Is another battle over agriculture in Napa Valley on the horizon?

by TrevR on October 7, 2007

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Those of you who follow this blog closely know we’re big fans of James Conaway’s two books about the political struggles over agriculture in the Napa Valley. Well, who knows what Conaway is up to these days, but there may just be the makings of another plotline for book number three.

A story in today’s Napa Valley Register highlights a couple new initiatives that aim to get two land-use measures on the ballot for voters in the coming year. One (called Measure J) would build on the very legislation that Conaway so thoroughly examined in his books.

Here’s the key excerpt:

The goal of the Measure J extension is not to derail any specific project, but to preserve the strength of agriculture in the Napa Valley.

The initiative is largely written as a copy of 1990’s Measure J, except for language that allows for affordable housing to be built where other suitable land can’t be found and the proposal to extend until 2058 the voter-approval control on zoning changes to agricultural land.

Documents filed with the county elections office show proponents of the initiative include grapegrowers and agricultural preservationists, including Napa County Farm Bureau members Volker Eisele, Ron Taddei, Al Wagner of Clos du Val, as well as former Upvalley Supervisor Mel Varrelman.

It’s amazing to see many of the same characters from Conaway’s books still pushing the issue here in the valley. It’ll be interesting, no doubt, to see how things shake out in the coming months.

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, Clos du Val, Mel Varrelman, Volker Eisele, Measure J]

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About the Author

has written 724 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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