In response to Michael Larner’s letter regarding Preserving Estate Wineries and his application for a Tier 2 winery, tasting room and events ordinance. We are in opposition for one reason: Location!
Contrary to Michael Larner’s remarks, we do advocate and support the SY wine industry, but Ballard Canyon Road is just not an appropriate location for another winery tasting room and events project.
Ballard Canyon is a 7.2 mile road, which could not be built today as is. It is not a safe road for wine tasting and the extra traffic that will ensue.
BCR is enjoyed by many residents and visitors for hiking, jogging, horseback riding and is a top cycling destination that attracts hundreds of cyclists every week. Tragically, however, the short stretch of BCR is also plagued with many accidents and fatalities due to its narrow blind curves, with no shoulder easements and large old oaks close to the edge. We can all attest to a large number of accidents that don’t get reported we all have witnessed. The dangerous impact on those who use Ballard Canyon Road if more tasting rooms and large events are approved would be significant.
If Santa Barbara County approves Michael Larner’s application for a tasting room and events, then the floodgates will open, as there are at least fourteen vineyards and several of these meet the same Tier II standards as Michael Larner’s property along Ballard Canyon Road.
We don’t want to see Ballard Canyon end up like several of the crowded roads in Napa and Sonoma counties.