The owners of Justin Vineyards and Winery are apologizing for a controversial expansion effort that involved clear-cutting an oak woodland in the Paso Robles area, and creating a massive retention pond to be filled with groundwater.
Lynda and Stewart Resnick issued a statement (see below) Friday afternoon that expressed apologizes on behalf of the Wonderful Company owners and outlined what their plans are moving forward.
The Resnicks say they will donate the 380-acre site to San Luis Obispo County for future land conservation. Jim Bergman, the County’s planning and building director, says the intention of the Wonderful Company is to work with a local land conservancy organization. He says the company will “donate [the land] to that group so that they could use it for purposes of education or training for restoration of oak trees.”
The Resnicks also say they will implement erosion and sedimentation control measures and eliminate the water retention pond.
Neal Heaton owns a ranch adjacent to the Justin Vineyards expansion project and was vocally opposed to both the clear-cutting and the water retention pond. “It’s certainly a start in the right direction and everything we were very fearful for our livelihood and our long term stewardship of the land. We’ve been here 130 years, the Heaton family, and it really threatened our residential water supply. So I commend their effort to apologize and make amends to the community.”