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Posted on July 19 at 10:23 a.m.
The Marks are wonderful people and their vineyard has always been one of the best Chardonnay sites in the county. Kudos to Kristi for making such a delicious 'estate' wine!
On Sweet Sweeney Canyon
Posted on December 7 at 10:38 a.m.
You obviously are overlooking the fact that we need an all-weather road to access our properties for our AGRICULTURAL endeavours. Vineyards need pruning in spring, oftentimes when the roads are unpassable. People with Livestock need to check on their animals, and can't when the roads are saturated, sometimes for weeks on end. We have a right to pave the roads that are on our easement, the CSD is just a funding mechanicsm that will allow us to qualify for certain types of funds that can't be applied for otherwise. Other attempts to cooperate with our neighboring parcel have proved unfruitful and this has become one of our last hopes.
Lakeview owners have legal titles to easements and there were existing roads in place when we purchased the land. We require an all-weather road, and the means to fund it. In the end that is what Lakeview owners want and need, and as taxpayers we need better use of our land. We have the legal right to pursue it, and build on our lands as our properties are zoned. You as a landowner or manager should understand that perspective.
Posted on December 3 at 11:11 a.m.
The author of this opinion tries to convey the Lakeview CSD application as urban sprawl, but in actuality, owners of Lakeview Estates want to use the land as Agriculture, which is how our parcels are zoned. The minimum parcel size is 40 acres, which will be low density housing, and will not be any more of a strain to the watershed then other surrounding Agricultural uses. What is amazing is that opponents of the road (namely farmers who own adjacent lands) try to depict owners of Lakeview Estates as greedy developers looking to change the landscape for the worse. This couldn't be farther from the truth. All the owners of Lakeview Estates want to use the land Agriculturally, whether it be Lavender, Grapes, Cattle, or Organic Farming.
It has been proven that small scale farming is more sustainable than large scale farming, leading to more diversity of crops and more buffer areas. There is also a slower conversion of the land than when one person owns larger tracts. Is the writer of this article going to claim that only their ranch, and large ranches, have right to use the water? Ranches that farm 1,000 of acres at a time use the same pesticides over a large scale, grow the same crops, sometimes as monocrops, and rarely have the interest to farm organically. At least 3 of the Lakeview Estates properties are being farmed Organically already, and that will likely increase once the road is approved. In order to have viable agriculture, a person, whether it be the owner, ranch foreperson, or manager, needs to be able to live on the property. This is not urban sprawl and is a completely different situation than the Gaviota proposals; the Lakeview subdivision is already in existence, a 30' easement is already on our titles, and our lands are zoned for one house and one worker house less than 900 sf. We are not looking to change the zoning. We are already driving back and forth on Sweeny Road on daily basis, perhaps making extra trips than are needed because we can't reside there. We need an all-weather access road in order to move forward with our Agricultural plans.
In addition, this fear of multi-million dollar estates is an unfair reason to reject decent access to our properties. Across the river is the Sanford Winery, to the east is the Mount Carmel building, to the north is Hwy 246, all these can be classified as multi-million dollar buildings and wineries. It will be years before all the Lakeview ranches have a residence, just building the road is going to take some time. Meanwhile, you can guarantee that all usable land in the Sta. Rita Hills will be converted to vines or crops, and those properties that are not in Lakeview will be using the water and their properties as zoned. Remember, 40 acre ranches is not urban sprawl, and is a suitable use of land for the area.
Please support small scale farming and voice an opinion to allow farmers who have smaller scale visions to have the right to use their properties as zoned. Thank-you.