Any agricultural landowner in the county may
now operate at least a small winery on his or her
property, even when the zoning calls for limited agriculture. In
addition, wineries may now – with permanent Planning Commission
approval on a winery-by-winery basis – have more than 200 people at
their special events, which may be held more frequently than the
current standard of 12 times per year.

The Board of Supervisors approved the expenditure of
$440,000 to help trout swim upstream past barriers
in three South County streams. The money is coming from the
California, Coastal Conservancy and is going to Questa Engineering
Corporation of Point Richmond, California, to design the changes to
existing bridges and drainpipes.

Surfers and ocean lovers can rest easy in the knowledge that the
eight-year battle to convert all the homes near the world-famous
Rincon beach from outdated septic
to more ocean-friendly sewer systems appears to
be—at least from a legal standpoint—over. Local nonprofit Heal the
Ocean happily announced this week that the deadline to appeal last
month’s approval of the project by the Carpinteria Sanitary
District came and went Monday with nary a voice of dissent. Though
the project still needs to be bid out to a contractor—and other
odds and ends put together—it looks as though by late 2008 or early
2009 the entire point will be converted to sewer systems.

A backcountry dam was blown up last week to
improve habitat for the endangered steelhead
. The Horse Creek Dam in the San Rafael Wilderness
blocked passage of the steelhead and other aquatic species to the
seven miles of habitat upstream from the dam. Workers from the
state Fish and Game Department worked with members of the
California Conservation Corps to blow the edifice sky-high.


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