Killing the Golden Goose for wine & cannabis

Fencing the countryside

EDITOR: When I think of Sonoma County, I think of a picturesque drive through the countryside, through fields with cattle, orchards and wine grapes, trees and mountains surrounding me. The vistas are so wonderful and are the attraction for a dynamic tourism industry.

All of this is in jeopardy if our supervisors vote for the cannabis draft ordinance as it currently stands. It allows plastic hoop houses on up to 65,000 acres, littering our scenic countryside. The requirement of security fencing to screen operations from view means additional acreage will be covered by 8-foot-high screened metal fences. Imagine cruising a country road looking at acre after acre of visually intrusive screened fences and stopping at a winery for a wine tasting or a picnic on a hill and looking out at a landscape of commercial fences.

The draft ordinance admits that “the high value of the crop creates the need for solid fencing, screening which may affect scenic views.” Our rural open-space character will be impacted with industrial development that looks like mini-storage facilities with plastic hoop houses, security fencing, cameras and lights.

There has to be a better way.

name withheld for privacy

Santa Rosa