From the start we have had serious concerns about this ZTA. Breweries and Winerys can be great value added parts of a farm business when they are an accessory to the farm and are sized to complement the farms around them. This ZTA is very light on the details that would distinguish between a farm accessory and an outsized event facility that just happens to be on a farm making products with outsourced ingredients.
Despite many hundreds of pieces of correspondence from local residents and farmers, the Council has rushed this zoning change through with a whisper of a public hearing. We are currently consulting with counsel on the legality of this decision as pertains to the Master Plan.
Some problems with the ZTA:
-Breweries and distilleries would only have to grow 1 acre of ingredients on the farm and could source the remainder from anywhere else.
-Each facility can host events up to 50 days per year, with nine that serve more than 300 with no upward cap.
-There is no provision for how large the facilities can be.
- Set backs from the road or other properties are minimal at 75 feet
-The ZTA is silent on mitigating water/septic use for these facilities.Alcohol production is a water intensive process now being sited in an area with a Federally Designated Sole Source Aquifer. All Ag Reserve properties (by design) are on septic, not County sewer.
-There has been no evaluation to the cumulative impact of these facilities on rural roads, water quality and existing farms.
Use the form below to let your Councilmember know that you have concerns about the zoning change and ask that they put in place standards that will help to ensure that it does not negatively impact other farming enterprises and rural communities... such as a maximum size for the tasting room facilities that could be permitted without a process of review.