Land Use zoning in some counties in Oregon prevents wineries from operating restaurants on land designated as farm land. HB 3280, which passed the house 52-3 on Friday, would change that. The bill, sponsored by Representative Paul Holvey of Eugene, addresses several regulations of agricultural land that govern winery operations in Oregon. If this bill passes the Senate as well, it would grant wineries that produce 150,000 gallons of wine a year the right to run a restaurant on the premises.

The need for this bill purportedly arose out of a dispute between land use activists and King Estate Winery, which presently operates a restaurant at the winery. The activists sought closure of the restaurant arguing it wasn’t a permitted use of agricultural land. During the House discussion, however, those opposing the bill were primarily concerned with its impact on smaller wineries rather than opening up ag land for commercial use; in essence, they argue that small wineries should have the same rights as big ones to operate restaurants on the premises to promote their wine.

A summary of the bill by the House committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources can be found on the Oregon legislature’s website.

 


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