The appeal by the Carmel Residents Association of the planning commission’s decision to approve another wine-tasting room south of Ocean Avenue has been withdrawn. This was a difficult decision; however, following a meeting at city hall, we felt it highly unlikely that the appeal would prevail at the council level. Therefore, the expenditure of almost $1,000 in filing fees could no longer be justified.

Our appeal would have been based on the following:

  1. The planning commission ignored the city council’s policy of no more wine tasting rooms south of Ocean Avenue.
  2. The planning commission ignored the widely held understanding that decisions not be made in favor an applicant on the basis of their budget or financial status.
  3. An overwhelming majority – 90.38 percent – of the 104 CRA members responding to our January straw poll voted “No’’ to opening any more wine tasting rooms in our village.

In withdrawing our appeal, we have made it known to both the planning director and the city administrator that, following the decision on the Holman Ranch wine tasting room, we fully support a moratorium on the addition of any more wine tasting rooms and bars downtown, on either side of Ocean Avenue, until such time as there is a sound plan instituted for the future. We have also informed the city that the CRA will support the convening of a workshop or committee to study the impacts of adding any more of these establishments downtown, and that residents must be included in such a format.

Please know that your voices have been heard, and we look forward to working with the city to ameliorate your concerns about the negative effects of the proliferation of these businesses on our community. – Barbara Livingston, CRA President