default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

San Joaquin County Planning Commission is sending the wrong message

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:00 am

The recent vote by the Board of Supervisors overturning the Planning Commission's approval of a north Lodi winery's request to operate a restaurant on its premises was the correct decision based on the law.

The winery receives extremely beneficial tax status for participating in the Williamson Act, in exchange for which the act restricts non-agricultural uses of the property; the Planning Commission's approval ignored the law, and the supervisors fixed the commission's error.

The winery's owner, understandably upset, made some comments (as reported by the News-Sentinel) that should cause the Planning Commission to give serious consideration to the message that its actions send to the community. The owner said, "I'm probably going to do whatever the hell I want and ask for forgiveness" and "The right way ain't going to work."

On multiple occasions, typically involving wineries, the Planning Commission has approved permit applications despite the fact that the applicant has flagrantly ignored the law, and in some instances has blatantly ignored direct orders from the Community Development Department to cease unlawful activities. Those who want to "legitimize" their unlawful activities hire one of a handful of well-connected lawyers who go before the commission and plead mea culpa. The Planning Commission then almost invariably gives "special dispensation" in the form of forgiveness and a permit to carry on otherwise unlawful activities.

A permit applicant's failure to abide by the law should result in an automatic denial by the commission, and a prohibition on reapplying for the permit for several years. Instead, the commission encourages and rewards unlawfulness. This is the wrong message for a governmental body to send, and warrants serious review by the supervisors who appoint the planning commissioners, if not by the Grand Jury.

Dave Isola


Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Patrick W Maple posted at 6:13 am on Mon, Feb 18, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    Advocates : Because we all are...your first observation is correct and could be said off this winery as well...they bullied their partners...why not everyone else? I would prefer a Black Bear or Sambo's or even an IHOP.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:32 am on Thu, Feb 14, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    Then how about the winery that recently was approved to add to their facilities and a good part was built without, apparently permits or obeying any of the permitting processes? They should have also been denied, fined and made to demolish the structures they built when no one was looking. How many other wineries in the Lodi/Stockton area have used this same method? Is there any oversight at all on this well connected community that gives the appearance of some winery owners getting "special" attention? As for this deli and winery decision, if it were approved, what would be next? A Denny's at Van Ruiten? The winery's owners' biggest mistake was making that quote to the Sentinel, who seemed to make sure that it got published and made this gentleman sound like a daredevil, not a frustrated owner fighting the system to insure his business has the same playing field as the "dominators" in the Lodi/Stockton winery business.


Recent Comments

Posted 22 hours ago by Joe Baxter.

article: San Joaquin County supervisors approve …

I am still wondering why someone that resides in Sacramento County should be concerned with San Joaquin County politics. Unless it is just …


Posted Yesterday by Joanne Bobin.

article: Letter: Obamacare is not the program pr…

Good work, Mr. Barrow. You have identified many in the past, and now finally with some results!


Posted Yesterday by Joanne Bobin.

article: Letter: Obamacare is not the program pr…

Thank you to the LNS for FINALLY rejecting a letter due to plagiarism. There have been countless instances of letters copied and pasted fr…


Posted 2 days ago by the old dog.

article: Letter: I’m not the one who should move…

Walter: Concerning "Swiftboats" another John did offend me. Kerry gives himself a Purple Heart while cutting himself shaving. …


Posted 2 days ago by Andrew Liebich.

article: Letter: Liberal policies damage our ind…

[sleeping] http://youtu.be/cA8FTjAzRR8



Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 91


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists