Placer approves long-awaited winery and farm brewery zoning update
Published on June 23, 2020
The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved a winery and farm brewery zoning text amendment, striking a balance between agribusiness prosperity and rural land preservation.
The amendment adds farm breweries, which will be regulated in the same manner as wineries. A farm brewery is defined as a facility for brewing and bottling beer that produces less than 1,500 barrels of product per year and grows hops and agricultural products necessary for making the beverage on-site.
The new ordinance addresses agricultural promotional events and sets parameters, eliminating the need for business owners to pull use permits. The ordinance also clarifies development standards with regard to public health and safety.
“This has been a long and thorough process. I am excited that we have found a solid balance between promoting agriculture and protecting our rural residences,” said District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt.
Key ordinance provisions include:
- Two acres of agriculture required on-site (an increase from one acre)
- Increase the minimum parcel size from 4.6 to 10 acres for zoning clearance allowance
- Definition of special event allowances and the maximum capacity of guests
- Clarification of hours of operation
- Updated standards of potable water and waste disposal
- Updated standards for access
- Adds ‘accessory restaurant’ as allowable land use and service of both beer and wine produced in Placer County
Allows additional guests and events for large wineries (20,000-plus cases per year) on 40-plus acres subject to a conditional use permit
Agricultural promotional events are defined in the ordinance as the education and marketing of wine and craft beer to consumers, including winemaker and brewmaster dinners, release parties, membership club parties, professional events or gatherings that support the promotion of the agricultural product. The promotional events can accommodate 50 people or less at one time.
Special events are defined as limited occurrences when more than 50 people are in attendance at one time. These event types include facility rentals and larger gatherings.
The approved amendment is an update to the original winery ordinance adopted in 2008.