A small group of Soda Canyon/Loma Vista neighbors (the “Developer Committee” – as established at our April 19 neighborhood meeting) met with the developer (Steven Rea), winery consultant (Donna Oldford), and hired civil engineer (Paul Bartelt) for Mountain Peak Vineyards on Thursday, May 15 to voice all of the serious concerns (traffic, water, environmental, fire safety, precedent for future wineries, dust, etc.) that were raised at the April 19 neighborhood meeting.
Our committee repeatedly expressed that the project, as proposed, is far too large for this rural location 7 miles up Soda Canyon Road, and requested that they reconsider the overall size of the project, particularly the large number of winery visitors, which as of now, will be 18,496 persons per year (and remember, this figure of ~ 18,500 annual winery visitors does NOT include the ~25 winery employees, caterers, large number of vineyard workers, delivery trucks, and other farm related personnel that will also be utilizing Soda Canyon Road on a daily basis).
The developer has offered to make very modest changes to the project, which are contained in the attached letter titled “Proposed Compromise Agreement.” The only change of any significance is the movement of the main winery entrance to the paved portion of Soda Canyon Road, which is currently to be located on the gravel road, back to Soda Canyon Road (see attached documents titled “MPV Maps”).
Other than the offer to reduce the number of annual permitted guests by 329 from 18,496 to 18,167, there was no offer to reduce the overall size of the project, which means that none of the neighborhood’s concerns with regards to traffic, road safety, water, fire safety, or environmental impacts will be mitigated.
As a result of MPV’s failure to offer a reduction in the overall size of the project, NONE of the neighbors at the meeting (those listed on the “Proposed Compromise Agreement”) signed the agreement, nor are they going to sign the agreement. This means that MPV may retract their compromise and the project may move forward as originally proposed, with the main winery entrance located on the gravel road. This will significantly impact all neighbors living on the gravel road. It is hoped that MPV will keep the main winery entrance location on the paved portion of Soda Canyon Road, as the county has already approved it, and it is a much more prudent, reasonable, and safe location for ~ 18,500 visitors to enter this massive project. However, we will not know this information until the developer submits its final plans to the county, which is expected during the week of May 19.