Farm wineries; locality may not regulate activities. (HB2142)

Introduced By

Del. Mark Keam (D-Vienna) with support from co-patrons Del. Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg), Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville), Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-Oak Hill), Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville), and Del. David Ramadan (R-South Riding)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Farm wineries. Provides that a locality may not regulate the number or frequency of usual and customary activities and events at farm wineries. The bill also states that regular business hours shall, at a minimum, include the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/09/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13102827D
01/09/2013Referred to Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns
01/18/2013Assigned CC & T sub: #2
01/24/2013Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (11-Y 0-N)
02/05/2013Left in Counties, Cities and Towns


Waldo Jaquith writes:

This is really a very bad idea, but for reasons that are not at all obvious, and that actually have nothing to do with wineries as you and I think of them. This bill eliminates localities' ability to manage event venues in rural areas and sleepy bedroom communities, and I don't think anybody but the event venues want that.

"Farm wineries," as such, are not what they were even five years ago. Once upon a time, wineries started offering tours, selling directly to visitors, etc. That was good, because it helped them increase their income and remain economically viable. They built bigger buildings for visitors, and then started renting their grounds out for weddings. This was better still, because people will cheerfully pay $5,000–$15,000 to rent a winery for a single day for a wedding. This is when the whole proposition was turned on its head.

Beginning just a few years ago, people started opening wedding event venues...with a winery on the side. The winery is a sideline. Making wine and (optionally) growing grapes is a way to make them an "authentic" rustic wedding venue, but the money-maker is holding as many events as possible.

A farm winery holding events to support their business as a winery? That's swell—good for them. But a major events venue cropping up in a sleepy rural area, with winery operations as a fig leaf? That's less swell, but still long as localities are permitted to manage them. This bill would eliminate oversight, and that's bad for just about everybody.

This bill needs to fail. Short of strong, compelling evidence that localities cannot regulate local zoning, the state should stay out of it.

Farm Winery Supporter writes:

Support HB 2142. We know where the majority of the opposition to this bill is going to come from, Fauquier County and the PEC of course!

27 farm wineries, 11 lawsuits, some of them with multiple complainants.

These people have fought hard to suppress these businesses for no reason.
9am - 9pm business hours, and tradtional events are not a problem. There are plenty of protections against other things in the OPPRESSIVE ordinance that FC has in place.

Nowhere in this bill does it allow for someone to open an events venue with a winery on the side. This is a fabrication by the "Anti Everythings".

PASS HB 2142!