Sat, May 25

Jerome working on "Vineyard' ordinance

JEROME - During discussion of a first reading of Ordinance 371, regarding "Vineyards," the town council decided the ordinance would have to be renamed and rewritten. The need for an ordinance covering vineyards in Jerome became apparent months ago when the council was approached for a zoning classification to allow for an already existing vineyard.

Several questions came up at that time regarding vineyards, including how a vineyard in a residential zone would be classified. Would it be a small business or a medium-sized business?

To help work through the many questions and important considerations of a vineyard ordinance, the council formed a Stakeholders Committee made up of about nine members. The committee included council members, residents, Chamber of Commerce members, business owners and a vineyard owner. The committee held seven meetings and wrote a proposed ordinance.

Items in the proposed ordinance included restrictions and definitions.

The size of a vineyard would be limited to not exceed one-half acre. Water restrictions would require a separate water meter for each parcel, and water usage would be subject to town water restrictions. Each parcel would have to demonstrate that 10 percent of the proposed peak monthly water use could be provided through methods other than metered distribution. Those other methods could include catchments, cistern, grey water or overflow. Flood irrigation would not be allowed. Also, each parcel dedicated to vineyard use would have to obtain a conditional-use permit.

Council and Stakeholder committee member Jay Kinsella said, "Some questions have arisen in regards to the ordinance.'

A meeting was quickly called that included Kinsella, former mayor Jane Moore, Town Manager Candace Gallagher, the town attorney and committee member and resident Lisa Whitacre.

One question asked whether it is possible to require that more than 10 percent of peak usage come from alternate sources of water. Another question regarded possible implications of Proposition 207. "That needs to be tightened up a little more," Kinsella said.

Kinsella said the council might need to limit vineyards to the Dundee area of town.

It was also pointed out that the proposed ordinance still did not classify vineyards as small, medium or large business. Kinsella said a separate classification for vineyard is needed.

Kinsella said that reworking the ordinance would not "drag down the process."

In the end, the council directed staff to put the vineyard ordinance on each agenda, except for June, for scheduled council meetings until the ordinance is posted.

It was further determined that the Stakeholders Committee has done the job it was created to do, and it will not work on the proposed ordinance from this point forward.