Concurrently OWA has also been working with the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, Southern Oregon Wineries Association, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, Winegrowers Association of Central Oregon, and the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers to find a path that will allow the Oregon wine industry to speak with a unified voice and present a common position to the Governor's land use working group and the Oregon State Legislature.
As part of the effort, your OWA Board voted unanimously on Dec. 10 to further clarify OWA's position on the 18 special event days as follows. Special event days 1-6 will be subject to an administrative process, allowing the county to impose conditions as outlined in OWA's Legislative Concept 2. These first six events would not be subject to a local appeal and would not be a land use decision. This is a safe harbor for wineries that may want to hold an event from time to time. A special events license allowing 7-18 event days would be subject to the same administrative process, but would be treated as a land use decision subject to public notice and the opportunity for a local appeal. A final local decision would be appealable to the Land Use Board of Appeals. The OWA Board also agreed that all wineries on land zoned exclusively for farm-use, including wineries that secure conditional use permits, should be subject to the 25% income limitation outlined in Legislative Concept 3. OWA positions, adopted unanimously by your Board in Sept., which clarified marketing vs. non-marketing events and food service, remain unchanged.
OWA hopes to receive endorsements from AVA's around the state in the coming weeks.
This is interesting news considering the recent numbers released by Silicon Valley Bank regarding statistics within our industry in 2012. A special thank you to our locals, Michael Donovan & others for representing the interests of Southern Oregon.