Frequently Asked Questions

Conditional Use Permit 

  1. Did the City allow the winery to grow and expand its operations?
    The City was in conversation with Dave House in 2012 about conducting limited wine tasting pursuant to Dave House’s Home Occupation License, which is associated with his residential home. The City stated that if wine tastings increased in size and/or frequency, the City would need to determine whether a Conditional Use Permit would be required, rather than a Home Occupation License. At that time, the tasting deck was not constructed. The City never authorized wine tastings at the tasting deck as the Home Occupation License was associated with a residence. The tasting deck was later constructed without City approval or permits. 
  2. Excluding Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards and the Saratoga Country Club;
    1. Are there any other wineries with tasting and events?
      Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards has a Conditional Use Permit allowing them to hold wine tastings and events on their winery property. Tasting rooms are also a permitted use in the Village.
    2. Are there any commercial businesses within Saratoga that have 55 dedicated parking spaces?
      Yes, an example is Brookside Club of Saratoga
    3. Are there any businesses that can accommodate 150 people at one time?
      Yes, an example is Brookside Club of Saratoga.


  1. How many parking spaces are proposed?
    The applicant has proposed 55 parking spaces. 
  2. Do the 55 spaces include parking for employees?
    No, the applicant is proposing employee parking on Parcel A, separate from guest parking. The City would review this proposed employee parking along with a shared parking agreement. 
  3. Are lights proposed to be added to the parking area?
    No additional lighting in the parking area is currently proposed.

Open Space Easement Exchange

  1. When was the current open space easement dedicated, and why was the easement dedicated?
    The original open space easement was granted to the City as part of the 1988 Chadwick Place 11 lot subdivision (Tract 7770), and the purpose of the open space easement and grant to the City is “to maintain a portion of the Subject Property in a natural condition as open space land and to preserve as near as possible the scenic beauty thereof for enjoyment by the public. This grant is for the additional purpose of preventing the construction of improvements upon a portion of the Subject Property which is, or may be, unsuitable for development by reason of topographic or geologic constraints.” 
  2. What is the process to abandon an open space easement?
    Pursuant to State law, the Planning Commission would be required to make a recommendation to the City Council to abandon the portion of the open space easement that was developed prior to City Council consideration. The criterion for abandonment is set forth in the Government Code
  3. What is the slope of the land proposed to be dedicated to the City as open space in exchange for abandonment?
    The open space area proposed to be abandoned has a slope of 36%. The area to be dedicated as open space in exchange has a slope of 43%.


  1. Was the Planning Commission Study Session recorded?
    Planning Commission study sessions are not recorded. 
  2. Is an Environmental Impact Report being prepared? If so, when will it be available?
    The City has decided to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed project. Information about the EIR process and timeline will be posted on the City’s website at as information becomes available.
  3. Will there be another Planning Commission Study Session?
    There is no Planning Commission Study Session planned at this time, however, opportunities for public input in the EIR process will be posted on the City’s website at as information becomes available. 
  4. What does “design review” of the tasting deck mean?
    This means the application require will require review from the Planning Commission, and they must make specific Design Review findings pursuant to City Code Section 15-46.040.
  5. What is Measure G, and how does it apply in this case?
    In March 1996, City of Saratoga voters approved an initiative, known as Measure G, to change the text of the Land Use Element of the 1983 General Plan to require that certain amendments to the Land Use Element may only be made by a vote of the people. With certain exceptions, Measure G requires a vote of the people to permit General Plan amendments that:
    1. redesignate residential lands to commercial, industrial or other land use designations,
    2. increase densities or intensities of residential land use, or
    3. redesignate recreational open space lands to other land use designations.

Because this is an application for a Conditional Use Permit and no General Plan amendment is proposed, Measure G is not applicable.

Plans and Permits

  1. What is meant by “new tasting deck” on the Architect Tasting Deck schematic?
    Because the existing tasting deck did not receive approval from the City prior to construction, it is designated as “new” on the plans.
  2. When the non-permitted tasting deck and 3 bathrooms were built in 2013, were permits issued for the bathroom installation, along with the appropriate inspections for clean water and sewer/septic hookups?
    No permits were issued by the City for this installation, so no inspections have been conducted. 
  3. Is there consideration of adding a new canopy or hard roof structure extending out over the current patio area? Is that included in the Design Review?
    A canopy or hard roof structure is not included in the application. If a canopy or other such structure were proposed, permits would be required.
  4. Did the original blue canopy have a permit?
    No permit was issued for the original, blue canopy.