SodaCanyonRoad | Davies Family event center/winery project in St. Helena

Davies Family event center/winery project in St. Helena
Geoff Ellsworth | Oct 13, 2014 on: St. Helena

On Sept. 29th I and three other St. Helena citizens assumed the unpleasant task of filing an appeal on the recent St. Helena Planning Commission decision to grant major use permit modifications to the Davies Family Winery.

The St. Helena City Council will hear the appeal on Oct. 28. If they deny the appeal we are prepared to appeal to a higher body.

I believe this project is a Trojan Horse; it came into our town in 2012 as a 20,000 gallon crush facility with no visitation and is now asking for huge modifications.

Among other arguments against this project, like major added winery, truck and visitor traffic at an already over-impacted intersection, as well as water impacts, I think a strong contention against this proposal is it's proximity to two of our schools.

They want to put a 75,000 gallon winery/event center with over 50,000 visitors a year, open for wine tasting during the day, and hosting wine serving events, with an entrance just across the street from St. Helena High School on Grayson Avenue and just down the street from our primary school where kids walk and bike from town to school and back many times a day as well as gather for activities.

50,000 a year is a lot of visitors at a wine tasting facility just across the street from our high school and cannot help but increase chances for alcohol impaired incidents along this already over-impacted street.

I hope that citizens will get engaged in the dialogue of whether this is something we want in our community or whether it poses a danger to our health, welfare and safety.
I and many others feel this to be a very unsound idea.