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Environmental groups' lawsuit could upend Sonoma County vineyard policies
Press Democrat ^ | June 13, 2014 | GUY KOVNER

Posted on 06/13/2014 9:17:11 PM PDT by rey

Three environmental groups are challenging Sonoma County's approval of a 54-acre Annapolis vineyard in a case that reflects long-standing conflict over expansion of the county's $600 million a year grape industry.

If the lawsuit were to succeed, it would wipe out the county's vineyard development law, itself born amid controversy between growers and environmentalists 14 years ago.

That friction has intensified with the recent growth of forest-to-vineyard projects near the coast, a cool region hospitable to pinot noir grapes, the most expensive varietal grown in the county.

The law — officially named the Vineyard Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance, known as VESCO — contains a “poison pill” that automatically invalidates the entire law if the courts reject one critical provision, Deputy County Counsel Jeff Brax said.

The legality of that provision, which empowers the county to approve vineyard development plans without environmental study or public hearing, is exactly what the lawsuit challenges.

If VESCO were invalidated, the county might be left with no vineyard development regulations, Brax said.

Filed by the Friends of the Gualala River, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, the lawsuit alleges the county violated state law in granting a permit to the Ohlson Ranch in December for a 54-acre vineyard on Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road south of Annapolis.

The county's failure to conduct an environmental review of the project “constituted a prejudicial abuse of discretion,” according to the suit, filed last month.

“It's a very simple lawsuit,” said Paul Carroll, a Redwood City attorney, asserting that state law required an environmental assessment of the Ohlson project due to its “potential for environmental damage.”

Carroll said the lawsuit is not an attack on VESCO, but if the courts support it many other vineyard projects would fall under the same requirement.

(Excerpt) Read more at pressdemocrat.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: envoronmentalists; pinotnoir; sonomacounty; vineyard; wine
If you have to ask everybody and their brother for permission to use your property, it ain't yours.

And these people have the nerve to say they are not socialists. The very definition of socialism is control of the means of production and that is precisely what they do. As George Will recently wrote, "Environmentalism is backdoor socialism."

Without property rights, there are no other rights.

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/9-human-rights-are-more-important-than-property-rights

1 posted on 06/13/2014 9:17:11 PM PDT by rey
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To: rey; xzins
That friction has intensified with the recent growth of forest-to-vineyard projects near the coast, a cool region hospitable to pinot noir grapes, the most expensive varietal grown in the county.

Pinot Noir is the only wine I drink.

Save the Grapes.

Kill all the environmentalists!

2 posted on 06/13/2014 9:22:02 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds)
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To: rey

I’m sure there are more than a few goobers in the grape growing crowd that think the Sierra Club is only about saving the bald eagle and pileated woodpeckers.


3 posted on 06/13/2014 9:26:38 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: rey

Pretty soon navel gazing will be the only industry left in California.


4 posted on 06/13/2014 9:28:09 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: P-Marlowe

Do you have a favorite Pinot Noir?


5 posted on 06/13/2014 9:28:27 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: rey
The Ten Planks of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto
(and How Statists Implement Them)

  1. Abolition of private property rights (via high property taxes, restrictive zoning laws, "fair housing" edicts, environmental and "wetlands" regulations, UN Agenda 21, etc.)

  2. Institution of a heavily graduated income tax (by calling it "taxing the rich")

  3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance (through a confiscatory estate tax on "the rich")

  4. Confiscation of the property of enemies of the state (through lawless application of asset forfeiture and eminent domain)

  5. Centralization of credit into the hands of the state (Federal Reserve, Federal Trade Commission, TARP, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, federal takeover of student loans, etc.)

  6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation into the hands of the state (FCC, DOT, FEMA, NTSB, FAA, etc.).

  7. Consolidation and subjugation of all major industries to central government control (FDA, EPA, OSHA, ICC, HUD, NLRB, EEOC, DOE, TSA etc.)

  8. Mandatory labor union membership ("card check" to bypass employee consent, automatic withholding of union dues, forced unionization of health care workers, teachers, police, firefighters, etc.)

  9. Equitable redistribution of all wealth (TANF, SSI, EITC, SNAP, Community Reinvestment Act, etc.)

  10. Free public education (and food, housing, health care, cell phones, Internet access, etc.)

6 posted on 06/13/2014 9:29:45 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

7 posted on 06/13/2014 9:50:34 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: rey

“If VESCO were invalidated, the county might be left with no vineyard development regulations, Brax said.”

The horror...the horror.


8 posted on 06/13/2014 9:52:24 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: smokingfrog

I like the $7.99 Robert Mondavi from Acampo, CA.

I can’t tell the difference between that and the $19 Mondavi from Napa. I suppose there is a difference, but I can’t taste it.

I’m not a wine connoisseur but I do like California Pinot Noir.


9 posted on 06/13/2014 11:27:22 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds)
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To: rey

on private property please explain to me how grapes impact the freaking environment.


10 posted on 06/14/2014 1:29:31 AM PDT by blueplum
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To: rey

I live in Sonoma County. The BEST thing about Sonoma is the fantastic wines and beautiful vineyards.

Damn the environmentalists. They destroy everything they touch.


11 posted on 06/14/2014 1:39:17 AM PDT by Aurorales (I will not be ridiculed into silence!)
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To: smokingfrog
I’m sure there are more than a few goobers in the grape growing crowd that think the Sierra Club is only about saving the bald eagle and pileated woodpeckers.

The Sierra Club is mostly about fund-raising, thereby keeping the directors in $600 suits and Beemers.

They're like most enviro-whacko movements -- it ain't really about the environment.

12 posted on 06/14/2014 2:17:12 AM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: Ignorance on parade.)
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To: P-Marlowe
“Kill all the environmentalists!”

Don't kill them, make them toil in the vineyard.

13 posted on 06/14/2014 5:04:58 AM PDT by dljordan (WhoVoltaire: "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.")
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To: P-Marlowe

Thanks.
I don’t drink that much wine, but do enjoy a good Pinot Noir.


14 posted on 06/14/2014 5:48:01 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: blueplum

Grapes are cultivated by evil capitalists to make a profit at the expense of the native wild flowers and downtrodden prairie grasses, silly.


15 posted on 06/14/2014 5:53:21 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: dljordan

Sonoma county has a huge grape growing industry, a spinoff from the neighboring Napa valley which is poised to over take that world famous grape growing region in production and quality. Sonoma County contains large remnants of the great northward migration of the “Summer of Love”, the San Francisco hippy culture that flowed northward into the dope growing region of Humboldt County and points north in Oregon and Washington in the mid 70’s. Sonoma County’s second largest city, Sebastopol, was one of the first cities in the state to devote governmental effort towards declaiming itself a “Nuclear Free Zone” and has the highest Prius ownership per capita in the world.

Santa Rosa, Sonoma County’s governmental seat, had an Occupy movement that lasted longer than the one on Wall St. and currently has an ongoing radical organizing and agitation effort centered on the shooting of a teenage latino kid carrying an exact air gun replica of an AK47. This radical demographic bemoans the end of the apple groves which in the past were the major industry in the county along with dairy production. 80% of the old apple groves are now vineyards and the geriatric hippies see this as a violation against some ancient pact with the Earth goddess of your choice. This from the people touting “change” as a rallying cry to pretty much any cause de jour.

At heart, the rad enviros are more conservative than any of us, to the point of wishing the whole “western civilization” thing engineered back to the stone age and work ceaselessly to paralyze any and all “progress” which springs from capitalist vanguardism.

Actual change, the sort that springs from the human capacity to invent, is an anathema to them. They hate change and would have us spending our holidays in Druid groves slitting the throats of farm animals and humans in an endless panoply of ritual and ignorance.


16 posted on 06/14/2014 8:39:09 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: P-Marlowe

If you ever get the chance try William Selyem. It’s waaaay more than 14 a bottle but it’s the best Pinot I’ve ever had.


17 posted on 06/14/2014 8:44:36 AM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: Aurorales

Mrs. L grew up in Petaluma. Beautiful country. The only thing wrong with it is that it is absolutely full of Californians.


18 posted on 06/14/2014 8:46:04 AM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: okie01

That’s why they are called Club Sierra.


19 posted on 06/14/2014 8:52:46 AM PDT by citizen (There is always free government cheese in the mouse trap.....https://twitter.com/kracker0)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Sonoma makes wine, Napa makes auto parts


20 posted on 06/14/2014 10:48:31 AM PDT by Starwolf
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To: Starwolf

You are getting a bill for a new keyboard...!


21 posted on 06/15/2014 8:00:31 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: rey

Its not backdoor any more.


22 posted on 06/15/2014 8:03:17 AM PDT by deadrock (I am someone else.)
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