Donald Williams | Aug 30, 2017 on: Napa Vision 2050
[Editor's note: Napa Vision 2050 will contribute an occasional column outlining its activities. This is the first such column in the Weekly Callistogan
What is Napa Vision 2050?
At least as far back as 1988 a Napa Grand Jury committee affirmed that the intent of the county General Plan "is to preserve agriculture, and concentrate urban uses in existing urban areas." It noted the growing "number of commercial, promotional, cultural, and entertainment activities occurring in wineries . . . on agriculturally zoned land" including "concerts, cooking classes, art shows, benefits, and non-agricultural meetings and seminars," and declared that they "are urban uses and by definition not needed for the . . . growing of crops.'
The Grand Jury then warned, presciently, that "failure to enforce the General Plan can only lead to the" ultimate demise of the Ag Preserve because the uniqueness and international reputation of the Napa Valley will continue to invite development and activities conducive to further blurring of the agricultural/industrial and urban separations."
Recent years, of course, have seen precisely the kind of development the 1988 Grand Jury warned against. In response, in the last few years, in neighborhoods throughout the valley, grass-roots groups sprang up to resist the commercialization and diminution of Napa's rural quality. Mostly they worked in isolation, and against high odds.
Gradually these disparate neighborhood groups realized: they weren't alone! In early 2015 they formed a coalition of groups - Napa Vision 2050.
The neighborhood groups agreed: Napa Vision 2050 advocates for responsible planning and development in Napa County. It works to protect the health, welfare, and safety of our community, because Napa's finite resources cannot support infinite growth.
Napa Vision 2050 Activities
Now, observing the traffic congestion plaguing Napa roads, NV2050 encourages the county to recognize that there are limits to the number of visitors and non-agricultural events that can rationally be permitted in our rural regions. It also encourages the county, when considering applications for additional commercialization in the rural regions of the county, to acknowledge development's cumulative effects on residents.
NV2050 supported the "Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative" that would defend municipal water supplies, and easily gathered twice as many signatures as required. NV2050 also has worked to ban residential heliports. Additionally, NV2050 has insisted the county determine why Napa has among the highest cancer rates in California. Recognizing the skyrocketing impact of tourism on our semi-rural county, NV2050 recently sponsored a well-attended forum, "Understanding the Tourism-based Economy -Benefits and Costs."
Who Can Join?
Napa Vision 2050 welcomes anyone who cares about the quality of life in Napa County. Wherever you live in the county, you can be sure there are supporters of NV2050 nearby.
How is Napa Vision 2050 Funded?
NV2050 is entirely volunteer. There is no paid staff. It's a grass-roots organization. We accept donations to support our efforts to respect the semi-rural character of Napa County. These efforts include: engaging environmental and legal experts regarding land use decisions; supporting advocates respectful of the General Plan; educating the public about dominant local industries and their impact on Napa County.
How Can I Learn More?
This column will answer questions about local environmental work, and describe the grass-roots efforts to understand how the county's land-use decisions affect us all. You can learn more on our website www.napavision2050.org
, or write us at P.O. Box 2385, Yountville, CA 94599.