I did a column a while back on the county’s winery ordinance. Essentially, San Joaquin County’s wine industry is evolving towards tourism, but doing so helter-skelter without a sufficient governing philosophy or visionary regulations. The county is striving to rectify this.
The Lodi News-Sentinel now reports that county Supervisors are demanding that St. Jorge undo much of its unpermitted building …
… including the winery’s unpermitted amphitheater! I find this topic interesting for a couple reasons. First, gung-ho entreprenurialism is what put Stockton on the map. It is a cherished American ethic. Yet the county has to rein it in, for defensible reasons, including properly stewarding the Lodi wine region into becoming the tourism asset it could be.
Second, I continue to be amazed by business owners who behave as if 21st century regulation simply does not exist. The locus classicus being Trinitas, a Mother Lode golf course. Its owners flabbergasting business model: built it illegally in a place zoned for agriculture; combine wishful thinking and endless litigation to keep it open; go down in flames.
Not many people use that model. St. Jorge aparently took inspiration from it.