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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 3:23 am | Fair 41º


Supervisors Set Appeal Hearing for Buellton Winery Development Project

Santa Barbara County officials will consider an appeal filed by a Santa Ynez Valley resident who takes issue with a planned development of a winery and tasting room in the Buellton area.

Bob Field, who last week announced his candidacy for the Third District Supervisor seat, filed an appeal of the County Planning Commission’s September 2015 approval of the Santa Rosa Road Tier II Winery development project at 7290 Santa Rosa Rd.

The County Board of Supervisors will hear Field’s appeal next Tuesday.

According to county staff, the project is located on the south side of Santa Rosa Road about 4 miles west of the Santa Rosa Road and Highway 101 intersection.

Proposed plans would demolish approximately 3,000 square feet of existing development. A new 10,540 square-foot winery production building would be constructed, along with a building that includes a 1,160-square-foot tasting room.

Wine production would be limited to a maximum of 9,500 cases annually, with on-site crushing, fermentation, barrel storage and bottling

The county zoning administrator approved the project in April 2015, but appeals from neighbors sent the decision before the County Planning Commission.

Commissioners unanimously denied the appeal but gave developers more restrictions, which included reducing the number, frequency and attendance of special events.

A maximum of six special events — with attendees capped at 150 — and 24 organized gatherings of between 13 to 50 people were proposed, with events ending by 10 p.m.

No more than four special events or organized gatherings can occur in a month, and the property would boast 25 permanent parking spaces and 60 overflow parking spaces.

The winery would operate between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday except during crushing activities. The wine tasting room would be open to the public daily from the hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Approval included reducing the setbacks required for wineries from 200 feet to 70 feet at the closest outdoor use. It would also allow a 200-foot setback at the closest outdoor use area instead of a 400-foot setback from the nearest offsite residence under separate ownership.

The Board of Supervisors appeal hearing was set up after a facilitation meeting between county staff, Field and the applicant failed to find an agreement.

Field is refuting the traffic study. His appeal also outlines concerns about drivers impaired by alcohol causing collisions and the overall impact to quality of life.  

Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino was worried county counsel and planning staff wouldn’t be fully compensated for their work on the appeal, saying he thinks the winner of an appeal — be it the applicant or appellant — should have to pay back the costs.

As of now, that’s not how it works, staff said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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