Concerned Citizens for Responsible Land Use (CCRLU) is an ad hoc group of private citizens opposed to the building of a major wine production facility in a residential area on a site that is too small and not zoned for such use.
Information from Board of Supervisors Meeting held on
June 8, 2010
On June 8, 2010 The Board of Supervisors voted to approve the controversial Best Family investors LLC Winery project. With this vote, they approved 2 General Plan amendments, a zoning change, a special use permit and much more. They also performed the tidy trick of avoiding an Environmental Impact Review (EIR).
It fell on deaf ears when the public railed against a one-minute limit on public comment and the other restrictions placed on public comments. It fell on deaf ears when the people submitted conflicting expert opinion that should have put the breaks on this project or at least require an EIR.
We believe the Board of Supervisors violated the Brown Act, if not, they certainly violated the Heart and Spirit of the Brown Act. We are seeking counsel on this to determine how we will proceed.
“The People Do Not Yield Their Sovereignty To The Agencies Which Serve Them”
We believe the Board of Supervisors violated CEQA law. Unless the Board has an epiphany the only way to correct this is to file a lawsuit.
CEQA law states that it is not just the right but the responsibility, the duty, the obligation of every California citizen to protect our environment, to take seriously public participation: not just to complain, not just to criticize after decisions are made, but to participate and assist decision-makers by providing testimony.
The actions of this Board will affect all of Sonoma County. A precedent has been set. This is a planning/land use/zoning issue with environmental impacts on water, sewage, traffic, and greenhouse gas emissions.
To move forward with a legal challenge to force an EIR will be long and expensive.
We need your support, your suggestions, and your participation.
Can you help?
Please e-mail us: email@example.com
May 29, 2010
We’ve been submitting new information and reports that should give pause to the Board of Supervisors and force them to require an Environmental Impact Report.
We scrubbed the Public File at PRMD and located a very interesting report:
The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, North Coast Region, a division of the California EPA, prepared an 8 page report dated March 1, 2010 and submitted it to Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD). It includes copies of correspondence dating back to December 2006.
Here is a direct quote from the report…. “The Regional Water Board does not believe that the Mitigated Negative Declaration provides adequate analysis and mitigation of potential impacts to water quality. Without further analysis and mitigation, we do not consider the MND to be sufficient as an environmental analysis.” This report discusses serious concerns and lack of mitigation regarding the existing wetlands on the project site and the proposal to “take” the wetland for a winery facility.
This report has never been addressed at a Public Hearing. This report does not appear on The Best Family Investors LLC Winery web page even though they have posted many other reports.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors took a straw vote on March 2, 2010 to approve this project. Is this how the County protects the people? Is this how the County protects our environment? The Board of Supervisors must put the brakes on this project! Will the county continue to ignore the California Environmental Protection Agency? Will the county continue to ignore us?
If we can’t count on our elected Supervisors to speak for us then we must be sure to speak for ourselves! It is not only our right, it is our responsibility to hold them accountable. Please write, call, or e-mail the Board of Supervisors. Urge them to vote NO on this project. An EIR is required if this project is to continue. We Must Demand It!
Please attend the BOS meeting on Tuesday June 8, 2010 at 2:10 p.m. We Must Be Heard!
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors 575 Administration Drive, Room 100 A Santa Rosa, CA 95403
On March 2nd the Board of Supervisors cast a straw vote to approve the Best Family Investors LLC winery project. It was due to come before The Board again on April 20th as a consent item for the official vote but it has been postponed, removed from the consent calendar and placed on the agenda for further discussion!
The straw vote was disappointing to say the least. The 2020 General Plan and Zoning laws were tossed aside. The Board of Supervisors voted to approve 2 amendments to the General Plan as well as change the zoning just so this project could be approved.
They pounded the proverbial SQUARE PEG through the ROUND HOLE. Many people voiced their opinion against this project. The Board of Supervisors chose to overlook the many environmental concerns raised at the hearing. Significant questions remain unanswered.
This action could affect all of Sonoma County! A precedent will be set! Rural Residential areas throughout the county will be susceptible to this type of encroachment on their neighborhoods.
The People spoke, but unfortunately their concerns were dismissed or not addressed. We want to move forward. We are exploring our options and seeking advice from legal counsel. We still need your help and support. We will have an informative meeting soon. Stay tuned to our blog for the meeting time, date and location.
We ask that you keep this issue alive….. twitter, go on facebook and post, e-mail your friends, call your relatives, spread the word. Please bookmark our site post a comment, e-mail us, and keep abreast of the issues. We will post new information as we have it.
We appreciate your continued encouragement and support!
The Best Family Investors, LLC proposes to build a major wine production facility on the corner of Hwy 116 and Occidental Road just north of Sebastopol. This site is currently an apple orchard in a long standing established residential neighborhood. The project will include:
- Production Building 33,000 sq. ft., 46 feet high, (4 Stories) 240 ft in length and 140 ft in width, covering 3/4 of an acre
- 24/7 Bottling/Production during harvest
- Production of 26,500 cases annually
- 17 Events per year with outdoor music and up to 150 guests per event from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Wine Tasting Room 5,000 sq ft. 35 ft. high (3.5 Stories)
- Retail Sales
All of this will be on just 7.61 ares. The County zoning requirement is a minimum of 10 acres.
- 2 NEW Amendments to The General Plan
- Rezoning From Residential to Diverse Agriculture
- Special Use Permit and New Policy For General Plan Land Use
- The project is inconsistent with the newly revised and updated General Plan
- It will be less than 100 ft. from neighboring properties
- It infringes on the State Highway 116 Scenic Corridor
- The site will need to be rezoned from Residential to Diverse Agriculture, which will create an island of DA zoning Bordering only residential parcels
- It will undermine the existing Rural Residential Land Use and Zoning ordinance
- This project would grant a small group of investors the right to establish a commercial enterprise in the middle of a residential area
Water: The area is supported entirely by private residential wells. The impact this project will have on the water supply and quality, along with the potential for contamination from spraying and pomace are serious concerns.
Traffic: The applicant has stated: “Traffic on Highway 116 makes the site undesirable for future residential development.”
Jim Olmstead, Project Planner
If current traffic conditions at the proposed site cannot accommodate 2 homes and 2 granny units, how can it accommodate over 100 guests daily?
- The project will cause an increase in traffic at one of the busiest intersections in West County
- The project is located on the Joe Rodota Trail. There are safety concerns for cyclists and pedestrians
- The project will not include a turning lane for west bound traffic to gain entrance to the site off Occidental Road. Vehicles must cross east bound traffic to enter
- The Entrance/Exit is only 300 ft. from the Intersection of 116 and Occidental Rd.
- Intersection has an above average accident rating from Cal Trans
Noise: The addition of a production facility, wine tasting room and outdoor events will have a significant noise impact on this residential neighborhood. There will be no significant noise buffer for those homes situated 100 ft. from the facility.
- Sign the petition here. Sonoma County zoning laws and the General Plan are being challenged. Neighborhoods beyond this immediate one will be impacted. This issue concerns ALL Sonoma County residents.
- Write All our Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. Demand an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors 575 Administration Drive, Room 100 A Santa Rosa, CA 95403
- Valerie Brown, Board Chairman and 1st District:
- Mike Kerns, 2nd District: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shirlee Zane, 3rd District: email@example.com
- Paul Kelley, 4th District: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Efren Carrillo, our 5th District: email@example.com
- Bookmark this blog to keep up to date on our progress. You can add your comments below.
What Others Are Saying
“The 1979 West Sebastopol Study was a very important document leading to the first land use controls in the West County. One of the basic and underlying principals was to end strip commercial zoning along the Scenic Highway 116. The plan flatly states: “5) Commercial Needs e) Commercial development along Highway 116 and other major roads will not be contemplated.” (p.88). The Best Family LLC wine factory proposal is one big erosion of over thirty (30) years of good land use policy. It would be the first commercial proposal allowed along HWY 116 by General Plan amendment, the first rezoning, the first violation of the Scenic Highway trust, and the first statement that long held planning documents are up for grabs by influential interest. We deserve better.”
Ernie Carpenter, Former 5th District Supervisor for Sonoma County (1981-1997)
“Unfortunately, the investigations on water supplies and GHG emissions for the proposed Best Family Winery’s Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration failed to adequately evaluate the likely impacts to groundwater in a time of drought, and pretend that no GHG standards can be applied. A targeted EIR dealing with these deficiencies is required.”
Jane E. Nielson, Ph.D, Retired USG Geologist