ByeBye To SantaBarbaraCnty... Don't Let the Door Slam You In The A$$ As You Exit

The Millers built the winery for Jim and Bob in SLO county.

I do find regulations about wineries a bit confusing.

Why are there are so many wineries in an industrial part of Lompoc…as opposed to the prison part —of Lompoc?? But making wine in Santa Maria is difficult??

Don’t know about SBA specifically, but ever since the Volstead act repeal, winemaking has consistently required virtually the same zoning as heavy industrial. That means that you basically have to find a space that’s zoned the same as oil refineries and power plants use etc. This is ridiculous of course, and some counties allow you to operate a winery in a “lesser” zoning with a Conditional Use Permit. But such a permit here in LA County costs up to $10K to apply for, with no way to know the outcome. If the CUP gets rejected, the county pockets your money and you have to find another space.

No idea why they make it so hard, but it kind of is endemic this stuff in CA. I didn’t even know half of the regulations I’m suddenly susceptible to when I started winery - they don’t tell you you need a license to buy fruit from vineyards, or have a yearly license for the scales used to weighing the bins… :roll_eyes:

It should be like in France that you can do it pretty much in any cellar - it’s in the law.


I was involved in what ended up being a multi-year process to get Peake Ranch Winery built. The regulations were ridiculously difficult. One “neighbor” complained about the traffic that would come from having a tasting room on the property - even though a tasting room had existed on the property previously and the neighbor lived several miles on the other side of Highway 101. He alone got in front of the County Board and held up the process for a year.

Adam Lee
Clarice Wine Company


For those of us not in the industry, what does “BID” mean? I’m not sure what kind of total is being proposed.

Charles - not much to add to this discussion about SBC, but BIDs are found all over. I believe they actually started in cities - NYC has many of them. In many big cities the government is too inept to sweep the streets, etc., so a lot of these things were formed to hire guys to literally sweep the streets daily. Some are fairly large - the one down around wall street has plenty of money to lobby as well. They’re funded through self-imposed taxes once a majority of the businesses in the area decide to participate.

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A BID was proposed several years ago by the large wineries to fund their nationwide marketing. The smaller wineries in the Sta. Rita Hills and Lompoc opposed it. When it got to the Board of Supervisors the large wineries withdrew their proposal. Three of the five Supervisors have opponents in the March 5th primary. As FDR noted if you want to change policy the first thing you do is change the people. We spent three years trying to put a winery on our vineyard and finally gave up. It took us five months to stand up our winery in Lompoc.

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Virtually all regulation about alcohol is stupid, overbearing, unnecessary and a hybrid cross between Puritan root stock and monopolization and exclusionism fertilizer provided by large producers that would never be permitted in any other industry. See Paragraph 2 of the 21st Amendment. As to BIDs, whether they are a good idea depends on one thing. Are those in charge of the purse strings corrupt or are they acting in good faith. The Midtown Manhattan BID, maybe known as the Grand Central BID, keeps the are very clean and employs a lot of people who would otherwise be unemployable, so that is a good thing. Others, not so much.

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Some of the controversial regulations affecting wineries in SBC aren’t the typical alcohol related things. One involves limiting visitors, events, and traffic in wineries on small roads, which often also have affluent homeowners. Another is a series of regulations associated with air quality and carbon emissions.


Wasn’t there a winemaker on here in the Bay area who said he’d been contacted by the county because they’d seen darker residue on roof around his vents at his winery on a Google earth picture - and now they wanted him to prove that wine fermentation doesn’t spill out any volatile air particles.

This is the stuff they have time for?

I believe that was on Treasure Island . . .

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You are incorrect - the BID a few years ago was not started nor intended to benefit just large wineries. And the marketing was going to be local and regional driven, not National. Not sure if you actually read the proposal or paperwork associated with it or just made assumptions . . .

And sorry for the hassles you had - it took the Larner’s 7 years to be able to get approval for a winery on their property . . .