A full house of more than 100 Santa Ynez Valley residents, Santa Barbara County winemakers, and wine industry supporters gathered to voice their concerns about the “neighborhood compatibility” of wineries on Monday night at St. Mark’s in Los Olivos.
It was the latest — and perhaps most contentious — in a series of county planning hearings designed to inform the update of the winery ordinance later this year, a process that still has vintners wondering why they need to protect their livelihoods and residents wondering how they can preserve their quality of life.
Negative impacts mentioned on Monday included traffic, noise, lighting, and drunk drivers, with positives being added jobs and a stronger economy, and there were repeated pleas to just sit down and talk to each other like neighbors rather than adversaries.
The next meeting, which will focus on permitting and enforcement, is on February 21. Click here for more info.