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Neighbors urge scrutiny of wineries

A group of homeowners today will ask the county to stop giving permits to wineries located on private roads until public safety issues are addressed in the county’s winery ordinance.

Neighbors in Woodpecker Raven say the current winery ordinance is vague and doesn’t address fire-safety road standards or issues of development in high fire-hazard zones. They will ask the Board of Supervisors today for an emergency interim ordinance to delay any permits from being given to wineries on private roads for wine tasting and special promotion events, including for wine sales or building.

The purpose is to avoid approvals that “three months down the road don’t make any sense,” area resident Adrienne Winter said.



By adopting the interim ordinance, public health and safety would be protected while changes to the winery ordinance can be made, Winter said in a letter to the board signed by herself and other neighbors.

Delaying approvals for wine sales, wine tasting or building would buy time for several groups that are revisiting the winery ordinance, said Lynn Brooks Duarte, who is another neighbor appealing to the board.




She is a part of a subcommittee from the agricultural commission reviewing the ordinance adopted in July 2000. The subcommittee held a second meeting Monday.

Working with the county, the county Farm Bureau and the Nevada County Winery Association, the subcommittee hopes to review the ordinance within several months and make recommendations of how to improve it.

“(The ordinance) is being tested for the first time,” Brooks Duarte said.

One winery that would be directly affected by an interim ordinance is Lucchesi Vineyards and Winery, nestled in the foothills 10 minutes outside of town.

The owners, Mario and Linda Clough, are in the midst of a permitting process to open their vineyard and winery to the public.

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Know and Go

Who: Nevada County Board of Supervisors

What: Request to halt permits given to wineries on private roads

When: 10:30 a.m. today

Where: Eric Rood Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City


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