City of Lompoc Rejects Youth Music Recital – UPDATE


Randall SenaYesterday at 2:48 PM

I was told by the Mayor yesterday morning that the City of Lompoc would NOT approve the permit in time for our recitals next weekend. And as a result, our Youth & Adult recitals will be postponed indefinitely.

I’ve subsequently received a long email from City Manager, Jim Throop. In response to the many, many calls & letters that were submitted in support of the CSM Summer Youth Recital. Many of you probably received the same form letter, so I wanted to address the claims made therein.

Because Jim’s response was VERY disingenuous, dishonest, and misleading. In his letter, Jim FALSELY claimed the city had worked quicky to provide us with a checklist, and that we’d failed to address those issues. Fact is, we begged for walk-through so we’d know what we needed to address. ONLY after your calls & letters was one scheduled, nearly 7 months after we paid $400 and submitted our Temporary Use Permit. He also indicated that public safety was a primary motivator.

I ask the City Manager, to zoom out a bit, and consider these important questions regarding true safety in our community. What is the safety risk of raising kids in a community without creative outlets?

What are the risks in growing up in an economically stagnant city? Let it be understood, this is NOT about public safety. This is NOT about collecting fees and balancing the budget.

This NOT about short staffing, or a winery trying to break the rules. This is about government inefficiency & disconnected city staff, power-tripping for no real reason at the expense of a vital part of our community, at a critical time in our city’s history.

I say that because, I was there when the head of the Lompoc building department called Certain Sparks Music Foundation Board Member, Steve Bridge, an “IDIOT!” after Steve spoke on behalf of loosening restrictions on the wine industry. I was there when a member of the planning commission said she, “didn’t really like wine”, while explaining why she hadn’t been more proactive in supporting this essential component in the local economy.

I was there when the planning commission ordered city staff to completely remove restriction on events at local wineries, and I was still there when AFTER everyone else went home, and they un-did all the requested changes. The fact remains, music events & gatherings happen in tasting rooms and barrel rooms in neighboring cities without issue. We’ve attended those events and we’ve talked to their city staff to find out how they do it.

The answer is simple: They simply do not prioritize the enforcement of unnecessary regulations, because they like the value added to their communities. They get it, & they stay out of the way.

We believe we will prevail in this fight & we will let you know when we have a new date for recital at the Lompoc Wine Factory. We are also working on an exciting replacement event in the meantime. Announcement soon!
Randall 🎶
From Brandon Bridge from Lompoc Wine Factory:
We have held events at LWF for 3 years. In October of last year, someone filed a complaint, and we believe it was city staff. That complaint allowed city staff to give us a code violation. Because we were holding events without a Temporary Use Permit which costs $400. So, in December of last year, we paid the $400, and put in a request for a Temporary Use Permit.

After that, we attended the zoning meetings and planning commission meeting to fight against the requirement, while we waited for it to be processed. Contrary to the picture painted by Throop. We kept asking about the TUP, and in March, three months after submittal, we finally got a response which had about 26 individual questions. We answered them all and asked for assistance in moving this forward. That took about a week.

Then there was another zoning meeting, at which the head of planning got so mad. He called Steve Bridge, board member of the Certain Sparks Music Foundation, an “IDIOT” during public comment! The next week they sent the TUP out to an agency, but they failed to properly define what the agency was supposed to look for. They came back in May with much stricter requirements that would cost $20,000.

Steve called a meeting with the city, and told them that if these requirements remained, 6 of the largest local wineries would need TUPs, and that they would have to apply these requirements to all of them, or we would be proceeding to council. They agreed that it was over scoped, and agreed to pull it back and start over. We will continue to fight for revision of the code, but I want us to have the ability to have music in the meantime. We have a walk-through scheduled for Monday, June 17th, and I will keep you posted on the status.

So, in summary, we have been completely responsive to all city requirements. We believe they have delayed this unreasonably. We are going on 7 months, for something that was supposed to be an over the counter item. We tried everything to make the recital happen at Lompoc Wine Factory as scheduled. We apologize to the kids won’t get to share their talents with their community, and the parents who pay for this enriching experience for their kids.

I understand Randall & the guys are working on an exciting alternative event to be announced asap. We will continue to do our best, Brandon Bridge.