[This email is from Gary Margadant of the Mt. Veeder Stewardship Council to the Yountville Hill group regarding the actual water availability vs the county's theoretical number]
Hello Mary Ann & Neighbors
I am sorry to have missed your meeting yesterday morning, for I did want to attend, but our main issue, Woolls Ranch Winery Appeal, was coming before the BOS this morning and I was concentrating on this issue and reading the Draft of a Phase II Water Availability Analysis that was requested by the county, commissioned by Woolls and performed by Luhdorff & Scalmanini. The WAA turned into a document of major importance since the report calculates the available water on the parcel (236.6 acres) at 15.4 AF/y, which is less than the proposed use for the vineyard and winery, and way less that the available water calculated in the WAA Phase I using 0.5 AF/yr/Acre of land.
The county has to digest this new information and prepare a new CEQA neg dec based on this new information, and the hearing has been postponed to October 21, 2014. It might get kicked back to the plan comm and start all over again from the beginning. We await the final draft and a more detailed explanation of the interference between a vineyard well and a direct neighbors well.
I did want to bring some other information to your attention concerning setbacks and variances. Two other winery applications have major variance requests: Castellucci and LMR Rutherford Estate Winery. Castellucci was granted the Variance but LMR REW (long meadow ranch - across 29 from Grgich) was postponed for 30 days to study a change in the setback & variance to within 120 ft of 29. The parcel has enough room for a 600' setback, but Ted Hall of LMR wants to do the responsible thing and not place the winery next to the slough at the back of the property. He does not want to add fill and raise the winery above the flood plain as Silver Oak did for their remodel after the fire. He is adamant that he should save the slough and the flood plane by putting the winery closer to 29.
LMR also had a Farm Produce retail operation at the site, but this has been moved to Farmstead in SH to avoid conflict with the winery visitation which is by appointment only, where the Farm Stand visitation had no restrictions. The county wanted complete separation and LMR solved it by moving the operation north.
I wonder if YHW and LMR will be on the same agenda at the PC.