SLO County Supervisors reject Laetitia Winery development

September 28, 2016

LaetitiaCiting concerns about water use, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposed housing development at Laetitia Vineyard and Winery.

Laetitia winery is located on a 1,910-acre property between Arroyo Grande and Nipomo. The vineyard is zoned for an agricultural cluster, meaning residential development can occur there as long as the homes are clustered together and have minimal impact on surrounding farmland.

Businessman Selim Zilkha proposed constructing 102 homes grouped in eight clusters because of view shed issues, residential density and traffic congestion. Neighbors responded by voicing concerns about water use.

Last year, the county planning commission indicated it would approve a scaled-down version of the project. However, in February, planning commissioners denied the project on a 3-1 vote after Cal Fire and Caltrans raised last-minute objections to the planned secondary access road.

Following an appeal, the board of supervisors held a hearing Tuesday on the development. The board rejected the project on a 4-1 vote with Arnold dissenting.

Arnold argued the project would be water neutral or would actually save water because the land can still be used for agricultural purposes. If the winery uses the land to plant more grapes, it will consume more water than the residential development would, Arnold said.

Still, the other supervisors said they were concerned the residential development would impact the water supply of residents who live nearby. Supervisor Lynn Compton, whose district includes Laetitia Vineyard and Winery, said she could not overcome the concerns about water.



  1. Thomas A says:

    Let’s reject Adam Hill in November and Fire Adam Hill!

    (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
  2. obispan says:

    Residences on private sewage disposal systems (septic) use no net water other than that for irrigated landscaping and uncovered pools.

    (-11) 19 Total Votes - 4 up - 15 down
  3. Pelican1 says:

    How in the hell did this get passed by the Planning Commission? Good grief. Who’s asleep at the wheel this time???????

    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
  4. billygatez says:

    Debbie Arnold is very ignorant to science. Lacking serious qualifications.

    (12) 34 Total Votes - 23 up - 11 down
    • shishkabob141 says:

      The city staff of Arroyo Grande, under the direction of Teresa McClish (of green tea party fame) is also touting ag land uses more water than homes as their justification for moving another Tompkins and Mangano project towards approval during a severe drought.

      (23) 27 Total Votes - 25 up - 2 down
      • kayaknut says:

        Perhaps when we get a new council, retaining Jim Hill, minus Kristen Barneich and not including Caren Ray, we can get a city manager who will do what is needed, and fire Teresa McClish and her cosy relationship with developer Nic Tompkins

        (5) 15 Total Votes - 10 up - 5 down
  5. SLOBIRD says:

    All major development/plantings in this County should be halted at this time that is not 100% offset, not assumed, likely, etc. but 100% offset. Take down an office, build an office, tear down a house, replace the house, etc. If we don’t get rain this winter we should halt all development/replacement and planting. period!

    (37) 47 Total Votes - 42 up - 5 down
  6. Kaiser Bill says:

    This project would have been an unmitigated traffic disaster.

    Anyone like driving though Prunedale on 101? Cars should not be turning into oncoming traffic on 2 lane Highways.

    Debbie Arnold has no common sense and is a complete tool of developers. She must go. The Atascadero-Cal Poly Supervisorial District needs a normal person representing them at the County level, not an environazi like Jim Patterson or a pro development cheerleader like Debbie Arnold.

    (19) 49 Total Votes - 34 up - 15 down
  7. 3 putt says:

    Finally, some sanity. Arnold repeated her dubious theory 5 or 6 six times, sounding less intelligent with each rendition.

    Kudos for common sense!

    (29) 41 Total Votes - 35 up - 6 down
  8. kayaknut says:

    Hey City Council of Arroyo Grande, are you listening? You can say it
    M-O-R-A-T-O-R-I-U-U-M. One wonders why Kristian Barneich will not properly discuss it?

    (27) 41 Total Votes - 34 up - 7 down
    • Otis says:

      The main issue in Arroyo Grande’s (AG) election isthose who endorse growth and those who for good reason endorse a moratorium on development. The headline in AG is the large proposed East Cherry development and its impact on water resources and traffic. The East Cherry proposal is expected to be finally reviewed by the Planning Commission and the City Council in October prior to the election on November 8.

      For those running for Council, the pro growth agenda is endorsed by mayoral candidate Richard Waller, Kristen Barneich (for reelection to council) and Caren Ray). The moratorium is endorsed by incumbent Mayor Jim Hill (elected by write in votes in the last election), Planning Commission member John Mack and activist LeeAnn Akins.

      Obviously, the pro growth advocates have substantial backing by prominent developers where the moratorium advocates do not.

      (21) 31 Total Votes - 26 up - 5 down

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