At Supervisor Dillon's request, I met with her this morning to discuss primarily the "cumulative impacts" of the County's rather routine approvals of use permits for wineries and the resulting repercussions on the future welfare of the Napa Valley and its citizens. We discussed traffic congestion, tourist increases, wine tasting and other wine events and their proliferation in the Valley, aesthetics and other environmental concerns. Ms. Dillon acknowledged the existence of the general public's interest in, and concerns about, these matters. She also acknowledged that the County knows little or nothing about the historical and current factual data which has prompted the public's concerns. In my opinion, Diane is on top of the problems and issues.
She did state that the County's General Plan, in terms of the future of the wine industry in Napa Valley, is "on track", that is, the considerations prompting the General Plan provisions are consistent with what the County is and has been doing with respect to winery concerns and the industry's positions respecting the economic future of Napa County (manifested by its approvals of many winery applications for use permits). She pointed out that a citizen committee had direct input into the provisions of the General Plan. The General Plan argument will, I believe, prove to be a major element of any public position that may be taken by the County in connection with its responses to the public's interest in the County government's future actions and decisions.
With respect to the Yountville Hill Winery use permit application, which was approved by the Planning Commission, Diane expects that an appeal of that decision to the BOS won't likely be heard until October. She has asked for a meeting with Planning Department staff and the BOS to take place this next month to discuss these matters.