As reported by our Vineyard Association’s General Counsel, this morning the California Superior Court posted a lawsuit filed on 3 September by the “San Diego Citizenry Group” (SDCG) against the County of San Diego requesting that the Tiered Winery Zoning Ordinance Amendment approved by the Supervisors on 4 August be “set aside, voided and annulled” on the grounds that the Environmental Impact Report prepared for the ordinance does not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act nor the current San Diego County General Plan, and that the CA Water Code’s requirement of availability studies was not met. A request for an injunction against the implementation of the ordinance was requested, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.
The plaintiff in this case is anonymous, other than the name of their president, who was required to certify the lawsuit. The SDCG President was identified as Ramona resident Carol Angus. Other members of the SDCG are understood, but not yet confirmed, to be neighbors surrounding the Eagles Nest winery who have been protesting this ordinance for the last 4 years. Plaintiff’s counsel in this case is the Coast Law Group LLP, of Encinitas CA, founded by environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez, who also originated the recent threats against County entities and non-profit groups who sponsor coastal firework displays on New Year’s and 4th of July.
Until the request for injunction is considered and granted by a judge, the tiered winery ordinance that went into effect on 4 September stays in effect, and tasting room operations may begin (subject to all the County, State, and Federal requirements for operations).
Carolyn Harris, Ramona Valley Winery Association & Ramona Valley Vineyard Association, General Counsel
Needless to say this is aggravating news to say the least. In the meantime, we are all doing what we can to keep growing the best wine grapes, lend a hand to any of our members preparing a tasting room, and lets making the 2010 vintage a great one. PLEASE buy locally grown wine!
This in no way affects the plans that Norm and I have, which is to proceed with our Wholesale winery, and to continue having a great deal of fun with our family and friends at Chinook Vineyards – Where every hour is a happy hour!