SodaCanyonRoad | Framework X (updated)

Framework X (updated)
Bill Hocker | Aug 7, 2015 on: APAC

Update 8/5/15:
County Farm Bureau markup of Framework X increases estate grapes, reduces everything else, visitation based on actual production
Michelle Benvenuto markup of Framework X (for Winegrowers?) eliminates 10 acre parcels in AW

My one addition to these and Dir. Morrison's version would be to end all visitation before sunset in the AW areas. The potential for noise and light at night is perhaps the most intrusive impact that event centers have on neighbors in the dark sky environments of the watersheds.


Framework X, previously called Proposal X, will be taken up in detail at the Aug. 10th meeting of APAC.

At the APAC meeting of June 22nd, among the various proposals presented to the committee Director Morrison had his own proposal to present. He has given letter titles to all of the proposals submitted by members and the public over the last few weeks. He had arrived, whether by coincidence or not, at Proposal X which he assigned to his own proposal. It is a proposal worth its title.

The framework that he presented for the evaluation of winery projects tries with a great deal of clarity to weave together the many strands that the committee has been fumbling with. Each of the cells of the grid will be debated, but it is a place to start the debate.

I frankly think that Dir. Morrison has come very close to the mark in defining the baseline for the evaluation of projects by the Planning Commission. The numbers that he has produced in the grid are a clear attempt to put the brakes on the runaway visitation requests that are aimed at turning grape processing facilities into tourist processing facilities, and on the capacity increase requests that have more to do with source shifting in older wineries or as a justification for large visitation numbers than in the need to process more Napa grapes.

The low visitation numbers presented in Framework X, and the severe restriction on food service get at the heart of the winery proliferation problem. Wineries are being built as entertainment centers, not as agricultural processing facilities. It is difficult to know if the entertainment components are there to make bad economic investments in unnecessary and inefficient processing facilities more palatable, or to provide an audience for life-style exhibitionism promoted by the tourism industry. (see my response to the Arbuckle letter). Either reason is unjustifiable when considering the impacts that tourism, and the ever expanding urbanism that it brings, has on neighborhoods and on the infrastructure of the county, as well as the land and water resources that agriculture needs to survive.

Each aspect of Framework X will probably be fought over. I would like less visitation. I would like a ban on all food service. I would like to restrict all tourism to daylight hours. Unfortunately, what I would like doesn't carry much weight with the APAC. We'll see what happens to Framework X at the Aug 10th meeting as the pro-development APAC members bring out the knives. The line item of variances has already taken a unanimous hit at the July 27th meeting.