Laetitia Winery makes California sparkling wines (i.e. if we were in France we could call it champagne). It lies on the 101 and backwards into the Upper Los Berros canyon area with access from Dana Foothill and the freeway. Their attractive vineyards stud the rolling hills. It’s a lovely site.
Yet for Laetitia, that wasn’t enough. Growth was the plan. And growth far beyond wine. They want a dude rance, hundreds of homes on one-acre parcels, and many amenities that tax the local water supply. So far, their plan to go forward has been stymied by the SLO County administrators who’ve rejected each application and have not been impressed with their Environmental Impact Reports or their efforts to mitigate the huge water loss this project will create. Yet they are still appealing.
Why does it matter? They share the same aquifer as Rim Rock Road and regions south of their enormous operation. So while they densely plant the vineyard, they consume enormous amounts of water while the ordinary household, some here much longer than the winery, are run dry and forced to truck in water.
What can you do? First, oppose their project: the next Laetitia meeting at the Government Center is
Notice how little regard this multi-national conglomerate has for locals and their homes.
We never thought it would happen to us. It started with a sputtering shower head and a sense of “oh no!”. We figured our pressure tank had given up, or that our big 10,000 gallon water storage tank somehow went dry.
It did, but not in the way we expected. See, it didn’t want to fill back up. Our well had run dry. There was a trickle, of a few gallons per minute (GPM) when there had been 100 gpm. This from a well once gauged at 100 gallons per minute. The first reaction was to call our awesome, trusty well guys (Water Well Supply…the best!) to come help. They dropped the line and pump in the well another 100′ feet, and that’s where they got the 6 gpm. That’s it. So 480 feet down rendered that little water. They explained we may have just hit a limited cavern and that the supply would run out.
We should have thought it would happen to us. It had been happening up and down Rim Rock Road (Nipomo East Side foothills) and also on Dana Foothill Road. It was one of those things people talked about but it never hit home. Till the dreaded shower.
Now our well serves four parcels. A minimum of four houses. You cannot even get financing on a home that has less than 3 gpm. Yet here was our four, sharing 6 gpm. This wasn’t going to end well.
The well guys said we could truck in water like other Rim Rock addresses were doing. So I guess that’s the plan. A huge truck, coming up over the road, who knows how often, to fill us up at 10 cents a gallon. In case of a wildfire? We’re out of luck for having much on hand.
Now, we had an appraisal done just months ago, in March, with no mention of this possibility. If the appraiser knew, as he lives on the street, why didn’t he share that information? Maybe he didn’t know. Maybe he didn’t want to know, as his own home was for sale.
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