House Family Vineyards Application
House Family Vineyards applied for a Conditional Use Permit to operate a winery at their property located at the end of Old Oak Way. The proposed project also includes construction of a subterranean (underground) wine cave and fire access road, Design Review for a tasting deck, and an open space easement exchange.
The House Family Vineyards property is situated over two adjacent parcels, which are approximately 13 acres and 10.3 acres, on the northeastern side of Old Oak Way (APNs 503-15-079 & 503-15-080). The properties includes a vineyard and associated agricultural uses, as well as a single-family home. The proposed project will not impact the vineyard or any existing development. The site is bounded by Garrod Farms to the west and by single-family properties to the north, east, and south.
Conditional Use Permit
House Family Vineyards requires a Conditional Use Permit from the City to operate a winery on their property and has proposed a scope of operations. If approved, the conditions of the Use Permit will clearly specify days and times of operation so they are enforceable. The Planning Commission will review these specifications as part of their process before going to the City Council for final approval.
A 1,300-square-foot tasting deck was constructed in 2013, without obtaining necessary permits from the City. The tasting deck includes 300-square-feet of floor area for a restroom, entry, and office. The remainder is open on three sides and has a roof. There is also an 1,800-square-foot dirt patio adjacent to the tasting deck that is also used as part of the wine tasting/event space. As part of the review process for this application, the Santa Clara County Fire Department would require construction of a fire access road to the tasting deck and a fire truck turnaround.
A 2,604-square-foot subterranean (underground) wine cave is proposed as a part of this application. The cave would be wholly underground, except for the entrance and exit. The wine cave would be used only for wine storage, with no public access. The wine cave would replace House Family Vineyard’s existing wine storage containers on the property.
Open Space Easement Exchange
The existing tasting deck and vineyard are located within an open space easement. The applicant has proposed removing the 20,100-square-foot open space easement where the tasting deck and vineyard are located and dedicating a new, larger open space easement of 49,578 square feet adjacent to the area.
Plans and Resources
Temporary Compliance Plan
In October 2022, the City Council approved a Temporary Compliance Plan allowing limited operations through September 30, 2023.
Request to Extend Temporary Compliance Plan
On September 6, 2023, at 7:00 p.m., the City Council is scheduled to consider a request from House Family Vineyards to extend the Temporary Compliance Plan. The agenda, including the staff report and other item materials, will be available on the City website by September 1. View and participate in the meeting using the following information.
- Saratoga Civic Theater, 13777 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga CA 95070
- Webinar URL: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81627041223
- Webinar ID: 816 2704 1223
- Call In: 1.408.638.0968 or 1.669.900.6833
Watch the meeting without participating on Saratoga Community Access Television Channel 15 (Comcast Channel 15, AT&T UVerse Channel 99) or watch online.
Submit Written Comments:
Comments can be submitted in writing at www.saratoga.ca.us/comment. Written communications will be provided to the members of the City Council and included in the Agenda Packet and/or supplemental meeting materials.
Environmental Impact Report & Public Scoping Meeting
The City released the Notice of Preparation of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for House Family Vineyards' proposed project application. The Notice of Preparation includes a brief description of the proposed project, the project location, and a summary of the potential environmental effects to be analyzed in the EIR. A Public Scoping Meeting that will be held on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
Process and Timeline
|2017||House Family Vineyards contacted the City to discuss the process to build an underground wine cave.|
|June 2018||House Family Vineyards submitted a formal application for the Conditional Use Permit to operate a winery.|
|July 2020||Notice of Intent (NOI) to adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the project was mailed to property owners within 500 feet of the property. NOI was subsequently withdrawn.|
|March 16, 2021||Community Meeting|
|April 20, 2021||Planning Commission Study Session|
|March 30, 2022||Public Scoping Meeting for the Environmental Impact Report|
|October 5, 2022||City Council Public Hearing on the Appeal of Temporary Compliance Plan for Winery Operations at House Family Vineyards|
|September 6, 2023||City Council Public Hearing on Request to Extend TEmporary Compliance Plan for Winery Operations at House Family Vineyards|
|Pending||Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Preparation|
|Pending||45-Day Review Period of Draft EIR|
|Pending||Final EIR Prepared and Response to Comments|
|Pending||Planning Commission Public Hearing|
|Pending||City Council Public Hearing|
The community will have multiple opportunities to provide input at a series of public meetings. Community Meetings and/or Planning Commission meetings will be added as needed. Meeting dates will be added to this page as information becomes available.