Bill Hocker | Feb 23, 2015
Geoff Ellsworth remarked recently on the perceived dangers of reopening the "black hole" of the WDO in fear that doing so might strengthing the position of tourism developers. Here is my simple (minded) approach:
Rescind the 2010 revision to the WDO
in its entirety.
Delete section 12071 of the 1990 ordinance
. ("marketing of wine").
delete the "(B)" paragraphs further down in the 1990 ordinance that refer to section 12071.
Add new section 12418(c) to read "Wineries that were establish after May 20th 2014 --- 40 acres on parcels zoned AP and 160 acres on parcels zoned AW."
These recommendations are based on two premisses: first that the serving of food at wineries corrupts their role as agricultural processing facilities, leading to their more profitable, and more impactful, use as restaurants and event venues. Second, a commercial winery on every parcel larger than 10 acres in the ocunty (the current zoning assumption), if realized, would both grossly exceed the carrying capacity of Napa grapes and severly damage the visual and practical aspects of an agricultural economy. Setting the minimum parcel size for wineries at the minimum subdivision parcel size reestablishes an appropriate relationship between zoning and winery construction.