Winery Waste Discharge Meeting

Knights Bridge Winery appeal hearing postponed

Press Release from Maacama Watershed Alliance:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
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> CONTROVERSIAL KNIGHTS VALLEY WINERY
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> Public Hearing for Nov. 1st cancelled until further notice by County Counsel.
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> Knights Valley, Sonoma County, CA – October 23, 2013
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> On Saturday morning, three days before the scheduled Appeal Public Hearing on a controversial winery in Knights Valley, Sonoma County Counsel notified appellants that the hearing is postponed. The reason for the continuance from the county’s legal department, after the public provided evidence to the Board of Supervisors of potential harm to the local water supply, the environment, and to registered archeological sites was not given. 
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> “The Maacama Watershed Alliance (MWA), consisting of residents, farmers and ranchers of Knights Valley, and other public interest groups and responsible government agencies have submitted studies and independent analysis on the potential impacts to natural resources from the project, questioning the assumptions of the developer’s consultants,” reported Craig Enyart, spokesperson for the watershed protection group.
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> The project is located in Bidwell Creek’s drainage basin, tributary to the Russian River in Sonoma County’s Marginal Water Availability Zone. Directly downstream of the project’s 6 new wells on its 2 parcels, neighbors have reported lower yields and water table. The Sonoma County Board of Zoning Adjustments approved the project which exceeded the county water use threshold while well owners downstream from the project were not consulted.  The Maacama Watershed Alliance and Friends of Spencer Lane appealed that decision to the Board of Supervisors.
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> One of three State-registered Cultural Resources sites of the Wappo Tribe known in this area of high archeological sensitivity has already been disturbed by pre-project construction of the winery access road. The public continues to focus its efforts on demonstrating to their representatives than an EIR is essential for this winery project due to environmental and cumulative impacts that are not mitigated in the County’s environmental document.
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> Code violations have already occurred on the winery property by the applicant even before approval of a Use Permit. Among these are advertised unpermitted events and wine tasting reported to the County. Despite inconsistencies with established County policy, staff recommends approval of the project. The Maacama Watershed Alliance thanks all the citizen groups and individuals, including growers in the wine industry, and public agencies responsible for resource protection, who have submitted comments to Sonoma County on the need for greater review of winery development impacts. Public Comment is still needed and can be directed to Project Planner Sandi.Potter@sonoma-county.org
> For more information contact the Maacama Watershed Alliance P.O. Box 1226 Calistoga, Ca maacamawatershed@gmail.com 415-385-2385-direct
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