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June 9, 2014

REGARDING: PLP 08-0021 and pending appeal



UNPRECEDENTED RISK

To: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors,

Ratna Ling Retreat Center should be denied industrial manufacturing and industrial warehousing uses
because they do not conform to RRD zoning or to the General Plan. Industrial land uses are confined to
industrial zones precisely because there is the infrastructure to accommodate such uses. Rapid response to
industrial fire, industrial accident and industrial hazardous material spills is provided and required in
industrial zones. Ratna Ling Retreat Center is located on a rural coastal ridge about as far as one can get
from such emergency services.

Allowing industrial manufacturing and industrial warehousing at a rural Retreat Center is unjustified. Such
uses defy RRD zoning and defy the General Plan. If the BOS grants such uses they are putting the Retreat
Center, our rural community and our local volunteer firefighters at unprecedented risk. Ratna Ling is much
too far from appropriate industrial emergency services. Our rural volunteer fire department, our community
and residents at Ratna Ling should not be exposed to such risks just because the County is unwilling to
enforce zoning regulations.

The BOS has been told that industrial manufacturing and industrial warehousing at Ratna Ling is
permissible because this is an ancillary use similar to a club or lodge. Look at the pictures, read the list
of machinery and consider the one million cubic feet of warehouse space. This is nothing like a club or
lodge. This is industrial land use. Pretending that this use is like a club or lodge does not mitigate this
unprecedented risk.

The BOS has been told that industrial manufacturing at Ratna Ling is a religious practice because Ratna
Ling calls factory work skillful means and calls workers retreatants. Toyota workers in Japan bow in
before going to work but no one argues that building cars is a religious practice. Whether one is
manufacturing and selling car seats and visor mirrors or one is manufacturing and selling meditation
cushions and lavender eye pillows it is still manufacturing. Pretending that manufacturing is a religious
practice does not mitigate this unprecedented risk.

Granting Ratna Ling an administrative use permit for 40,000 square feet of industrial warehouse tents as
accessory temporary structures appears to be special dispensation. Accessory structures are described
as decks and gazebos not 40k warehouses. Not enforcing the terms of the one-year temporary use
permit seems like special dispensation. It has been six years since the one-year temporary use permit was
granted. Making temporary warehouses with expired permits permanent seems like special dispensation.
Asserting that one-year temporary fabric-structure warehouses with expired permits should be made
permanent in 2014 seems like special dispensation. Exempting those warehouses from current 2014 fire
standards because the original bogus temporary use permit was issued in 2008 is reckless and unacceptable.
The warehouse structures are neither fire compliant nor fire safe. Ignoring current fire standards and
granting such a permanent use creates a permanent, unprecedented and unmitigated risk to all.

Please deny PLP 08-0021. Please enforce the 2004 conditions of use for an ancillary printing facility
that was describe in that permit as the limit of such use. Please require a new MUP for non-commercial
Retreat Center that does not allow industrial printing or industrial warehousing.

Sincerely, Bruce Johnson
Member Coastal Hills Rural Preservation steering committee

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