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Update of tree ordinance, limits on winery events included in county planning priorities

Angela Hart, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday asked county planning officials to shift their priorities over the next two years to tackle divisive issues that could result in stronger environmental protections and tighter limits on development.
The direction, which the county’s Permit and Resource Management Department seeks from the Board of Supervisors every two years, was the first step in the county authorizing work on a number of new or revived initiatives. They include a tree ordinance to prevent removal of county woodlands, limits on medical marijuana cultivation, measures to create and retain affordable housing and regulation of events at wineries.
An overflow crowd sat in on what has in years past been a fairly subdued board discussion.
“I’ve never seen this much input,” said Supervisor Shirlee Zane.
Two dozen people spoke or submitted letters in support of creating tighter countywide rules for special events at wineries. They lodged complaints about increased traffic and noise in their rural neighborhood and raised concerns about the strain on scarce water resources.
Judith Olney said traffic from winery events has become heavy in her neighborhood off Westside Road.
“Our neighbors are literally being driven off of our roads,” Olney said. “It’s a serious issue.”
Read more via Winery events top meeting about county planning priorities | The Press Democrat.