Letters to the Editor
Locals fed up with winery and tasting room impactsDear Editor,
As usual, Alec, you hit it on the head in both the VJB and Kenwood Winery articles in the July 1st edition. Our quaint town is moving into a new era and those of us who have lived in this Valley of the Moon for a long time have a lot on our minds. Thank you for your concise accounting on both these tumultuous issues.
Regarding VJB, as a Shaw Avenue homeowner, I am not in support of any permit revisions or of their current business practices and the severe impact they have on our neighborhood. I am fully in support of VOTMA’s statement regarding VJB moving forward with doing what they have been asked to do for the past few years. The current hours are consistent with all other wineries in the area and usage of the shoulder would make it extremely dangerous for those of us who pull out on a daily basis. The current traffic is still as obnoxious as ever, with a cable car trolley, all sizes of multi-passenger vehicles, and no valet parking. A commercial parking lot in “the Village” seems absurd. Why would we do this? This quiet neighborhood is filled with families who play in the street, walk their pets, and are very tired of all this. The safety and wellbeing of our children, pets and property values are being pushed to the limits. I’m not the only Shaw resident (and surrounding streets) who feels like this, either.
Regarding Kenwood Winery, while I understand the depth of our frustrations regarding more winery expansions, I was embarrassed to be part of the VOTMA meeting. There were many of us who went to listen to the presentation, only to have it interrupted by folks ranting at the speaker. VOTMA made a request for questions to be handed in and read so that the meeting stayed neutral, where everyone had a chance, and tempers and anger would be limited. Respecting both the moderators and speakers also meant respecting the larger part of the crowd that came to listen. No matter what our own personal agendas are, decorum and civility in today’s world are critical.
It begs the question, too, of what do the residents of Kenwood get out of all this besides the obvious downsides? The Board of Supervisors meeting on July 12 regarding wineries/events seemed long overdue! We are taxpayers, citizens of a community and peaceful people. These continued, individually managed expansions are taking a huge toll on the entire county. Let’s hope the Board of Supervisors recognizes this!
Shaw Avenue resident and Kenwood business owner