Longoria Winery's pinot vineyard in Lompoc.

Jen Villa

Longoria Winery's pinot vineyard in Lompoc.

S.B. Wineries Are Not a Problem

Good Neighbor Ordinance Is All We Need

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
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The time has come to correct inaccurate, inflammatory, and unfounded reports about the so-called “controversy” over the Winery Ordinance. First of all, it is not a controversy. It is a process through which the Planning & Development Department (P&D) has been forced to go by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, one supervisor in particular. This process will cost the county (taxpayers) well over $175,000.

The current ordinance tries unsuccessfully to address the impacts of noise, traffic, parking, lighting, and dust.  It dances around those concerns by using numbers related to frequency, attendees, acreage, etc.  The five impact-concerns might be legitimate if you live close to a winery, but nonetheless, over the past three years, there have only been eleven complaints. None of them were about those impacts.

The third district supervisor tells us, “The winery ordinance issue affects the whole county, but most of all the Santa Ynez Valley. I was hearing about the increasing divisiveness, or polarization, as individual winery projects were coming through. Or there were zoning violations for activities that might end up being OK with revision.”

What divisiveness? What polarization? What zoning violations? Eleven complaints have been recorded by the county over three years. Three were found not to be violations. Two venues had no wineries. One was about an agricultural tour. Two were about construction issues. One was about a sign. One was about food service. One was about a “commercial” event.

Over a ten-year period there have been no DUIs associated with wineries, according to California Highway Patrol statistics. No traffic accidents have been traced to wineries.

So, what is the problem? There is one voice in particular from the east side of Santa Ynez that has been heard consistently complaining. The person who is complaining has written a number of commentaries and articles, published in this and other newspapers. The writings have used vast generalities, misrepresentations, and non-factual information. He has fomented rumors, speculation, and fear.

Now, the Cattlemen’s Association and others have come forward with a common-sense Good Neighbor Special Events Ordinance which is under consideration by P&D and the Planning Commission. Simply stated, the contents of this ordinance, although directed at the issue of non-winery special events, would solve the winery problem with simple, objective standards for all five of the potential complaint areas. A great part of this Good Neighbor ordinance can easily be incorporated into the current winery ordinance. If that is done, it will answer the primary concerns of neighbors and citizens.

A petition circulated throughout the county by the Central County Coalition asked potential signators if they supported wineries, tasting rooms, and wine-marketing strategies. There are over 1,200 signators. Most of them are not connected to the wine industry. Residents of Santa Barbara County support wineries.

In the face of this support, planners are publicly contending that there are large numbers of folks who don’t complain, don’t attend meetings, and don’t write about their concerns. The reason given is that they are intimidated and don’t like to come to meetings, despite the fact that the county is spending a fortune on outreach meetings for their benefit. A demand under the Freedom of Information Act has been put to the county asking for proof of the planners’ statements.

If the Good Neighbor Special Events Ordinance is adopted for wineries, the other outreach issues of tasting rooms, food, and regulatory structure will be solved. There will be no need for the next two hearings on neighborhood compatiblity and structure. The county should save this cost and devote it to adoption of the Good Neighbor Special Events Ordinance.

The author is the founder and president of the Central County Coalition in Santa Barbara.  He and his wife, Linda, retired to Santa Ynez in 2003, where he founded the Vineyard Valley Theatre Company, whose mission is to bring the highest quality theatrical presentations to the Santa Ynez Valley and distribute the net revenues to charitable organizations and schools. Among other accomplishments, Rosenberg earlier in his career co-founded the worldwide talent agency Triad Artists, which was later acquired by the famed William Morris Agency.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Are these wineries or simply wine bars, with no grape production present or even wine production?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
January 29, 2013 at 10:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Residents of Santa Barbara County support wineries."

Wrong. If I wanted to live in a bar/liquor store/event venue, I'd move to one.

Last time checked, I live in a private home, in a residential area of the Santa Ynez area which has rapidly been turned into a bar/liquor store/event venue instead.

No...our family does NOT "support wineries"...we're way beyond fed up with wine bars and their associated headaches, including the hordes of drunks unleashed on our roads and the Pass after these "tastings" and other events.

But our opinions don't count; the money being slung around by the alcohol industry completely trumps the needs and wishes of the residents and our families.

And THAT is the problem.

Holly (anonymous profile)
January 30, 2013 at 4:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The bottom line is, it's bringing more drunks to the Valley, but clearly Rosenberg and his ilk don't care about what the people who actually live here think.

They need not worry however, because money talks and as long as the wine bars bring in $$$ the politicians will sell out (as they already have) to the booze contingent.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 3:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

P.S. Rosenberg's business accomplishments--while impressive--have no bearing on the subject, and as such do not add to his credibility.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 3:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"No divisiveness. No polarization"?
This article would be better entitled dispatches from the bubble.
I find the letter writer's dismissal of resident's concerns and the outlandish claim than no DUIs had ever been connected to the wineries to be an insult to any reader with a brain.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 1:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There were plenty of drunks in the valley before wineries, and there would still be enough of them to constitute a menace if all the wineries left.
While there are issues, overall wineries have benefited the county, making it economically feasible to continue farming on land that otherwise would have been turned to ranchettes many years ago, something that also would have resulted in more traffic, noise, pollution, excessive water use, and drunk drivers.
What if the county worked with wineries to fund increased police enforcement of public drunkenness and drunk driving laws, while conversely encouraging the hiring of limos/passenger vans for tourists interested in sampling local wines? What if it encouraged the serving of food at tasting rooms to slow down the drinking? Most residents want jobs, most residents want safety, most residents want the natural beauty of the region to be respected and preserved. Name calling is not the way to go. There are common sense solutions to the problems, and demonizing a major local industry is both unwise and unnecessary.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2013 at 10:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here is the bottom line: There are many people who do not want wineries in their neighborhood, but Rosenberg and those who profit from these businesses have made it abundantly clear that they don't care what the people who live near these proposed wineries think. The mentality is "we WILL get what we want, whether you like it or not".

The Santa Ynez Valley was fine before the alcohol industry took over--and did so with the approval of the venal politicians who stand by and talk about public safety out one side of their mouth while giving the green light to these businesses out the other side.

Whether or not the majority of people in the Valley favor these wineries I do not know, but anyone with two working brain cells knows that where there is alcohol being consumed in large amounts, public safety is being put at risk, not to mention the nuisance of drunk people making noise. Either way, people are being victimized for the benefit of profiteers and even if it turns out that the majority of the people in the Valley favor these businesses, it is still about profits trumping public safety. Was racism justified a few decades ago simply because the majority favored it?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 2:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley are not as prolific as some would make it seem, keep in mind that all of the properties are Zoned "Agricultural".

Lets take a walk through the Valley and see what we find. (ones with public tasting rooms)

Starting with the east west corridors:

Hwy 246, Shoestring in Solvang, Gainey in Santa Ynez

Baseline Avenue, none

Roblar Avenue, Roblar Winery, Bridlewood

HWY 154, None

Infill, Beckman, and one on Ballard Canyon Road

North South Corridors:

Refugio Road, Sunstone, Kylera,

Alamo Pintado, Buttonwood, Rideu, Black Jack, Lincourt

There are a bunch out Foxen Canyon Road and numerous wine tasting locations in Solvang, and Los Olivos and a couple in Santa Ynez.

The ability to have further wineries in the balance of the rural areas is very very limited. It is the antics of the hystarians, who jump to conclusions based upon none of the facts. You know who you are and most of us know who you are too.

buster (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 7:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Do we yet understand the distinction between a Winery and a Wine Bar?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 8:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's an idea, Holly: Don't move into an agricultural area that happens to grow things you object to.

You see, vineyards have this funny habit of growing grapes. And sometimes they might want to sell the grapes they produce. They might even want to turn the grapes into this new drink I understand is called "wine". They might enjoy this new drink, and want to share or sell it to others. So they obtain a business permit, like most businesses do, and sell the "wine" they enjoy producing to the public. It's a strange proposition, I know.

So, much as you abhor this establishment (that predates you, mind you. Grapevines have been planted in the valley since before prohibition) that apparently does nothing for the economy other than create drunks and DUIs, you should probably do some research before you move into an area that just might sell or produce something you object to. Much like you probably wouldn't move in next to a liquor store, or buy a house next to an active airport or railroad, the onus is on you.

sbdude (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 9:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

sbdude, Holly could not "move into" a winery area because the proposals now under review are for NEW facilities... uh, I mean, WINE BARS and not even places that grow grapes.

Do YOU know the difference between a Wine Bar and a Winery? Seems like not.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 11:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You'd think food couldn't be grown.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 11:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I think you should hire a writer next time or fire the one who wrote this missive Mr. Rosenberg. It took someone (me) who was pretty neutral about it and convinced them your opposition is correct.
Ex. Most of us are pretty confident there are a lot more than 1,200 people in SB county. And who conducted this survey? Right.
The patronizing tone of your piece itself is annoying beyond measure.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 12:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seriously, you might be able to present a case like that to some runaway off a bus in Hollywood- but it's not gonna get ya far here.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 12:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I love how the defenders of the encroaching booze culture try to change the subject and shift blame. If only they realized how transparent they are. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 3:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's actually the proponents of more wine bars/wineries that are costing the taxpayers $175,000; opponents didn't approach the Planning Commission..
If Rosenberg is so confident of public support than there should be no problem continuing the hearings or even putting it up for a vote in the next general election.
Of 1,200 signatories, how many said no? Who was asked?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 3:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We've lived in SB County for close to 40 years, so actually no...we didn't move here after it became a distillery and bar. The distillery/bar businesses actually moved here after WE did.

If we need real shopping, or want to go to a restaurant that isn't a tourist trap/front for a winery, we are forced to go to Santa Maria, Lompoc or Santa Barbara. The needs of locals are completely ignored in favor of the wants of tourists. What the tourist industry fails to realize is that once the balance is lost, there is no foundation left to hold up the local economy and everybody loses.

In other words, when an area becomes "all tourists all the time", the locals find somewhere to live where they can find shopping, restaurants, doctors, and other needed services FOR locals.

When that happens, they take all their skills, shopping, and tax dollars with them.

A new wine bar is opening up across from the Solvang Post Office...because we don't have enough bars here (sarcasm)...we need another one.

Again...if I wanted to live in a bar/distillery/event center...I'd have moved to one. When we moved here, we were moving to a municipality. This has changed, and it is now a bar/distillery/event center catering to rich tourists who drink and drive.

I fail to see how this is an improvement, or even mildly beneficial to those of us living and paying taxes here.

Holly (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 4:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'd be surprised if pre-existing winery/wine bars are welcoming of even more competition.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 6:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

blackpoodles has some good points, but when s/he writes "most residents want the natural beauty of the region to be respected and preserved" I can agree, but I do NOT see how expanding wine bars and tasting rooms "respect or preserve" the region. Booze culture supremo!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 7:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You can expect air quality to go down that's for sure.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 7:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The sense of entitlement on the part of people such as Rosenberg is amazing. For him, it's about recreation, for those who oppose him, it's about quality of life.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 7:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As a member of a 5th generation family in the SYV- who came here as farmers and continue as business focused employers & employees- I feel ignored darn near by the County- so where Lee R thinks the complainers are hiding- I say look around- Doreen Farr and I rarely see eye to eye, but in this case- she is a neighbor to a developing "winery"- we are treated as though our 50 yrs of taxes are worthless and our family is considered transient compared to the "winery" and its value.

We, along with many hard working families, made this Valley- and the reason people want to live here is its family oriented values. Nothing wrong with grapes, wine, proccessing it or drinking it- celebrating it or even bathing in it.

Enough is enough- take a deep breath and if its worth building, its worth discussing...and worth waiting for.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2013 at 9:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dr Dan,

I don't think we need more wine bars. I think we need intelligent planning that allows the region to thrive, encourages the right kind of tourism - less "Sideways" drunks, and more people who enjoy a good dinner paired with excellent local wines after a day spent hiking, biking, or otherwise enjoying the beauty of our region. Wineries need tasting rooms to sell their products. The tasting rooms need to be run according to existing laws regarding serving inebriated people. Allowing food to be served at tasting rooms helps slow down the drinking. Establishments that routinely fail to obey the laws need to be closed.
I empathize with Holly's frustration at losing the character of the Valley and seeing her municipality turn from a real town into a tourist trap. That has happened to Santa Barbara as well, and I get annoyed at the traffic and loss of character too. This is to an extent the trade-off we make when living in a beautiful area that people want to visit. We need to stay involved in the process to protect what we love, but let's not get mean and bitter. Take a look at the play of shadows on the mountains, feel the sun on your skin as you walk on a local beach, and remember to be grateful. No place is perfect, at least not on this earth. If you really hate living here, I hear Winnemucca is pretty quiet, and last time I checked they don't grow grapes there, just sagebrush. However, I can't guarantee there won't be drunks.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
February 6, 2013 at 1:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I can't help but question the business acumen of somebody who wants to saturate their own market. Unless they already own the land and have some grand "Chinatown" style scheme.

Blackpoodles, destroying one's own town isn't a trade off one gets for living in an area such as our's. It's something to be on guard against. The tourism industry has insinuated themselves as the only industry in town at the expense of most others and residents, long and short term. Your argument is akin to saying a good looking person has to sleep with everyone who finds them attractive.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 7, 2013 at 5:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The other thing is that what happens if a community sinks all its eggs in one basket?

So the political machine that runs SYV seems to think wine is the only viable business option. What happens if the industry takes a hit and it's the only game in town? Then the whole community goes bankrupt.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 8, 2013 at 1:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why would any of you care if one type of business venture succeed or fail. You have zero skin in the game!

Thats the problem with most of the gadflies in the Valley.

buster (anonymous profile)
February 8, 2013 at 6:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The "gadfly" you speak of isn't seen in my family portrait....there are just hard working people who have taken good care of their land and work hard in the SYV. The Beverly Hills living "winery" builder trying to roll over our neighborhood is the one you should be wary of, not your neighbor...maybe Mr Rosenburg has represented this man in some manner?

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
February 8, 2013 at 10:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One of the traits of alcoholism is the ability to rationalize irrational behavior--such as drinking and driving. I'm wondering if this character trait extends to Rosenberg and his defenders, (whether or not they drink alcohol) because even though they've had the message clearly delivered to them that their alcohol culture is *not* welcome--and *why* it's not welcome--they persist--much like sexual harassers.

Lee Rosenberg is not the messiah riding in on a lighting bolt as he might imagine. As Losolivoslocal points out, the economy of the valley was solvent long before the johnny-come-lately wine crowd arrived, and let's talk about the the art galleries that have been put out of business. (To Wit: The iconic Judith Hale art gallery comes to mind) How has supplanting those erstwhile places of *true* culture benefited those who owned them? I can go into detail, but you get the idea.

How sad for the drinkers that they cannot take in the natural beauty of the valley in a sober state. Seriously, try getting "high" just on appreciating God's creation without pickling your brain (and liver) with alcohol, you'll find it's much better. If you don't believe me, talk to any recovered alcoholic.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 9, 2013 at 2:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I thought the Patrician slang was a hoot.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 9, 2013 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Like I said before, if Rosenberg is confident of such widespread public support- the hearings shouldn't be an issue. I recommend a voter on the matter in the next general election. let him sell it to the voters.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 9, 2013 at 9:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Of whose haute culture jargon do you speak Ken?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 9, 2013 at 8:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Love me some wine and I love to go to all the wineries but once I read that the Cattleman's Association, as right wing and pro growth group as one can find, supported the "common sense" ordinance I knew it had to be a boondoggle. I also enjoy wandering around Los Olivos drinking (oops I meant tasting)wine but you gotta admit it has gotten a bit much. Some serious regulations and even restrictions are in order. I don't have any horse in this race, living in relatively peaceful Noleta as I do, but I hope those folks can find an amicable compromise that balances growth ( of vines) with domestic tranquility for the residents. Perhaps all future meetings on the subject should be preceded by a mandatory sharing of wine; "In vino veritas". Peace out folks.

Noletaman (anonymous profile)
February 10, 2013 at 8:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

billclausen - "One of the traits of alcoholism is the ability to rationalize irrational behavior--such as drinking and driving."

Bill, do you actually believe that the founder of MADD was an alcoholic? She left the organization long, long ago because when she started it the goal was to gain attention to enforce the EXISTING drinking and driving laws, which were generally .10 and over, which were also apparently not being enforced very well.

When the organization became bigger than her, and they began pushing to bring down the limit to .08 nationally and began drastically increasing the penalties for drunk driving she decided to end her involvement.

The truth is that there are plenty of things that are more distracting than being .08, such as eating, drinking, reaching for something, messing with the radio, arguing with a passenger, scolding a child, etc.. Yet we simply choose to hold people accountable for their actions rather than, say, install state monitored video and audio equipment in everybody's car to detect when somebody is distracted so we can give them a ticket for reckless endangerment.

The FACT is that some people are BETTER drivers at .08 than some other individuals are SOBER. To put somebody in jail who is a perfectly good driver while other more dangerous sober drivers are still out on the road is just plain hypocritical.

Anyways, it's not politically correct to say it is ok to drive drunk because you're automatically labelled as a child killer... even if when one does drive buzzed every child in the city is asleep. But I will say it. If you can safely operate your vehicle, and the fact of the matter is that SOME people can operate their vehicles safely after drinking (up to a point), there is no reason why people should get in trouble if they are safely able to handle their vehicle. If the cop can prove they can't safely handle their vehicle and it is because they are drunk, then they should be punished. But this arbitrary .08 business doesn't make much sense because it doesn't give us that information at all.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 11, 2013 at 3:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, talk about rich people problems..

"There are too many vineyards and wineries in my town!!"

lol... wait here while I cry you a river.

Try moving to a neighborhood where ALL you have are liquor stores, pawn shops and gun shops. No valleys. No grass. All cement. Urban jungle. If the CHP really hasn't connected a car accident to a winery in ten years, then maybe it is time you questions all your horror stories of drunk driving. Maybe you need to relax a little bit and stop being so paranoid.

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but Napa Valley is still a nice place. Why can't you be grateful the valley took on wine culture and not urban landscape? Do you expect that the valley is going to always stay the same, or do you think that people are going to find opportunities to provide more things that other people want?

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 11, 2013 at 3:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The thing is LoonPt, the people complaining - a lot of them if not a majority are not rich people. Just working-middle class people of all kinds not wishing to get run out of their homes by gentrification. Many of these same people would welcome new businesses that enriched the quality of living without creating another "Santa Barbara".
Like remember when the funk zone was a lot bigger?
Change in and of itself doesn't have to be a bad thing, but it's not always a good or smart thing either.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 11, 2013 at 4:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loonpt: How many times must we go around in this elliptical discussion where you set the standard in your world where morality (no, not prudishness--but ethical behavior) is graded on a curve.

Once again, my dad was plowed into by man with a 0.069 blood alcohol content and the courts decided alcohol played a role in the crash. (Ya think?...let's see, he had been stopped for several seconds before he was plowed into)

People can brag about how many times they've been well over 0.8 and driven home safely, but it's a game of Russian Roulette which not only involves the lives of those who choose to participate, but anyone else who happens to be in their way--it's pure selfishness.

You are either A: Unaware of the risks involved in drinking and driving, (not likely, since I've posted about the 0.8 debate in response to your previous comments) or B: An alcoholic in denial. Your argument about MADD is irrelevant. as well.

@Ken Volok: You get an A+ for a logical, well-written response that clarifies the issue at hand.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 11, 2013 at 7:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I heard the meeting at St Marks was well attended with well rounded opinions from the people who live and raise their family here- including of course many employed by the vineyards, wineries and surrounding industries.

The opinions and comments from those folks are all that really matter on this point- honestly. If you are not directly impacted by the issues at hand- your views are easy to understand- who wouldn't want to live next to a buccolic tuscan farm?

It will be a busy weekend here in the Valley- with 2 different wine events taking place on Saturday- one roving between 14 tasting rooms, and one at the Veterans Memorial Building in Solvang. Both are serving food and honoring DD drivers.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
February 12, 2013 at 12:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

St. Marks...the Episcopal Church that has wine events?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 12, 2013 at 8:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yep! They have A.A. meetings AND wine tasting there!

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 12, 2013 at 8:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You could own a winery/wine bar and still be against this expansion. Commonsense as to both saturating the local economy and quality of life are universal concepts .

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 12, 2013 at 9:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes Ken, what you are saying is true--and based in common sense, but sadly common sense doesn't resonate with people who believe in killing the goose that laid the Golden Egg.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2013 at 3:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is a puff-piece supporting the new boutique "wineries" squeezing their way into the valley. Current tax laws give breaks to those wanting to shelter income by purchasing Ag land and growing grapes. We are not speaking of the handful of older, established vineyards that were established generations ago, but newer proprietors wanting to protect income.

A "vineyard" is a farm growing grapes. An Ag operation which may be appropriate in rural locations, but with distinct impacts on its surroundings. Water use, fertilizer runoff, etc.

A "winery" is an industrial plant, processing grapes into wine. Such an operation requires access to wider roads, utilities, and factory buildings not usually suitable in Ag areas or home areas.

A "tasting room" is a retail marketing outlet, appropriate in urban areas with adequate parking, signage, etc, located away from residential neighborhoods. Los Olivos now has at least a couple dozen of these, and this little town is becoming swamped with wine tours, bus tours, and swarms of tourists toting wine glasses, invading locals' front yards every weekend on their wine-crawls. Progress . . .

Now, the newly-arrived "vintners" want to combine these distinct operations to offer wine tasting -- as well as wine by the glass (new ordinance) throughout the SY Valley and beyond. The wine crawl will be done in cars, driven by the "tasters", along narrow, winding farm roads. We have already witnessed autos attempting U turns, driving off roads into ditches, or just stopped while their drivers space out in confusion. No local in their right mind wanders into LO on weekends, and this is just the beginning.

To say that there is no local opposition to the increase in these "wineries" and their pressure to hold more and more "events" in rural areas is simply absurd. Last Monday's hearing at St. Mark's church was standing room only, and was an overwhelming expression of the true concern that long time residents of the valley have re. this major revision of the valley's future. The winery interests try to frame the discussion as if the residents had just arrived in the valley, while the absolute opposite is the case.

SamRedDog (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2013 at 6:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I like blackpoodles' sentiment, on February 6 at 1;27am, and loonpt, on February 11 at 3:42pm.
I have a second home in Southern California, and I love Santa Barbara. It's not unusual for folks who live in a great area, to want to stop or limit development. You can't blame them for wanting that. My primary residence, is in a great, urban neighborhood back east, where the issue is increased density. (single family homes being replaced with higher density dwellings). Maintaining the same traffic volume and character, as 25 years ago (when we first moved to the neighborhood) would be wonderful. However, It isn't possible to do that, but it is possible to regulate development, with transparent and reasonable criteria.

squasher (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2013 at 7:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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