Julie Johnson, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A Geyserville property owner who launched a medical cannabis farm has agreed to pay $245,000 in fines and penalties for what Sonoma County prosecutors said was improper water diversion, unpermitted grading and site work that harmed streams in the Russian River watershed.
Property owner Darryl Crawford, a Napa-based investor with experience building wine cellars, said most of the issues on the sprawling 330-acre Geysers Road property stemmed from old roads, water systems and other features built decades ago by a prior owner.
But state Fish and Wildlife officials said that unauthorized work that Crawford had done on the property, including attempts to stop sediment from flowing into streams, created additional problems. Prosecutors said also that the cultivation site was graded without a permit.
Prosecutors sued Crawford and his companies Black Mountain Developers and Cold Creek Group in an effort to get them to comply with environmental regulations and acquire the needed permits to improve the site’s roads and water systems, Deputy District Attorney Ann Gallagher White said.
“The penalties were high because the conduct was egregious and lasted for a long time,” Gallagher White said.
Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9460580-181/geyserville-property-owner-fined-for
J.D. Morris, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
One of Sonoma County’s most controversial mining projects is showing public signs of progress again, nearly three years after it survived a hard-fought legal challenge and well over a decade after it was first proposed.
Next up for the planned quarry project off Roblar Road west of Cotati is an additional round of environmental review, which was triggered after the owner requested some changes to the conditions tied to county officials’ approval of the development more than six years ago.
Quarry developer John Barella wants permission to adjust the design of a road intersection his project is required to improve, reduce the width of a road he must expand and relocate a portion of a creek on which the project will encroach. The effects of the proposed changes will be studied by a consultant hired this week by county supervisors.
Barella, the former owner of North Bay Construction, first proposed the quarry in 2003, and a split Board of Supervisors signed off on it in December 2010, setting off a long legal fight waged by opponents concerned by the project’s environmental impacts.
But those opponents lost in July 2014, when a state appellate court upheld the county’s approval of the project and reversed a lower court ruling on all counts.
Read more at: Roblar Road quarry back before Sonoma County officials for environmental review | The Press Democrat