SodaCanyonRoad | Anarchy in the hills

Anarchy in the hills
Bill Hocker | Jan 7, 2023 on: Conservation Regulations

NVR 1/7/23: Napa County responds in Hundred Acre vineyard case near Calistoga

In one of the more bizarre examples of the anarchy that citizens are increasingly adopting in dealing with their governments, a vineyard developer has simply said that he doesn't have to play by County rules, that he is above the law. Right-wing tactical politics have arrived in Napa County. There may be some sympathetic judges to the argument government regulation can be an overreach when balanced against public well-being. The California First Appellate District court has expressed some sympathy for the fact that CEQA is exacerbating the state's housing crisis. But it is unlikely that they would conclude that trying to prevent hillsides from washing into creeks by regulating hillside development would be too great a burden to place on the development community.

Our complaint on this site is often that our County government has not done enough enforcement of its own regulations, often providing exemptions, exceptions and forgiveness in order to let developers do what they will. In this case the County has, as they occasionally do against blatent scofflaws, done the right thing. Let's hope that reports of the death of the rule-of-law in America are greatly exagerated..