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One good start to helping traffic on rural roadways in Napa County is to stop approving tasting rooms and so-called event centers in rural Napa County. Allow wineries but eliminate all future applications that request an on-site tasting room.

Wineries are all crying that they need a tasting room to connect with the end consumer or they will be out of business. Put future applicants on notice that if they want a tasting room, it will have to be in the commercially zoned areas of a city.

If they know that going into their goal of developing a winery, they can decide whether or not to build a winery before they file for a permit. If they decide they cannot make it without that direct consumer interaction on a agriculturally zoned property, maybe that is an indication they need to do something different.

What is stopping someone with an olive or walnut orchard from making the same claim that they cannot survive without having a “tasting room” to sample their products? Heaven help us when the cannabis growers start using the same argument.

Scott Atkinson

Calistoga

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