Livermore Wine Country Inn proposal must follow the rules

Livermore Wine Country Inn proposed hotel and conference center location
The proposed 30-room Inn with large restaurant, full bar, hair salon with day spa and gift shop cannot proceed as the design violates aspects of the South Livermore Valley Specific Plan.

There is a proposal for a hotel called the Livermore Wine Country Inn. It would be located at the intersection of Hansen Road and Arroyo Road in deep South Livermore. The project is separate and has no connection with the Presidio Companies’ proposal for a potential downtown hotel.

Progress on the development was halted by the Court of Appeals. The reason behind the ruling against the developer follows a theme that is becoming uncomfortably familiar, as it is a result of elected officials insisting on not doing what the regulations state they must do, and ignoring public advice to do what is legal.

The proposed site is located in the South Livermore Vally Specific Plan area (SLVSP), which articulates the requirement for 100 foot setbacks on that parcel for the B&B. Instead, both the Planning Commission and the Livermore City Council sided with the developer and against the residents. The developer wanted to bend the rules and require only half the required setback (50 feet) – officials were happy to go along.

Now the entire project is uncertain. If all parties would have simply followed the rules and developed the space as originally envisioned in the SLVSP, Livermore Wine Country Inn might be hosting guests already and supporting our tourist industry. Instead, it is possible it can’t be built at all, and tremendous time, money and attention will have been wasted.

Planning Commission should have done everyone a favor and rejected the design in 2019. Failing that, the Council should have listened to the pleas of residents to make the project conform.

The next mistake to be made is up to the City Attorney. He could keep it going in the courts, or support the community and accept the loss. Let us hope the legal process is over and that the project can be reworked accordingly into a form more closely envisioned in the framework of the South Livermore Valley Specific Plan.