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New winery rules to be debated today

The Union staff

Some area winemakers and their neighbors will square off today when the Nevada County Board of Supervisors discusses a contested change to the county’s ordinance governing wineries.

The issue arose last fall, when neighbors of the Lucchesi Vineyards and Winery at 19698 View Forever Road raised concerns about public use of a private road. Several neighbors are concerned that traffic resulting from tasting rooms and special events at wineries would be disruptive and create a fire hazard.

The neighbors lost a bid to enact an emergency ordinance to halt winery permitting temporarily in March. The neighbors had hoped to gain additional time for a compromise to be crafted by a committee including neighbors, winery owners, grape growers, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and the Farm Bureau.

The committee will present its draft ordinance, which has not been endorsed by all those involved, to the supervisors today, according to a letter written by Agricultural Commissioner Paul Bloch.

The draft stipulates that wineries on public and some types of private roads would be allowed to open tasting facilities without acquiring a special permit. On other private roads, daily traffic and the number of events held per year would be limited.

The board plans to return the proposal to the Planning Commission for further review.

In other board business, Larry Burkhardt, president of the Nevada County Economic Development Council, plans to report on the status of his group’s contracts with the county.

Beginning at 1:30 p.m., the board will hear comments from the public on the county’s needs for housing in the next four years.



What: Nevada County Board of Supervisors discussion of rules for county wineries

When: 9 a.m. today

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

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