted on January 17, 2019

At the January 14, 2019 City Council meeting, direction was given to staff to prepare a draft ordinance regulating wine tasting facilities for consideration by the Planning Commission. The following components will be included in a draft ordinance:

  • Create a new conditional use permit process for all new tasting rooms including new regulatory parameters:
    • The Planning Commission will be the reviewing authority for a new permit for tasting rooms.
    • Limit the number of total wine tasting facilities in the city from its current number of 31 to a lower number to be determined. Council indicated an interest in a final number ranging from 26-29 wine tasting facilities (2-5 less). No new permits would be allowed until the total number of tasting rooms is below the threshold number set above.
    • Limit the number of wine tasting facilities that can locate on block faces (and corners) that directly face the Plaza.
    • The geographic area for the ordinance to be decided – different Council Members had interests in different areas  (Plaza Retail Overlay District, Downtown Planning District or Citywide). Seeking feedback from Planning Commission.
  • Allow all existing wine tasting facilities (as “non-conforming uses”) to continue to operate indefinitely as “legal non-conforming uses” after the passage of the new ordinance.
    • Reduce the “abandonment period” to 60 days, thus allowing the existing number of facilities to be reduced to a lower total through attrition.
    • The current wine tasting rooms can continue to operate until the use is abandoned, but the tasting rooms cannot expand or move to a new location until there is capacity based on the numerical limit.

The current urgency ordinance is only effective until May 1, 2019, which means new regulations regarding tasting rooms need to be in place by that time. The Planning Commission will need to review a draft tasting room ordinance at its regularly scheduled meeting on February 21, 2019, and forward a recommendation to the City Council. The City Council would then take action on March 4th (1st reading) and March 18th (2nd reading) in order to meet the aforementioned deadline.

Find more information including a summary and related documents on the Wine Tasting Rooms page.

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