A number of recent letters and options on the upcoming vote of Measure C have attempted to compare the new measure with the formation of the Ag Preserve. I’d like to point out just how ridiculous that claim is; the Ag preserve declared agriculture as the highest and best use of Napa County’s rural land.
Measure C does just the opposite; it instead allows your neighbors or county staff to determine land that was once codified as agriculture will not allowed to be developed.
Napa County already has the highest barriers to entry for farming of any place in America. High land costs, the costs/delays/threats of legal action associated with the Hillside Protection Ordinance, and innumerable other federal, state and local regulatory hoops make it essentially impossible for a new, young farmer to come to the valley and start farming. These costs -- land, regulation and time -- have limited new agricultural development to large corporations who can spend the money and wait the years required for approval of any new project.
Measure C only seeks to stop any future agricultural development altogether in what was once the model agricultural community.