“Ad Hoc” wine industry committee gives county what they want for VESCO regulations

We request that the item dealing with the ad hoc committee on VESCO be taken off the consent calendar. It is an item of great interest and importance to the community working  on making our watersheds healthy and our climate stable.    

The names of the original so-called stakeholders needs to be made public.

Added after original Friday posting as Item 1a. This is on the consent agenda for this Tues, Nov. 19th.
Sponsors: Agricultural Commissioner
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Resolution
Date Ver. Action By Action Result
To: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
Department or Agency Name(s): Agriculture/Weights & Measures
Staff Name and Phone Number: Tony Linegar, 565-2371
Vote Requirement: 4/5th
Supervisorial District(s): All
Sonoma County Vineyard and Orchard Development Ordinance (VESCO) Ad-Hoc Committee Update
Recommended Action:
A) Receive update on the Sonoma County Vineyard and Orchard Development Ordinance (VESCO) Ad Hoc Committee.
B) Adopt a resolution authorizing a budgetary adjustment programming $32,568 of General Fund contingencies to finance County Counsel costs related to the VESCO Ad Hoc Committee and related activities. (4/5th Vote Required)
Executive Summary:
This action is to update the Board of Supervisors on the scope of work, timeline, and progress of the VESCO Ad-Hoc Committee, and authorize the use of General Fund contingencies to cover County Counsel costs incurred to-date and anticipated costs for the remainder of the Fiscal Year.
An Ad-Hoc Committee was formed on May 7, 2019 through the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, with Supervisors Gore and Hopkins appointed as members. The purpose and scope of this Ad-Hoc Committee is being defined to review the Sonoma County Vineyard and Orchard Development Ordinance (VESCO) to explore opportunities to reduce the regulatory, time, and financial burdens to the grape growers by streamlining the process associated with the replanting of vineyards. In addition, this Ad-Hoc Committee will
review the contracted engineering services in advance of issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for engineering services in the late spring of 2020. These adjustments will not impact existing applicable environmental SONOMA COUNTY Page 1 of 3 Printed on 11/15/2019
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File #: 2019-1579, Version: 1 standards.
The Ad-Hoc Committee met with industry representatives on July 29, August 12, and September 19, 2019 to gather information on industry concerns. The Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures also conducted a VESCO workshop on August 8, 2019 to provide information to engineers and geologists on how to streamline the permitting process. That workshop was attended by the Ad-Hoc Committee, engineers, geologists, and environmentalists. Additional stakeholder outreach is planned prior to Staff bringing options and recommendations to the Board by conducting a workshop in February 2020. Any potential ordinance changes will be presented to the Board in late spring 2020.
Prior Board Actions:
5/07/19 Closed Session – Formation of Ad-Hoc Committee
Expenditures FY 19-20
FY 21-22
Projected Budgeted Expenses
Additional Appropriation Requested $32,568
Total Expenditures $32,568
Funding Sources
General Fund/WA GF
Use of Fund Balance
Contingencies $32,568
Total Sources $32,568
Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:
County Counsel has spent 83 hours to-date, and expects another 35 hours for the remainder of the Fiscal Year, working with the Ad-Hoc Committee and reviewing technical changes and improvements to the VESCO ordinance. If approved, this item will program $32,568 of General Fund contingencies to offset those costs.
Staffing Impacts: