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Commissioners uphold Wolves & People permit

Rockne Roll/News-Register file photo##Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery owner Christian DeBenedetti inside the brewery s tasting room.
Rockne Roll/News-Register file photo##Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery owner Christian DeBenedetti inside the brewery's tasting room.

Yamhill County Commissioners on Thursday upheld a decision by the county planning commission to renew the event permit for the Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery for the next four years.

Commissioners Rick Olson and Mary Starrett voted jointly on the issue; commissioner Stan Primozich was absent for family reasons.

Opponents of the brewery and tasting room repeated complaints they aired at the planning commission hearing: They think the tasting room is more like a tavern; don’t think it should be allowed to serve larger size drinks; object to the behavior of some patrons; object to the existence of the tasting room outside city limits and don’t like increased traffic.

One neighbor complained the tasting room is not the sole source of increased traffic, noting some drivers are now using Benjamin Road to avoid increased congestion from the Newberg-Dundee bypass. However, she complained that delivery trucks and large tour buses are related to the brewery, and are dangerous on the narrow, curvy road. In one instance, she said, a tour bus that slid off the road blocked traffic for several hours.

Another neighbor, David Wall, complained about the actions of various county officials. He included the county assessor, county Assistant Council Todd Sadlo, Commissioner Stan Primozich, the county planning director and county planning commissioners.

Olson noted most of the testimony in opposition did not address the permit in question, or the related criteria, although both he and Starrett expressed some empathy for frustrations about traffic and badly-behaved visitors.

Complaints about the size of beer tastes and other liquor-permit-related issues need to be directed to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Olson said.

The renewed permit allows the brewery to hold up to 18 events, with a food cart, each year. It does not relate to the daily tasting hours, Planning Director Ken Friday said.

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