WWW on Kendall Jackson’s attempt to pave over more ag lands

WWW on Kendall Jackson’s attempt to pave over more ag lands

Is the county picking winners and losers? This would require a General Plan amendment and zoning changes. Please speak out.

Our Letter:


February 2, 2021

To:  district4@sonoma-county.org, David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org  district5@sonoma-county.org, Susan.Gorin@sonoma-county.orgchris.coursey@sonoma-county.org,  Tennis.Wick@sonoma-county.org

RE: Kendall Jackson Hotel on AG Lands

Wine and Water Watch is a local organization of over 250 citizens concerned with the overdevelopment of the wine tourism industry, promotion of ethical land use, climate change action, water use and social justice issues.

The proposed zoning changes to allow Kendall Jackson to build a 50-room hotel on agriculture lands is appalling. Any action to let this go forward is against everything the populace of this county-values in land use. An estimated 4,000 acres of valuable ag land has already been paved over to serve winery events: i.e. rural tasting rooms, parking lots and support facilities. Making additional zoning changes only creates a precedent that further undermines the laws protecting our agriculture. 

While Sonoma county aspires to “go local” we still import 96% of all food! Paving over any more ag lands and diverting more of our water resources during a megadrought would be pure negligence. Update the General Plan 2020 rather than make incremental zoning changes to accommodate a bloated and unsustainable industry that needs to reinvent and downsize themselves. Why allow the wine industry to take over other industries to support outdated business practices that need to evolve? 

The rural restaurant facilities at wineries, already permitted by the County, have put urban restaurants scrambling for customers. Is the hotel industry the next target for wine companies? Is the County choosing winners and losers in local businesses or protecting them all equally? 

The General Plan and zoning codes would have to be rewritten to accommodate this large and powerful wine company. Changing the zoning code further would set a precedent allowing more and more deviations to suit other wine industry elites, rather than serve the citizens who live, raise families, pay taxes and vote here. Our citizens do not deserve to have their quality-of-life degenerate further with the throngs of new visitors who use the infrastructure and the resources we depend on today and into the future. 


Wine & Water Watch Board Members:

Deb Preston, Tom Conlon, Janus Matthes, Pamela Singer, Merrilyn Joyce, Dr. Shepherd Bliss, Judith Jonville, Charlotte Williams