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Preserving rural character

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More than 200 people attended the Palmaz Heliport Planning Commission meeting this past Wednesday. Most objected, a few supported, and many simply let their red “Heli-NO” T-shirt speak on their behalf.

We are at a crossroads in Napa County. Our rural character and quality of life are at risk.

Napa is an industry town. That industry is wine. And the wine industry relies not only on soil and climate for its success but also a rural character that creates an ambiance by which visitors want to come, sip, and purchase.

Napans live in this industry town. We live in the wine country. And our quality of life is a combination of the natural beauty of the valley itself and the man-made beauty of our vineyards and wineries. Helicopters simply aren’t part of this rural character.

It’s easy to miss the big picture. This fight isn’t just about noise studies, no-fly zones, or enforcement. It’s not about the applicant’s past history or concerns about voluntary compliance. It’s about our vision for Napa County, enshrined in the Napa County General Plan, that protects agriculture, rural character, and quality of life.

The Napa County Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday, March 22, to vote on the Palmaz Heliport. I encourage everyone to attend, make your voice heard, and protect what we hold most dear.

Robert Pursell


Editor's note: County officials say the March 22 hearing is likely to be postponed.

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