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San Joaquin County supervisors table vote on winery events moratorium

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Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:00 am

San Joaquin County supervisors decided Tuesday to table a vote to temporarily prohibit wineries from submitting applications requesting to host marketing events.

In September 2013, supervisors voted 3-1 in favor of drafting a 12-month moratorium on new requests to hold events, such as weddings and concerts. Supervisor Steve Bestolarides, who proposed the idea, said it would allow the Community Development Department to focus on drafting a new winery ordinance without the distraction of reviewing incoming event applications.

On Tuesday, Community Development Department Director Kerry Sullivan briefed supervisors on the progress her staff has made on drafting a new ordinance. She said the department has already studied ordinances in other California counties and completed all the research necessary to begin drafting an ordinance.

Sullivan said that it could be four to six months before a new ordinance comes in front of supervisors for a vote.

Based on the progress made on the new ordinance, supervisors voted against the moratorium, with Bestolarides calling it “moot.”

“It seems like (a new ordinance) is getting far down the road,” Bestolarides said.

Carlos Villapudua was the only supervisor to vote against tabling the moratorium.

Members of the county’s winery community, who were concerned about the negative effects a moratorium could have on the winery business, were pleased with Tuesday’s vote.

“It makes sense,” said Nancy Beckman, CEO of Visit Lodi! “It was good judgment on the part of the supervisors. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Russ Munson, owner of Wine and Roses, didn’t expect supervisors to vote against the moratorium.

“It was a surprise to me but I was pleased with the decision,” he said. “Moving forward ... we’ll achieve what we want to achieve, and that’s a good winery ordinance.”

Contact reporter Kris Anderson at krisa@lodinews.com.

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