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  1. TopTop #1
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Sebastopol City Council and Residents
    Unanimously Oppose Winery Proposal

    By Shepherd Bliss

    After the Sebastopol City Council heard from two-dozen residents on Feb. 3--all of whom spoke against the huge Dairyman Winery and Distillery proposed for Highway 12--it unanimously and vigorously opposed the project. The large, attentive crowd flowed beyond standing room into the lobby. Now the project goes before the County of Sonoma, where it will ultimately be decided.

    “Moratorium” on wineries in Sonoma County and “EIR” (Environmental Impact Report) were two words often heard in the testimonies. The application was criticized on numerous grounds, including the following: extensive use of water, especially in our time of drought, traffic increase, damage to the unique Laguna de Santa Rosa, and threats to the many users of the Joe Rodota Trail that traverses the property.

    Dairyman’s proposal for the 68 acres includes 87,000 sq. ft of buildings and pads, an annual capacity of 500,000 cases of wine and 250,000 gallons of distilled spirits, and up to 58 promotional events a year with as many as 600 people a time. It would be open until 10 p.m.

    The applicant, 32-year-old Napa County winemaker Joe Wagner, briefly introduced his winery, which would reportedly be the 15th largest in Sonoma County. His family has grapes or wineries in four counties. He asserted that this site was selected because of “its great potential on a heavy thorough-fare.”


    “We are not considering being organic,” he admitted, revealing that he uses conventional chemicals, which would damage this unique environment. Wagner acknowledged that it would “increase truck traffic and emissions.” He suggested, “This would be a better use of the property.” He also agreed that he had submitted “incomplete studies.”

    "All he did was throw buzz words out there that he thought would work,” commented grape grower Bill Shortridge. “There were no details. No answers. He brought nothing to the table, which leads me to believe EVERYTHING we are worried about would occur."

    COUNCILMEMBER COMMENTS


    “I would encourage citizens to engage in civil disobedience,” if this proposal is approved, commented Councilmember John Eder. He was concerned, as were Mayor Patrick Slater and others, by the safety risks to users of the popular Rodota Trail. Mayor Slater quoted the application’s demand that pedestrians and cyclists would need “to yield to Dairyman traffic,” which would be significant with events of up to 600 people.

    “This project is a slap in the face,” Mayor Slater said. “The Joe Rodota Trail is a tremendous facility. People use it to get to work, for recreation, and for health reasons. I’m staggered by the scale of this project.”

    “To ask families with kids to stop on the trail for cars is outrageous,” Eder asserted. Christine Dufond, a mother with her young daughter Luci, spoke against the project. She focused on “Sebastopol’s commitment to sustainable community, and how holding this vision means setting boundaries with proposals that threaten the ecosystem of both our land and our community." Eder suggested that families consider blocking access to the winery “with strollers.” He concluded, “I cannot come up with one reason to justify this proposal. This is the wrong project in the wrong place.”

    “The Joe Rodota Trail is the North Bay’s most popular bike trail,” reported Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition member Gary Helfrich. “Now there would be a private road across the public trail. The traffic study is a fantasy. Operation of this project must be subordinate to the safety of trail users.”

    The City Council agreed to send a letter to Sonoma County’s Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD). They complained that they were given inadequate time to study the application, inform the public, and comment. The deadline for their letter to planner Traci Tesconi ([email protected]) was Feb. 4, but apparently has been extended, due to public pressure. The Council urged residents to make their comments known to the County, which will make the final decision on the application. Its public hearing is not yet scheduled.

    “”Hell No!,” said Councilmember Sarah Gurney. “The demand on nature is too great. We have taken for granted the greenbelt separator between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. The Laguna is a resource of international significance. This is a production facility that should be located closer to Highway 101, rather than in this rural area. If it produced nourishing food, that would be better.”

    Gurney noted that all of the many emails that she had received in the week since the winery proposal became known to the public opposed it. Those emails included some from groups such as the Laguna Foundation, the Rural Alliance, Sonoma County Conservation Action, and Sonoma Water Information Group (SWiG), as well as from various food farmers.

    “Our commons is the water, air, land, and the infrastructure, like roads, that enable us to function,” commented Councilmember Una Glass. “What is good for the common good is what we decision-makers need to think about. There is a backlash against the Napafication of Sonoma County. We are becoming a Disneyland with all these event centers. Businesses need to be concentrated near transit sites.”

    “This is an industry masquerading as a farm,” noted Councilmember Eder. “You are a developer. This looks like a farm theme park, like Knotts Berry Farm.”


    “You will not have smooth sailing ahead,” Eder warned. “If CalTrans does not allow a left hand turn, this project is dead,” he said. Highway 12 at the point of Dairyman, which is close to Llano Road, is high-speed and with double yellow lines separating its two lanes, meaning that a left turn would be illegal, as well as hazardous.

    “You will be sued,” asserted Councilmember Robert Jacob. “This will be an uphill battle. Every hurdle possible will occur.”

    WATER ISSUES

    “There is a lack of real inquiry by PRMD on this project,” alleged SWiG geologist Jane Neilson,Ph.D. “The winery's use of water is not well defined. This project needs to acknowledge the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater management plan and now the state requirement for sustainability. Pumping all over the Laguna has an impact on all wells.”

    “The wells on our property have dried up before,” explained Brenda Nichols, who lives at the edge of the Laguna. “Twelve wells on our street dried up when they built a hotel nearby. It floods all the time on Llano Road. Will our wells dry up again?”

    “Our water supply is fragile,” commented SWiG geologist Howard Wilshire, Ph.D. “We should not go on with business as usual. Water is a critical resource that we depend on.”

    “We are concerned with the possibility of this project being precedent-setting,” said Rural Alliance’s Anna Ransome. “Napa County has run out of water and land, so people are coming here.” She noted that when one visits the site there is much standing water, though it has not rained for a while. This indicates possible wetlands there.

    The Rural Alliance’s letter to PRMD notes that the Gravenstein Creek crosses the property, which is part of the Laguna de Santa Rosa uplands. This parcel is also Tiger Salamander habitat. They conclude that “the project would not be of benefit to Sebastopol and its environs.”

    “Let’s request a moratorium on any more wineries,” requested Magick. “This is not agriculture. It is really an entertainment center. Flush it!”

    “We need to know the exact figures of how much more water will be used,” said Paul-Andre Schabracq. “There is a whole soup of chemicals that appear in this water,” he said, referring to the use of wastewater being planned. He indicated that many other agencies need to be informed of this application.

    It takes 29 gallons of water to produce a single glass of wine, according to a recent Sacramento Bee article. Water is used for many things at wineries. The exact amount of water is difficult to determine, but it is clearly a lot.

    The Laguna Foundation’s executive director David Bannister wrote a letter to PRMD that noted the following:

    “The property is in a community separator zone between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa.
    The project is an industrial use that we think is inappropriate in the community separator.
    Zoning overlays on the property include ‘floodplain, scenic resource and valley oak habitat districts.’ How is the proposed use consistent with these overlays and how will those resources be protected?
    This large wine and spirits production facility will use huge amounts of water. How much water?”

    “This project is reckless disregard for its consequences. It is growth at its worst,” testified Bob Beauchamp. “We need to talk about growth,” added former Sebastopol Mayor Craig Litwin. “Crossing the trail is a recipe for disaster,” this father of three added.

    “The traffic is already a race track,” noted Carol Vellutini of the Westside Community Association. “We’re so saturated with events at wineries. We’re done with wineries.” Her group helped defeat celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s proposal of a winery in a rural area last month.

    “This is the beginning of the process and there will be other opportunities for the public to comment on the application,” noted Ransome. “The Sebastopol City Council should be commended for dealing with this at short notice and protecting the environment and the public from improper development.”

    (Shepherd Bliss {[email protected]} operates Kokopelli Farm, teaches at Dominican University, and has contributed to 24 books.)
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  2. TopTop #2
    Helen Shane's Avatar
    Helen Shane
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    There appears to be either a naive or ingenuous attitude adopted by the applicants.

    Addressing only one aspect of this application:

    From Sonoma West today

    “The plan proposes removal of about 30,000 square feet of buildings in various states of disrepair and the construction of 57,000 square feet of winery production facilities, 19,000 square feet of distillery production, 3,800 square feet of administration and 6,200 square feet of hospitality areas, with an outdoor tank farm, a covered crush pad, fruit receiving area and truck scale with a 400 square foot scale house. The proposed construction would maintain the same footprint as the current buildings and would be set back at least 200 feet from the highway with landscaping designed to screen the operations from view.”

    Add the total stated sq. ft. of various bldgs to be built for a total of 86,400 sq. ft. Removing 30,000 sq ft of bldgs. in disrepair means an addition of 56,400 sq. ft.

    What is his definition of footprint?

    How do you say bamboozle?
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  4. TopTop #3
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Quote Helen Shane wrote: View Post
    ...What is his definition of footprint?

    How do you say bamboozle?
    Clearly it is not the footprint of the buildings. Rather it is the "footprint" of the developed, or at least not natural part of the site. Notice that the vineyards and ponds remain. The new structures are located where the old structures and parking are located.

    EDIT:
    I would agree that referring to "same footprint as the current buildings" (by David Abbott, Editor of the Sonoma West, not the applicant) was misleading, perhaps intentionally (to build public support) or not.


    (photo updated to better match size/orientation of proposed)


    Last edited by Barry; 02-05-2015 at 02:30 PM.

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  6. TopTop #4
    Helen Shane's Avatar
    Helen Shane
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    I think, Barry, that you are being very generous as to the definition of the footprint because it has remained the same. It is not relevant. The parameters of the area developed may not have expanded, but the use of the area in that footprint as proposed for the new operation compared with what the footprint supports today would increase the burden on the carrying capacity of that area immeasurably. So fie on the footprint... it is meaningless. I repeat: it's either ingenuous or Machiavellian. You choose.







    Last edited by Barry; 02-05-2015 at 01:59 AM.
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  8. TopTop #5
    Ernieman's Avatar
    Ernieman
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    This project is clearly too big and too industrial for farmland and the Laguna location in particular. I plan to comment according to CEQA so that I am part of the record for environmental opposition.

    A word of caution, the County is not interested in taking on the wine industry over the number of wineries for instance. It would be better in terms of fighting this egregious proposal if the entire wine industry was not challenged but rather it was project specific- e.g comments directed at the application.. At the risk of seeming too structured, the blanket criticism of the wine industry will discredit Dairyland opposition as CEQA clearly is project specific.

    I have heard criticism down at the County that we W. county types are just a bunch of wackos that do not like the wine industry. Casting blanket aspersions on that industry when a single project is before the County is therefore ill advised. That can be done in another setting like the 2016 Supervisorial election.
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  9. TopTop #6
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    These are wise words of caution from our former 5th District Supervisor, in my opinion. There are many good grape growers who are either organic or sustainable, and actually work the land as farmers. I agree with him that our focus needs to be the Dairyman application. We may personally want to challenge the larger picture, as I sometimes do, but to do so is likely to alienate some natural allies.

    Many grape growers, for example, eventually spoke out against Paul Hobbs, which is why he had to pay a fine, though it was smaller than it should have been. Through our challenge to this huge operation, we can gather some allies and continue the struggle.

    Quote Ernieman wrote: View Post
    ..A word of caution, the County is not interested in taking on the wine industry over the number of wineries for instance. It would be better in terms of fighting this egregious proposal if the entire wine industry was not challenged but rather it was project specific- e.g comments directed at the application.....
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  11. TopTop #7
    dzerach's Avatar
    dzerach
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    The sups have naively (?) had "sonoma county Tourism" as part of their vision plan for a couple of years now, in response to the economic crash the country still hasn't recovered from. Witness the airport expansion, etc. One-third of the proposed "agribusiness" facility is solely for tourism.

    I would hope the difference between abiding as a bedroom county for the rest of the state's "cultured" visitation, and working towards a diversified economy of which tourism is one part - i would hope that difference could be found and nurtured..

    In response to Peacetown Jonathan's strategic mention in the closed thread of the need to block the liquor license (the tourism part), the sups must be made aware of already widely proven dangers of a kind of obsessive compulsive approach to suck-cess before it is too late. I don't know if there even is a connection, but the drunk driving problem in Sonoma County is not acceptable collateral damage for the growth of an economy through tourism.

    In response to Gail Raburn's familiar tale of a different decade in Mendocino, is it impossible to create and maintain a kind of irreversible blight when some is needed, without lowering the quality of life; when an area's values are so different from those of "outsiders," it should seem possible, all things being interpretive. Perhaps some permanent blight is needed.
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  13. TopTop #8
    Goat Rock Ukulele's Avatar
    Goat Rock Ukulele
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    I realize there are plenty of places to drink and then venture out on hwy 12 with it's 60 mph cross traffic but I for one don't like the idea of another one, most especially if they are going to make and serve distilled spirits.
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  15. TopTop #9
    Ernieman's Avatar
    Ernieman
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Called Traci Tesconi, County project planner, to get the status of the Dairyman (Dairyland) project. It is just at the beginning stage where the project description is mailed to agencies and their feedback, like Sebastopol City, is incorporated into the planning "project checklist" which eventually determines the level of environmental analysis necessary under CEQA. For instance, Cal trans has not responded yet so their traffic concerns are unknown. This project will almost certainly require an EIR. Stated another way, there is a long way to go. Public comments are accepted at any time. I will comment on the environmental documentation when it becomes available.

    If you desire to receive information from the County regarding the project, email the planner and request to be on the Dairyman mailing list. That is [email protected].
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  17. TopTop #10
    Helen Shane's Avatar
    Helen Shane
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Thanks, Ernie. I just did email Tesconi and ask to be on notification list.

    FYI, it should be noted that CalTrans never issued an encroachment permit as applied for by CVS for left turns across opposing traffic near the intersection of State Hwys 12 and 116. CVS declined for more than a year to provide details requested by CalTrans, IMO because CVS could not justify the request. CalTrans, in a letter to Sebastopol Planning Director stated: "Safety and mobility are priorities at Caltrans, and you may be assured that pedestrian safety and traffic congestion will continue to be an essential element of consideration during the permit process. " We may need to remind CalTrans of that policy in this application.

    Quote Ernieman wrote: View Post
    ... For instance, Cal trans has not responded yet so their traffic concerns are unknown. ...
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  19. TopTop #11
    Timothy Gega
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Quote Helen Shane wrote: View Post
    There appears to be either a naive or ingenuous attitude adopted by the applicants.

    Addressing only one aspect of this application:


    What is his definition of footprint?

    How do you say bamboozle?
    Footprint, schmootprint! (lol)
    Its the USE that changed. "Use" determines everything.
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  21. TopTop #12

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Those folks at County better come on over and have a glass of wine with us West County wackos so that they can loosen up. I'll bet there is more wine consumption in WC per capita than anywhere else.

    Quote Ernieman wrote: View Post
    ...I have heard criticism down at the County that we W. county types are just a bunch of wackos that do not like the wine industry. ....
    Last edited by Barry; 02-06-2015 at 01:09 PM.
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  22. TopTop #13
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    I appreciate the description below that "the drunk driving problem in Sonoma County is not acceptable collateral damage."

    In addition to Gail's lament about how much Mendocino has changed, during my 24 years here I have felt that the immoderate wine industry has also transformed Healdsburg and the town of Sonoma for the worse, turning them into enclaves for tourism and the wealthy. This battle against Dairyman Winery and Distillery is essential to reversing this trend. Though we have started strong in this struggle, let's be clear that this project is well backed financially and may take up to a year to defeat. They were "shooting for the moon" and are likely to downsize it, in hopes that we will accept that. We need to keep up the pressure.

    There is likely to be a Close to Home in the Press Democrat soon, which I hope that people will respond to either with letters to the editor or online comments.

    Quote dzerach wrote: View Post
    I don't know if there even is a connection, but the drunk driving problem in Sonoma County is not acceptable collateral damage for the growth of an economy through tourism.

    In response to Gail Raburn's familiar tale of a different decade in Mendocino, is it impossible to create and maintain a kind of irreversible blight when some is needed, without lowering the quality of life; when an area's values are so different from those of "outsiders," it should seem possible, all things being interpretive. Perhaps some permanent blight is needed.
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  24. TopTop #14
    beshiva's Avatar
    beshiva
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    you will always be hearing down at the "county"....like the W. County types are a bunch of wackos opposed to wineries (megacongolmerate wineries) or those wackos who hate law enforcement, (actually it's more like we hate bad cops on our streets) there are now over 2500 signatures and counting to get Eric Gelhaus (who killed Andy Lopez) off our streets

    or those W. county wackos who oppose GMO's (you know the stuff that the Board of Supervisors just doesn't think is too important to take up) even in the face of scientific information of severe health effects and over 9000 signatures of concerned (wacko) citizens have signed a petition to stop gmo..

    or the wacko's that oppose CVS shenanigans being shoved down our throats...another wonderful hwy. 12 debacle!

    yeah, we're a bunch of malcontents who don't appreciate progress..ugg
    beshiva

    Quote Ernieman wrote: View Post
    ...I have heard criticism down at the County that we W. county types are just a bunch of wackos that do not like the wine industry. ...
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  26. TopTop #15
    gypsey's Avatar
    gypsey
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    I have read what I can find about the Dairyman winery proposal and agree that it appears to be ill-conceived and un-sustainable. I am confused however when among the many replies, there is railing against the "wealthy" by the well-off themselves! Don't kid yourself: the wine industry is a magnet for tourism and consumers and sustains our income base through needed jobs and taxes.. As the Gravenstein apple of today's market, it deserves our support--and also our attention and concern.

    Looking toward, I hope we'll focus soon on the marijuana farming industry here in West County: small, sustainable growers vs. the encroachment of industrials (both off the grid legally)--and all it could mean for our future..

    I've been told that by comparison, wineries are a much smaller piece of the economic pie--would love to see stats.
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  28. TopTop #16
    Timothy Gega
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Quote gypsey wrote: View Post
    I have read what I can find about the Dairyman winery proposal and agree that it appears to be ill-conceived and un-sustainable....
    I agree gypsey. I had said at the start that I am (part of this problem myself) as a lifelong builder. The fact is: this (Application) is just Round 1.

    As a builder, a father and a community member, I know that I/We cannot stop most of these Projects. My biggest #1 concern is the dangerous traffic situations that will be imposed at this 5150 on Hwy 12. That has to be mitigated/ dealt with in Round 2. (Rebuilding the Highway here is not an option.)

    To me, Sebastopol is the Gateway to the Russian River and the Pacific Ocean.
    I believe that is a moral imperative to Protect this area due to its sensitive nature.
    I myself, (believed) that back in the late 1960s that we were both made Promises to and also Promised our future generations that we would be better Stewards of this globe. And, here we are, in this 21st century, still arguing if Global Warming is or is not real.

    Right Now, it is very important to contemplate, consider, reflect and Plan what happens at this community separator median because whatever goes in today will certainly be here for the next 22nd century as well. The Pacific Ocean and the Russian River (as well as the Laguna) are counting on us to be their voices.

    The fact is: (I believe) that MJ Production will arrive here in full force and effect in 2016. I believe that this is a good and sustainable crop too, but any location may be subject to the same community’s safety, needs and well-being also.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-08-2015 at 05:21 PM.
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  30. TopTop #17
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Following is a letter to the PD editor published in today's Sun. issue, written by Sonoma Valley writer Will Shonbrun. Fortunately, it appropriately focuses on the most significant of many issues--water. I think that it is important to keep those letters coming. One way to do so would be to refer to this letter and answer the question that Will poses in his last sentence. We seem to be experiencing a change in public opinion regarding wineries/resort/event centers, with more challenges to them.

    The struggle against Dairyman is likely to last a long time. I think the Rural Alliance is right that if it is permitted, it could be a precedent-setting event that would attract more such winery/event proposals. Likewise, if it is defeated, it could be a precedent to reduce or even stop such applications.

    MIXED MESSAGES

    EDITOR: “Stop, children, what’s that sound?” It sounds like the dull smack of incredulity from cumulative palms colliding with foreheads. And what’s the cause, he asked rhetorically?

    We’re in a record-breaking drought. Not a day goes by the media don’t remind us. The state tells us we must conserve water. The county is considering making it mandatory.

    Yet every day in the paper, we read of another huge, high-end winery/resort/event center project up for development.
    Ergo, residents must save water so that visitors can use it for their comfort and amusement.

    Rhetorical questions alert: How stupid do our elected leaders think we are? Is it just me, or is there a serious disconnect from reality here?

    WILL SHONBRUN
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  32. TopTop #18
    norcalredtail's Avatar
    norcalredtail
     

    Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    I agree that we need to not alienate anyone involved in our conscious community by casting blanket statements. We need all of the support we can get for this community.

    Sebastopol is a model for sustainable, conscious community for the entire country. It is a haven for healings arts, creative arts, environmental activism, conscious parenting, spiritual awakening, ecstatic dance, organic farming, and much more. There are plenty of other projects that could go up in our vicinity that would expand and sustain this vision while protecting our land and our diverse community. Sebastopol is already a magnet drawing the right kind of people. But it will always draw the tycoons who want to exploit this sacredness for a profit.

    If this community is sacred to you, you may have to get involved in keeping the businesses that don’t care about our land or our community vision from gradually taking Sebastopol off it’s course. The heartbeat of this community lies with a sacred group of individuals, many of whom can barely afford to live in Sebastopol anymore, or have already moved to Santa Rosa for this reason.

    Perhaps we need to think about affordable housing for Sebastopol. Ideas such as finding a piece of land where we can build an intentional community of tiny houses. The heartbeat of Sebastopol’s sustainable community lies in the continual rising of consciousness of our community members. Moving from looking out for ourselves, to looking out for our tribe, to looking out for everyone, especially those who through no fault of their own can no longer afford to live in their own village.

    [I've split off the ensuing conversation about tiny houses into it's own thread "Tiny Houses explored". Please use that thread for comments about Tiny Houses and keep this thread for the Dairyman winery proposal. - Barry]

    Blessings,
    Christine Dufond
    Last edited by Barry; 02-12-2015 at 02:36 PM.
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  34. TopTop #19
    Timothy Gega
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Quote norcalredtail wrote: View Post
    I agree that we need to not alienate anyone involved in our conscious community by casting blanket statements. We need all of the support we can get for this community.
    Blessings,

    Christine Dufond
    Very well stated Christine. Thank you.
    Sebastopol is a model for sustainable, conscious community for the entire country. It is a haven for healings arts, creative arts, environmental activism, conscious parenting, spiritual awakening, ecstatic dance, organic farming, and much more. There are plenty of other projects that could go up in our vicinity that would expand and sustain this vision while protecting our land and our diverse community.
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  36. TopTop #20
    spam1's Avatar
    spam1
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Quote Timothy Gega wrote: View Post
    Very well stated Christine. Thank you.
    Sebastopol is a model for sustainable, conscious community for the entire country,
    for rich, old, white people without kids (to be a bit more precise).
    Quote Timothy Gega wrote: View Post
    It is a haven for healings arts, creative arts, environmental activism, conscious parenting, spiritual awakening, ecstatic dance, organic farming, and much more. There are plenty of other projects that could go up in our vicinity that would expand and sustain this vision while protecting our land and our diverse community.
    Note that the local elementary school is reduced by half, while the population is stable or slightly rising? Why, because the only ones having kids are latinos, and they work at jobs we just can't have in Sebastopol, like manufacturing, services (tractor repair, as an example) or wineries. If there were other projects that would be financially sustainable, they would be a going concern now. Thus, I conclude that other projects really don't in practice exist, and this land will stay a failed dairy for another decade or two.
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  38. TopTop #21
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Mayor Patrick Slayter has issued a strong letter outlining the many reasons that the City of Sebastopol urges the County to deny the Dairyman Winery application, along with a list of requests should the county continue to consider the application.

    The reasons include:
    • Zoning non-compliance
    • Traffic and Safety concerns
    • Water impacts
    • Outside Urban Growth Boundaries
    • Impacts on the Laguna
    • Public Safety

    The full text of the letter is attached.

    Well done, Mr. Mayor!

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  39. TopTop #22
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    The following well-written letter on the Dairyman Winery appears in today's PD. Lets keep the pressure up.

    Say no to winery
    EDITOR: I am adamantly opposed to the mammoth winery and events center proposed near Highway 12 and Llano Road. The deleterious environmental impacts it presents, such as over usage of the Joe Rodota Trail and the voluminous increase in traffic, are two reasons for serious concern.

    Also, the hydrologic impacts must not be ignored.

    Especially disconcerting is the rather clandestine fact that millions of gallons of water would be exported out of Sonoma County -- inside bottles of wine. I submit that, record-setting drought or not, this is justifiable cause for alarm.

    But perhaps the most egregious problem is that it would make two of the most dangerous roads in the west county - Highway 12 and Llano Road - even more dangerous upon which to travel, since increasing the number of intoxicated individuals on these travelways would increase exponentially the potential for vehicle accidents and fatalities.

    Finally, I must state that I resent the proponent’s attempt to assuage critics by stating that only a small portion of this land would be utilized. As the old saying goes, “The devil’s in the details.” And so far, the disturbing details tell a lurid story.

    THOMAS D. BONFIGLI,
    Last edited by Shepherd; 02-13-2015 at 07:49 AM. Reason: add letter writer Thomas D. Bonfigli, Sebastopol name
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  41. TopTop #23
    norcalredtail's Avatar
    norcalredtail
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    We may have a good argument against the Dairyman proposal and the overall attempt at the Napatization of Sonoma County after all. The really great news for this conscious community is that according to my research, it looks like the County wants to support Sonoma County artists and creative entrepreneurs to get their economic foothold while leaving a culturally enhancing imprint for Sonoma County as preference over greedy winery glut. Here is a quote from page 21 of the Creative Sonoma Action Plan that was just adopted by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on June 24, 2014.

    Sonoma County has reasonably healthy tourism but is lacking in a strong sense of identity, though it has the landscape, the interesting culture, and the built environment to underpin such a sense of identity. Having a stronger destination identity would protect Sonoma from becoming too specialized as wine country, allowing it to adapt as other markets learn to compete with their presently dominant offerings. Developing a clear sense of identity will further foster shared love of place, already a major asset, one of the most powerful forms of social capital. It will help to shape local policy as well as building a foundation for tourism growth. PLACES can conduct a collaborative process to develop what we call an identity matrix, which is a visual tool that identifies the qualities of place, which lead people to form bonds of affection with Sonoma County, and develop lasting attachments to the place. If undertaken, such a process might precede the details of developing cultural tourism, providing a context for that work.

    The full report is attached.

    Blessings,

    Christine Dufond

    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    The following well-written letter on the Dairyman Winery appears in today's PD. Lets keep the pressure up.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Barry; 02-19-2015 at 02:31 PM.
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  43. TopTop #24
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    The Press Democrat is likely to have a short Close to Home op/ed on the winery issue soon. If and when it appears, please consider writing letters to the editor and online comments, adding your concerns about the huge Dairyman Winery and other wineries around the County that are expanding into commercial events centers in rural areas.

    Quote norcalredtail wrote: View Post
    We may have a good argument against the Dairyman proposal and the overall attempt at the Napatization of Sonoma County after all. ...
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  45. TopTop #25
    Barrie's Avatar
    Barrie
    Supporting member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Does anyone know where the Board of Supervisors and especially Efren Carrillo stand on the Dairyman Winery? I am against it! If the county drops its protection of the Green Belts, Sonoma County will become a big ugly sprawl. Also, I am concerned about the traffic on HWY 12 which is already too congested much of the day. Because I depend on a well not far from there, I don't want a huge winery sucking up all the ground water. We do not need a big winery, especially in that location.

    Barrie
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  47. TopTop #26
    dzerach's Avatar
    dzerach
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Mr Wagner's...compatibility planning:

    To paraphrase an excerpt from a recent PD article: "Wagner wants to make wines at the so-called Dairyman site - from grapes harvested from several different locations - as well as wanting to make a type of apple brandy beverage reflecting the west county’s agricultural heritage."

    Wagner: "I think it’s going to be a very compelling story for consumers coming in and learning about the historic components of Sonoma County.”

    Quote norcalredtail wrote: View Post
    Sonoma County has reasonably healthy tourism but is lacking in a strong sense of identity....Having a stronger destination identity would protect Sonoma from becoming too specialized as wine country, allowing it to adapt as other markets learn to compete with their presently dominant offerings.
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  48. TopTop #27
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    My guess would be that Mr. Wagner was "shooting for the moon" with this proposal and realizes that he will not get all he wants and plans to "compromise" by reducing what he is asking for. Given that the apple brandy beverage is likely to cost less than his wine, my guess would be that he might eliminate this component. He seems to be a clever man who might have just added this to appease ag. people, since what he is really into is an industrial factory for commercial purposes. I do not trust him, except to want to make as much money as possible.

    Quote dzerach wrote: View Post
    To paraphrase an excerpt from a recent PD article: "Wagner wants to make wines at the so-called Dairyman site - from grapes harvested from several different locations - as well as wanting to make a type of apple brandy beverage reflecting the west county’s agricultural heritage."
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  50. TopTop #28
    AllorrahBe's Avatar
    AllorrahBe
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Thanks for pointing out that grapes would come from several locations... so that will mean even more trucks coming to the property than we would have imagined. Trucks bringing grapes, trucks taking out wine and brandy, trucks trucks trucks... NO NO NO!
    Rev. BE

    Quote dzerach wrote: View Post
    ...To paraphrase an excerpt from a recent PD article: "Wagner wants to make wines at the so-called Dairyman site - from grapes harvested from several different locations -...
    Last edited by Barry; 02-22-2015 at 03:18 PM.
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  52. TopTop #29
    Helen Shane's Avatar
    Helen Shane
    Supporting Member

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Right, Allorah.
    It is important to speak to the reality that, while Dairyman says that the footprint, that is, the boundaries of the built area would not be expanded, what would be built within that footprint would provide a vastly more intense use of the land, affect the whole parcel negatively and would stress the natural resources of the surrounding area. That's just for the day-to-day operation of such a plant.

    Add to that the weekly events, drawing in up to 600 customers for each: the lighting, the use of much more water, the traffic are simply not acceptable. This plant is ill-conceived. It is a nightmare and must be vigorously opposed.

    Quote AllorrahBe wrote: View Post
    Thanks for pointing out that grapes would come from several locations... so that will mean even more trucks coming to the property than we would have imagined. Trucks bringing grapes, trucks taking out wine and brandy, trucks trucks trucks... NO NO NO!
    Rev. BE
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  54. TopTop #30
    Serendipity's Avatar
    Serendipity
     

    Re: Sebastopol City Council unanimously opposes Dairyman Winery Proposal

    Speaking of the moon, and the stars and the planets too...
    I like a dark night sky. It is one of the special qualities of our "countryside" and though it may not be among the top five things that we think of, and though the darkness of a sky is subtle and appreciable only at night, it is a glorious thing- the dark night sky. With big facilities comes LIGHT. It's not just the use of elecricity and it don't matter a thing to me whether there is solar power or not, when a facility is a facility, it leaves lights on at night and when harvest season comes around, blaring lights come on in the wee hours of the morning, piercing the realm of the quiet mystery where while we sleep, nocturnal animals find their way to their next meal or seek for shelter.

    I may not be the Lorax, no. But I speak for the wild, even the wild along the edges of a city or town, for it is in this wild, that strange good takes form, birds fly, birds land, birds pass, birds eat. Blackberries spring up and we fill our buckets from the paths. We smile at the passing neighbors from far and near. We spy turkey's and laugh at our stories of what it is we think we're seeing. Seeds burst from pods, frogs sing, and little micro-organisms and water, move through the land that is our Laguna, a land we're lucky to see empty for it is good for the eye to look out over a stretch of land. I, among other city folk, cannot take this gift for granted.

    Blessed be.

    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    My guess would be that Mr. Wagner was "shooting for the moon" with this proposal and realizes that he will not get all he wants and plans to "compromise" by reducing what he is asking for. ...
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