Wagner thinks he can throw money around and somehow still get this approved. This is in a sensitive riparian corridor, on heavily traffic roads that safety vehicles can barely get through without the bus loads of proposed visitors, and no one but him wants this center. What arrogance.
Excerpt from article on Wagner from Shanken News Daily:
“Another winery project is The Dairyman in Sonoma County, located on property just outside Sebastopol that once was a dairy and sits amid 40 acres of Pinot Noir vines. Wagner has plans for a 1.2 million gallon winery, a 250,000 proof-gallon distillery focused on heirloom apple brandy, and a creamery. Thus far, however, local opposition has slowed the project. “We’re trying to take the historical components of Sonoma’s agriculture and put them together in one facility,” Wagner says. “We’ve stayed within the dairy plant’s original footprint in our design, we’re not impacting any native ground or habitat and we’re not expanding the vineyards. The small creamery will make local cheeses from Sonoma’s few remaining dairies. And I want The Dairyman to be a home to facilitate research and development for all our Sonoma wine production.” The project is still under an environmental impact review, and won’t get started until next year at the earliest. “I’m confident we’ll be able to build something there,” Wagner says. “Gaining approval is a lengthy and costly process, but that’s how the county operates and we have to deal with it.”
Mary Browning wrote us last year about Wagner’s practices.
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!