What's Wrong with the WDO
Geoff Ellsworth | Jul 15, 2014
below is from a note I just sent off to someone I'm consulting with regarding 2010 WDO changes.
I have a meeting this afternoon with someone who was in the legal profession who may have some guidance, I'm wondering if I can show that if this business model will infringe upon the civil or constitutional rights of the citizens then is it possible for a judge to re-open the WDO before more permits are issued? (I need a clear concise argument on how the citizens civil or constitutional rights are being violated if anyone has some input)
Regarding the changes being the doorway through which this recent development push began: I believe it's as simple as the first change in the 18.08.370 Marketing of Wine section of the WDO where the following language has been eliminated " and is limited to members of the wine trade, persons who have pre-established business or personal relationships with the winery or it's owners, or members of a particular group for which the activity is being conducted"
By eliminating this they open the events up to the public, this allows the scope and scale of a winery to be built on a business plan that factors in those events and makes them necessary.
It's exactly the scenario that was proposed in the Small Winery Ordinance in SH that we were able to catch in time.
We saw it would overwhelm our small town and because it was written into the law with no restrictions there would be no stopping it.
Whether it was intended or not this is like a virus that got installed into legislation, a virus that feeds upon the host (the valley resources) and will burn out those resources.
If the law says they can do events without restriction it's a free-for-all.
There needs to be some regulation written into the law, can't just be at the discretion of the Planning Commission. Maybe there's a crack there to dig into too. In the St. Helena case the Planning Commission wrote the law and wrote themselves in as the sole arbiters of the law, that was the first clue something was not right with the language.
Have to find a legal way to get back into the WDO asap
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