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Group Sues San Diego County on New Winery Policy

On September 3, 2010, the San Diego Citizenry Group, on behalf of various property owners throughout San Diego, brought suit against San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors challenging a new ordinance approved on August 4, 2010. The ordinance reportedly creates a more manageable process for wine growers to open wine-tasting rooms and create small wineries in unincorporated parts of the region. In filing suit against the County, the San Diego Citizenry Group alleged that the ordinance was passed without a proper environmental study. “Residents are particularly concerned about additional traffic on rural roads and the amount of water the wineries would need to operate.” (See Group Sues County on New Winery Policy.) Additionally, the San Diego Citizenry Group claims the County ignored issues and other impacts when it implemented the ordinance; according, the Group asks that the supervisors’ vote be annulled and the ordinance be appraised thoroughly before additional action is taken.

Ostensibly, the ordinance, which was originally proposed in October 2007, creates a layered system that allows property owners of areas zoned for agriculture to set up businesses to grow, produce, and sell wine to wineries. Additionally, these properties could produce up to 120,000 gallons of wine each year, open a tasting room without securing a major-use permit, and hold onsite events, including weddings.

A court date is not currently scheduled, but once more information is available, On Reserve will post updates accordingly.

(Sources: Group Sues County on New Winery Policy and San Diego Wine Tasting Law Challenged.)

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice.

Lindsey A. Zahn


Lindsey is the founder and author of On Reserve: A Wine Law Blog. She is an alcohol beverage and food attorney and is admitted to the New York State Bar.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Malerie January 14, 2012, 3:26 AM

    Haellljauh! I needed this-you’re my savior.

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