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Impact of Schools and Churches in Temecula Valley Wine Country PDF Print E-mail

Executive Summary of Issue:

The County of Riverside created the Citrus/Vineyard Zone (CV Zone) which is designed to preserve the agricultural and rural lifestyle within the heart of Temecula Valley Wine Country.  The law encourages wineries and ancillary commercial activities designed to support wineries.  On March 18, 2010, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to amend the CV Zone to allow churches, temples and places of worship.

It was the understanding of the membership of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association that churches wanting to acquire land within the CV Zone were looking at sites that would support both a church and school.

After researching and considering the issues, the Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association has adopted a position that:

  • Churches are low-impact incompatible uses that can be mitigated with reasonable restrictions.
  • Schools and Outdoor Youth Facilities are high-impact incompatible uses that likely cannot be reasonably mitigated and should be prohibited from the CV Zone.

Impact of Schools in Winecountry (Protecting Children from Pesticide Exposure)

The County of Riverside currently enforces no pesticide zones of 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile (areal application) while children are present at school.  Various environmental and child advocacy groups are pushing for national (EPA) and Statewide "pesticide protection zones" around schools.  The concept of "pesticide protection zones" has recently been championed by various California counties and State legislatures.

The California State Assembly has pending before it AB 1721, which would create pesticide free zones of up to a 1/2 mile around schools.  The map below provides a visual demonstration of some of the affected wineries and agricultural users based on current and proposed law.

Pesticide Hot Zone Map
(Clicking Link Abive Opens a New Window)

Regulatory (ABC) Impacts of Churches, Schools, Playgrounds and Youth Facilities in Winecountry.

California law recognizes that alcohol producers and sellers are incompatible with churches, schools and other places that children congregate.  The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has the independent authority to deny licenses to wineries, tasting rooms, wine bars, etc. if the proposed business would be too close in proximately to a Church or school.  Depending upon the license type, the restrictions are as follows:

  • Winegrowers (Type 02) - Business and Professions Code 23358, subd. (d) empowers the ABC to deny an application on “public welfare or morals” grounds if the main entrance is within 200 feet of a school or church.
  • On Sale Retail License (i.e. Wine Bar, Tasting Bar, etc.) – Business and Professions Code 23789 authorizes the ABC to deny an application under subdivision (a) if “within the immediate vicinity of churches and hospitals” and (b) if the applicant is within 600 feet of schools and public play grounds or nonprofit youth facilities.

Based on the above, the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association is advocating for reasonable setbacks for churches to prevent land owners within the immediate proximity of any proposed church site from losing their right to start a winery or wine tasting room and prohibiting outdoor youth facilities, such as, playgrounds, schools, etc.

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