Mary, welcome to “industrial wine business hell” that our group (Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties) has been working for some time to expose the bad players. Government works hand in hand to promote the destruction of our environment for profit. This is why over 200 municipalities have passed or are passing “Community Bill of Rights/Rights of Nature”.
We have the same government officials allowing low peak and very old traffic studies to approve further big wine destruction. With water a huge problem and discharge waivers you have the state water boards to help you. Our officials allow massive water use in areas of scarce water according to their own maps and have never seen an oak woodlands or forest they didn’t want to sacrifice for those special interests.
These special interests only want profit while the rest of us want a healthy community we can pass on to future generations. Let us know how we can support your efforts! Great appreciation to your efforts Mary.
“Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”
–Cree Indian proverb
From Mary Browning:
Thank you Alliance for Responsible Governance!!! The numerous failures described, CEQA violations, lack of traffic study’s….everything mentioned here is also happening over the hill in the Suisun Valley region of Solano County, and very few people are aware of the true consequences of a burgeoning wine tourism here. We citizens have been sold out and our rural character is not being protected, all because of greed.
For those who don’t know it yet, Chuck Wagner is moving his entire production here. He is already in control of a third of the prime farmland
of Suisun Valley. The valley is just under 9,000 acres, and at an August PC meeting, Wagner’s attorney said they controlled 3,000 acres as of the end of 2016. His new Cordelia Winery near Budweiser off I/80 at Fairfield is expected to produce 5.5 million gallons annually. Solano County does not have a winery ordinance. Our district Supervisor said “he doesn’t like ordinances as they restrict business”. Wagner’s second winery, Caymus Suisun Winery, will be for son Charlie, on Suisun Valley Road. It’s first tasting room will be 5,000 sf. The second tasting room will be 8,000 sf. Those buildings will be located approximately 400- 500 feet from the Suisun Valley Elementary School. This project does not have it’s water source yet, nor does it have it’s waste water plan decided. Prior to use permit application, Wagner requested and was easily granted double production, or 200,000 gal. annually. This project will be massive for this small, beautiful valley. There was no traffic study. However, an unofficial count was finally done, and 5,000 vehicles during a Friday commute time.
Organizing a resistance isn’t easy, but I’m working on it. Because of Chuck Wagner, I’m now on this mission with all of you. I went from living peacefully with my husband and animals on our mini farm, on our little slice of heaven, to now having my name on the internet associated with Chuck Wagner, because we appealed our planning commissions decision to double his production limits. It was a sight to behold, an entire planning commission “bought off”. And I’ve learned Wagner began financially contributing to the school as soon as he selected the location across the road five years ago. Amazing to witness such actions after reading about this happening in other counties.
Thank you to all who support the efforts to preserve the true definition of Agriculture, who care about our environment, who want real sustainability, who understand cumulative impacts, and more. Your successes are much needed examples that we should learn from. But timing is critical before it’s too late to save Suisun Valley from being swamped with commercial uses that have nothing to do with Ag. Alliance, make good news we can use! Special thanks to Geoff Ellsworth, Padi Selwyn, and others for your guidance and encouragement.
We are the newly formed ‘Friends of Suisun Valley’. Wish us luck!