Update 4/5/17: As expected the Board of Supervisors voted to approve the changes to the definition.
“In Napa, fine dining isn’t limited to restaurants. A number of prestigious Napa Valley wineries now offer food pairings to elevate the traditional tasting room experience. If you believe wine is best appreciated with food, make reservations at these wineries.”
– Rachel Ward, “4 of Napa’s Best Food and Wine Pairing Experiences.” , WhereTravelor.com

Is this agriculture? It’s time to decide.
The Board of Supervisor need to hear from you!
All are needed for public comment!

Tuesday, April 4 at 11am, The Board of Supervisors will consider changes in the Definition of Agriculture. (item 9H here) The proposed ordinance expands the current definition, Agriculture is the growing of crops, trees, and livestock, to include many other uses currently allowed or requiring a conditional use permit, These include production/processing, marketing, sales, and farmworker housing.

The proposed ordinance has retained the hierarchy of growing of crops, trees, and livestock “by right” versus production/processing requiring use permits, and the requirement that marketing & sales be related, subordinate, and incidental to the main processing use. Nevertheless, changes to the Definition of Agriculture, zoning code 18.08.040, ripple throughout the General Plan, potentially impacting priority of groundwater, the Right To Farm, and farm/agricultural worker housing. What are the unintended consequences of this ordinance? Will an event center in the winery next door become “a right” that neighbors cannot object to, except by lawsuits? And will farmworker housing include the chef for the wine/food pairings ?

These functions are related to agriculture, but they are not agriculture. They threaten the integrity of the landmark Agricultural Preserve, allowing a commercialization of agricultural lands. Napa Vision 2050 recommends that the Definition of Agriculture remain the same until we understand the unintended consequences of such a change. Our agricultural lands are precious. The real change must be made to the General Plan itself – something this Board is not willing to do. To understand more, read Eve Kahn’s Why You Should Care About the Definition of Agriculture.

Our Board of Supervisors need to hear from us!

Show up on Tuesday, April 4, to voice your comments (three minute limit) on this proposed ordinance, or e-mail or write our district supervisors.