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Winery activity bill goes to Senate floor


By MITCH LIES



Capital Press



SALEM -- A state Senate committee has moved a bill regulating winery activity in exclusive farm zones.



The Senate Rural Communities and Economic Development Committee on April 18 moved Senate Bill 841 to the floor with a do-pass recommendation by unanimous vote.



Among other features, Senate Bill 841 scales back the number of events allowed without a conditional use permit from the existing 25 days to 18.



The bill allows wineries in the Willamette Valley up to six events per year under an administrative license, and seven to 18 events per year with a streamlined land-use permit.



Wineries wishing to conduct more than 18 events per year can do so under a conditional-use permit.



The bill allows wineries outside the Willamette Valley to conduct up to 18 events per year under an outright use.



Revenue generated from non-wine sales, or incidentals, are capped at 25 percent of on-site wine sales under the bill.



Tasting rooms are exempt from the bill, allowed as an outright use throughout the state.



The new regulations do not apply to ongoing, legally established activities at existing wineries.



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