Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

The way the system works

  • Updated

Much has been said and written about how “unfair” the current turmoil over the Walt Ranch has been to its current owners, our self-described neighbors and “family" vintners (aka Hall Brambletree Associates LP of Frisco, Texas).

True, the Halls have technically followed all the legal guidelines required to develop their property, but have allegedly failed to satisfactorily fulfill the requirements of CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act). And that is at the heart of the dispute.

Now, I’m a firm believer in private property rights and capitalism. I’m also a believer in the rule of law, one of the founding principles of our nation. The process that is unfolding now at the Board of Supervisors level is precisely what is provided for in the legal system. Proponents of the project make their best case, and opponents have chosen to evoke their right of appeal, largely using scientific and legal information pertinent to the project to which the supervisors (it is assumed) had not previously been exposed.

The supervisors will make a decision, and if that’s unacceptable to the opponents, then they have the additional option to litigate. The process is working precisely as intended.

To be sure, this an emotionally charged issue, one that has generated a great deal of attention outside of Napa County. It is also a very expensive one, for everyone involved and potentially for all Napa Valley residents and beyond. There’s a great deal more at stake here than just another $100-plus bottle of Napa Cab, so let the process take its due course. And if that becomes the basis for change, politically (as in the election of local officials who truly care about the future of our valley) or regulatory (as in updating current laws, ordinances and policies), so be it.

Gordon Evans

Napa

Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

So, according to the folks at Visit Napa Valley, they are “managing tourism in a strategic manner,” and “We are not overrunning the place with…

So, according to the folks at Visit Napa Valley, they are “managing tourism in a strategic manner,” and “We are not overrunning the place with…

On the one hand, Napa Valley wineries clamor for more visitors, events, tasting rooms, etc. because “so much of their income now depends on di…

How refreshing to read of the Citizens’ Voice St. Helena group, and their efforts to bring a dose of reality to the borderline-insane devotion…

Having attended both of Mr. Pedroza’s town hall meetings thus far, I am incredulous at Mr. Waugh’s laudatory remarks about Pedroza’s “transpar…

I haven’t seen any reporting on this event in the Napa Valley Register, so I thought I’d share a couple of my takeaways from Alfredo Pedroza's…

Oh my, another piece of psycho-babble by one of Michael Bloomberg’s toadies, spouting his thinly-veiled left-wing anti-gun rhetoric ("Doctors …

I enjoyed my recent visit to the Napa Valley but was appalled at receiving my hotel bill to find a $53 per night local tourism marketing tax, …

I can only speak for myself, but I love our city’s urban forest and part of that urban forest is our tree-lined streets. Napa’s trees provide …

Over 6,300 Napa County registered voters petitioned the Board of Supervisors this year to put a watershed protection initiative on November’s …

To kill a tree, start your saw. Walk up to its face and make a notch cut. On the other side, saw through the trunk, above the notch. The tree …

Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors from those opposing the Walt Ranch vineyard proposal. The proprietors of the Walt Ranch vineyard prop…

Over the years, I have written to both the late George Carl and his son, Guy, about the needless and wanton slaughter of billfish purely for s…

Having attended almost two years of County-sponsored workshops and Board of Supervisors hearings regarding groundwater quality/quantity/sustai…

What better, albeit tragic, example of the long-term effects of deforestation and destroying historical wetlands than that we now see in Houst…

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News