The Raymond Decision
Bill Hocker | Aug 15, 2017
Appeal denied 3-2. Ramos, Pedroza Gregory to deny. Dillon, Wangenknecht to uphold. Recognize, allow, expand.
NVR 8/16/17: Napa County Supervisors side with Raymond Vineyards
NV2050: Agriculture in the 21st Century
Hearing agenda and docs
Staff agenda letter
Video of the hearing
Partial transcript of hearing (w/ timestamp)
Chair Ramos went on at length on the virtue of separating the issue of compliance from requests for expansion, something she felt the county really needed to pursue. "The time has come..." she repeated. Just not this time, of course.
Often at these hearings speakers talk rhetorically of a "turning point". This decision represents the road we've turned on to. Tourism has trumped agriculture in the philosophical debate represented by two iconic and opposing figures in Napa's wine industry. Sup. Pedrosa, in justifying his decision to deny the appeal, said of Raymond "This is not Disneyland. I think this is just agriculture in the 21st century." Wine tourism "experiences" are now the official product of Napa Valley and the actual wine, as has always been the case in other endeavors, is used simply to loosen the purse strings.
The vote on the appeal divided the three newly elected supervisors from the two veterans. It was a poignant and, for those of us who have come to appreciate how difficult protection of the county's rural legacy's been for previous generations of supervisors, a sad vote.
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