NapaNision 2050: What Happened at this week’s BOS/Planning Commission (Long Overdue) Joint Meeting

What Happened at this week’s  BOS/Planning Commission (Long Overdue) Joint Meeting 

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On May 19, the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commissioners met for the first joint meeting since March 10, 2015. Click here for the Napa Register article. A list of planning topics was discussed. These are some of those issues that you need to know about:
  • Climate Action was briefly mentioned but without much discussion. Climate action is key. We have ten years to reduce carbon emissions to zero to prevent the worst of climate change. Why haven’t our supervisors taken action on this critical issue?
  • Restaurant Survival Many were already hurt by the serving of restaurant type fare at wineries. Covid-19 has devastated many restaurant businesses, and at least temporarily, will necessitate changes associated with Stage 2. We were happy to hear that most of the supervisors and commissioners felt it was time to take another look at winery opening hours and what winery “food pairings” entail. There was a general feeling that we need to acknowledge the significant unintended consequences of the 2010 changes in the WDO and to protect restaurants in town. 
  • Housing over the next 20 years, Napa County is slated to increase by 20,000 residents, who will require housing. Napa County is also state-mandated to build housing to accommodate the increasing population, which hopefully will include affordable homes for our workers. How can this happen and still protect our Ag lands and our environment?
  • Development A public comment made by Kellie Anderson suggested that it’s time we separate Ag Watershed from Open Space, meaning, designating open space areas that cannot be developed. This was coupled with a lively discussion on more consideration of location in permitting issues of wineries (remote areas and/or on substandard roads versus main arteries). 

The meeting was a forum for all ten officials to discuss priorities in the County and for us to listen. To watch the video of the discussion, click here. The joint meeting begins at 5:13. We hope this forum format will continue at least a couple of times a year in the future.

With the enormity of change upon us, there are so many issues that come before the County–including climate action, the reciprocity of county and city coordination around wineries and restaurants, commercial cannabis cultivation, code violations issues versus the need for more regulation–all which are best addressed first in a joint meeting. Both the BOS and the Planning Commission need to be basically on the same page. The feeling of collaboration, not only among these ten people but also the expression that this might extend to our cities, felt hopeful. 

Meanwhile, please contact your supervisor:
  • To fast track the Climate Action Plan. Everything else is secondary.
  • To coordinate winery openings and food pairings so as to protect our restaurants in town.
  • As we recover, to build more resilience by actively supporting the diversity of small businesses which interrelate with our wineries and legitimate restaurants located in our cities and towns.