UPDATE – After meeting with Vintage Wine Estates, Jordan Grant’s family says they now recommend Laetitia Vineyard and Winery and are no longer calling for a boycott.
The boycott was called after Vintage Wine Estates filed a legal challenge to stop Caltrans work that would eliminate left turns on Highway 101 at El Campo Rd., Laetitia Vineyard Dr. and two other intersections.
Following a meeting on Thursday with the wine company’s CEO, the Grant family said Vintage Wine Estates is stepping up to be a responsible community partner, and they are now encouraging people to visit Laetitia and thank them.
The President of Vintage Wine Estates says an improvement project that would eliminate left-hand turns and boost safety at the El Campo Road crossing on Highway 101 should “move forward as soon as possible.”
A representative for the company says it has withdrawn its legal filing, which previously put the project on hold.
In a letter Thursday, Vintage Wine Estates President Terry Wheatley said the company has heard from the community and the family of Jordan Grant about the unsafe crossings at El Campo Road, which is located along the same Highway 101 corridor as Laetitia Vineyard and Winery.
Laetitia Vineyard and Winery is owned by Vintage Wine Estates.
Last Friday, the company filed a legal challenge in Sacramento County, which put the project on hold.
Work was originally supposed to begin on Monday and would have eliminated left turns at four intersections between Arroyo Grande and Nipomo, including El Campo Road and Tower Grove Drive. Laetitia Vineyard and Winery is located off Tower Grove.
It is unclear how soon the work could start up again now that the winery has withdrawn the legal filing.
The $250,000 project was approved six months after the death of Jordan Grant. The 18-year-old Cal Poly freshman was killed in a motorcycle crash at the El Campo crossing last year. His parents spearheaded the effort to make changes at the intersection.
The Grant family had called for a boycott of Laetitia Vineyard and Winery in the wake of the legal filing.
In Thursday’s letter, Wheatley said the company met with Jordan Grant’s father, James Grant, as well as members of the community and “have agreed to join forces.”
“The purpose of the lawsuit was to shine a light on the bigger traffic safety problems along the corridor. We collectively want Caltrans and the local governing agencies to consider additional solutions rather than implement a stop-gap plan,” Wheatley said.”The advocacy of Mr. Grant and voices of the community have convinced us, in the interest of immediate public safety, the construction of the turn barriers should move forward as soon as possible. It’s the right thing to do.”
Wheatley says the company, the Grant Family, and local homeowners have formed a working group to develop shared goals and work with Caltrans.
Wheatley says the group identified long-term and short-term solutions, including a fast-tracked overpass at El Campo, a J turn including acceleration and de-acceleration lanes, lowering the speed limit on Highway 101 through the corridor, and potentially installing a stoplight at El Campo until an overpass can be built.
He said the company is committed to being good community citizens.