The Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery and Chateau Ste. Michelle winerycontinue to move forward with plans

The Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery in Newberg will continue hosting agri-tourism events for the next four years, as last month they were approved for a renewed event permit.

The Yamhill County Board of Commissioners approved a four-year renewal for the brewery's 18 agri-tourism events a year, with existing stipulations.

The Newberg brewery, founded in 2016 by Christian DeBenedetti, faced contention from surrounding neighbors over the pub's ability to host these events, which included a food cart. The main challenger and appellant to their renewal was the land use watchdog group Friends of Yamhill County, as well as neighbor David Wall. Both filed appeals to the brewery's application to host events.

Commissioner Mary Starrett noted her initial concern in 2017 about some of the language in the permit — such as the number of cars, people and duration of events — but she concluded county ordinance allows wineries to host the same types of events.

Earlier this spring, the brewery received a $30,000 grant to help build The Vines-to Steins Trail after several reviews from the city of Newberg's Transient Lodging Tax (TLC) committee and passed with a vote of 10 to 2. The trail stretches between Wolves & People and nearby A to Z winery.

The permit's conditions were changed to allow the brewery to hold agri-tourism events for no more than three consecutive days; not to exceed five hours on a Friday, eight hours on a Saturday and five hours on a Sunday; and all events must end by 9 p.m. Planners said this would address any neighborhood concerns about headlight interference.

Meanwhile, the commissioners recently approved a site design permit for Chateau Ste. Michelle to build a new winery in rural Dundee on Northeast Fairview Drive. Approved on Dec. 6, the commissioners had also discussed the issue at their Nov. 29 meeting to allow for additional comments from the county public works department, and they upheld their decision from earlier.

The winery operates several estates, including the former Erath winery in Dundee. The application for the site design review for the wine tasting room on nearly 20 acres of land on 18010 N.E. Fairview Drive also went before the county planning commission Oct. 4.

A majority of the land there is planted in wine grapes. The parcel is zoned for exclusive farm use (EFU) and surrounded by smaller lots for primarily residential use.

The application said a wine tasting and production facility is proposed on a section of the parcel, while more than 15 acres will remain as a vineyard. The applicants are proposing to close the Erath tasting room on Worden Hill Road to open this new one.

The application, from Ryan Grenell, was appealed by Jerry Seeberger, a neighbor to the property.

Commissioners did add new conditions to the approval to ease neighbors' concerns, such as the public works department having to assess the winery a portion of the cost to widen Fairview Road and strengthening it to withstand heavier traffic.

The applicants for the winery did a traffic study, which predicted about 67 average vehicle trips per day. That number is expected to essentially double when they eventually build out the property.

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