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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Nurturing the region’s thriving wine industry while preserving Sammamish Valley’s rural character

Summary

King County will conduct a comprehensive study on ways to nurture the Sammamish Valley’s growing wine industry while strengthening the relationship with surrounding communities. Researchers will examine a wide range of issues – including economic development, transportation, parking, land use and agriculture – for a study that is scheduled to be complete by early this summer.

Story

King County will conduct a comprehensive study of options to nurture the burgeoning wine and beverage industry in the Sammamish Valley while strengthening the relationship with surrounding communities.

King County Executive Dow Constantine, in coordination with the Metropolitan King County Council, announced the comprehensive approach to address the growing popularity of wineries, breweries, distilleries and tasting rooms in and around Woodinville.

“The Sammamish Valley is a unique asset, providing King County with both productive farmland and a thriving wine industry,” said Executive Constantine. “This study will help ensure that we nurture these valuable industries while making sure they are good neighbors.”

The county will select a consultant to conduct the study, which is scheduled to begin in February. Researchers will study the approaches that other winery communities across the country take on economic development, transportation, parking, land use and agriculture.

The consulting firm will seek input from multiple stakeholders, including wineries, the city of Woodinville, the agricultural community and local residents. They are expected to deliver the results of the study by early summer.

“I’m looking forward to the outcome of this important study,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “I’m hopeful that the results will balance the importance of our wine and beverage industry as a tourist destination and therefore a source of revenue, with public safety and mitigation of any issues.”

“This study will honor a longstanding commitment made by the County to the people and businesses in the Sammamish Valley area,” said Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “The preservation of the agricultural and rural lands of the valley is one of King County’s great legacies. I am confident that this effort will identify common interests to support a thriving wine industry which supports and benefits from the adjacent rural, agricultural lands.”

"It's important that we ensure a level playing field with fair, equitable and updated rules for wineries, distilleries, breweries and related businesses,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski, whose district includes Woodinville. “We need to ensure support for these important agriculture-based businesses while protecting the farmland that is their foundation. I look forward to the results of this important work.”

King County staff members will contact land owners who operate wineries, breweries, distilleries and associated tasting rooms in the unincorporated area to provide details about the study process. The proposed approach will allow most businesses to continue to operate as they are now during the study period and as the county considers regulatory changes.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography