The Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the great state of California offer protections to their citizens from Government overreach.
When a hand full of politicians are behaving badly, then conspire to break the law, we must hold then accountable.
After the Santa Monica Mountains North Area Plan Update public hearings closed, Supervisor Shelia Kuehl abruptly added a prohibition on all new vineyards and any vineyard expansions in the Santa Monica Mountains North Area. We believe she violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Grape farmers in the Santa Monica Mountains are being singled out by this arbitrary law when grape farming is permitted in all other parts of Los Angeles County. In fact, even in other parts of Supervisor Keuhl’s 3rd District, grape farming is permitted with no restrictions.
Vineyards are part of the long history of the Santa Monica Mountains dating back more than 200 years. Viticulture in the Santa Monica Mountains has received direct recognition from the Federal Government as a unique grape growing region known as the Malibu Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA). This recognition evinces a federal intent to recognize, protect and promote viticulture in the area.
Grape farming strengthens the rural and semi-rural character of the Santa Monica Mountains and is the best form of agricultural use because viticulture is more sustainable than other types of crops. For example, grapevines are considered drought- tolerant requiring far less water than other crops or landscaping.
Vineyards in the Santa Monica Mountains already employ sustainable growing practices, particularly with respect to water. The County does not seek to ban any other crops in the Santa Monica Mountains even though other crops maybe more harmful to the environment.
Vineyards are natural firebreaks and provide protection to life and property during wildfires that frequently occur in the Santa Monica Mountains. Grape vines are members of the plant family “Vitis” which are native plants to the Santa Monica Mountains. Why is Supervisor Kuehl attempting to ban a native species?
The Vineyard Ordinance violates the equal protection rights of the vineyard owners that are protected by the United States Constitution and the California Constitution.
To help us fight against this arbitrary and inequitable law, sign our petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protect-the-property-rights-of-malibu-coast-grape-growers
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