A ballot measure that would keep Blakeley Construction in business near Calistoga emerged from the county’s legal scrutiny with a few dings but no definitively damaging dents.
The measure could be considered illegal “spot zoning” if it benefits only Blakeley Construction, the legal report said. That problem can possibly be surmounted, it added.
“Overall, there is some risk that, if enacted, the proposed initiative or portions of it could be vulnerable to being legally challenged and invalidated,” said the county-commissioned report by the Miller Starr Regalia law firm.
The firm puts the risk at low to medium.
Backers gathered the required number of signatures to qualify the measure for the June 5 election. A county report said the Board of Supervisors has the options of adopting the measure as written or placing the measure on the ballot.
Blakeley Construction has operated in the unincorporated county at 310 Franz Valley School Road since 1962. The business has never complied with the agricultural watershed zoning.
A neighbor complaint a few years ago led to county investigations and ultimately a court agreement between the county and the Blakeleys. The Blakeleys must shut down their business at the site this June to comply with the agricultural zoning.
After searching in vain for another nearby, commercially zoned site, the Blakeleys decided to seek a ballot measure that would allow them to remain.