By BOB NORBERG
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A wine-tasting room and a restaurant with bar have been approved by Sebastopol planners for The Barlow development at the city’s eastern entrance, but not before some Planning Commissioners asked how many establishments serving alcohol is too many for the small town.
“We are a town that serves thousands and thousands more people,” Webster said. “How many grocery stores do we have? Far more than is necessary for a population of 7,700. It is important to put it into context.”
Sebastopol is a regional hub that serves a West County population of between 30,000 and 50,000 residents, Webster said.
The Planning Commission on Tuesday approved use permits and alcohol use permits for MacPhail Family Wines, which plans to open a tasting room, and Zazu restaurant, which would have a bar.
They will be located in The Barlow, which is taking shape in Sebastopol’s old apple packing district and is being touted as a new public marketplace and center for local food, wine and art.
There are three other businesses with approved alcohol use permits at The Barlow: Wind Gap Winery, Kosta Browne Winery and Woodfour Brewing Co., according to the staff report.
In addition, there are 16 other businesses in the immediate downtown Sebastopol area that are wine tasting rooms, restaurants, bars or stores that sell alcohol.
The city has also approved a permit to sell alcohol at the CVS Pharmacy store planned for the vacant Pellini Chevrolet dealership.
Planning Commissioner Yvette Williams van Agglen asked for the discussion on the number of alcohol-related businesses.