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    Sara S's Avatar
    Sara S
    Auntie Wacco

    Preserving a Balance

    from letters to the editor, Pess Democrat, 12/22/15:
    Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

    Preserving a balance
    EDITOR: Since 2000, Sonoma County has experienced explosive growth in the approval of wineries, accompanied by increasingly more intense hospitality and entertainment activities. By 2014, the county approved twice the number of facilities assumed in the general plan (436 wineries), and there are now 60 applications pending.

    More and more wineries have become venues for events and commercial activities. On most weekends, parking overflows and traffic congestion clogs up narrow, winding, country roads. These conditions create life-threatening road hazards for rural residents, especially when combined with party-level alcohol consumption.
    Fortunately, the Board of Supervisors has acknowledged the problem and will be voting on new standards in the coming year. We hope that the supervisors will uphold general plan policies designed to steer tourism-related hospitality uses to urban centers and protect rural agricultural lands. Standards will not take anything away from the facilities that are operating lawfully now and will create a level playing field to the benefit of all wineries.

    Rural residents are asking county officials to preserve that balance between agriculture, natural areas and rural ambiance, with town-centered marketing of local products. Our county has benefited from Napa’s overdevelopment and its diminished tourist experience. Let’s not make the same mistakes here.
    Last edited by Barry; 12-22-2015 at 11:00 PM.
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