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The Yes on Measure C campaign is running fast and loose with the facts, attempting to overshadow an independent legal analysis that concluded Measure C is “unlawfully vague and misleading.” Their desperate attempts to falsely label No on C as such is very concerning.

With over 45 years of farming experience in Napa County and being involved with multiple erosion control plans since the inception of the “Conservation Regulations” in the early 1990’s the level of scrutiny in agriculture watershed development is stringent. Hillside development is not only monitored during the construction phase but also has post completion spot checks by Napa County to assure compliance is maintained decades after a project is completed.

Here’s a handful of reasons why Measure C is unlawfully vague and misleading, and why voters should reject Measure C at the ballot box:

-- Napa County already has stringent environmental regulations in place to protect our watersheds. Existing regulations require a case-by-case scientific analysis to effectively protect our watersheds, resulting in stream setback requirements ranging from 85-150 square feet. Measure C does away with the case-by-case analysis, instead creating new stream classifications ranging from 25 to 125 feet. These numbers, on their face, actually weaken protections for our watersheds, and don’t base setbacks on science, but rather, a vaguely-defined classification (I, II or III) that all streams would fall under.

-- Napa County already has protections in place for our oak woodlands. While there is no acreage quota in place, tree removal is governed by strict state and county regulations, and oak removal decisions are based on scientific analysis, instead of classifying two 5-inch oaks as an “oak woodland” as Measure C would do.

-- If passed, Measure C would allow for 795 acres of oak woodlands to be removed before the permitting provisions of Measure C take effect. At that point, anyone who removes two 5-inch oaks on affected agricultural watershed parcels without a permit could be subject to misdemeanor charges, and wouldn’t be afforded the right to a hearing in violation of constitutional due process rights. Vineyards would be prevented from seeking a permit, the ultimate end-goal for Measure C’s authors. Measure C claims it will “protect our watersheds,” but does not have any watershed improvement programs or investments planned for Measure C.

-- Measure C would restrict agriculture, property rights and an ability to add on to one’s driveway, expand one’s home or use agriculturally-zoned lands for agricultural purposes if there was a nearby stream or pair of oak trees nearby.

While Yes on C can’t refute those facts, they continue to try and cover them up.

I urge you to vote No on C.

Peter Nissen, Director

Napa County Farm Bureau

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