Napa County defends winery record

Napa County Planning, Building and Environmental Services Director David Morrison authored a seven-page reply to an eight-page letter from the attorneys of the Alliance for Responsible Governance. He said the group’s concerns about county-approved winery growth are serious and deserve a meaningful, open discussion.

He wants Alliance members to identify themselves and step forward for face-to-face talks. The group has communicated with the county using the law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger.

The Alliance letter said the group supports having sustainable economic growth within the context of agricultural protections embraced by citizens and codified in the county general plan. Members sees this ideal threatened by traffic and other impacts from new wineries and winery expansions.

Morrison in his letter that growth is going according to the county’s Board of Supervisors-approved 2008 General Plan. He wrote that the county isn’t as sparing with environmental impact reports as the Alliance suggests.

The Alliance said Napa County wineries repeatedly violate the terms of their permits by doing such things as hosting more marketing events than allowed, playing amplified music and holding events late into the night.

“If there are any specific reports of violations, please forward them to my office so that we can promptly and effectively respond,” Morrison told the Alliance.