Napa, California-March 9, 2015 – A coalition of concerned citizens from across Napa County has formed VISION 2050, seeking more influence in local land use policy and environmental decisions. The Coalition represents over a dozen organizations that have banded together to create a Political Action Committee to lobby local government on current development policies and practices. Its mission is to ensure the permanent sustainability of the finite resources of Napa County.
“We are advocating for responsible, forward-looking planning rather than business as usual. So we have joined together to confront the challenges of inappropriate development in the Agricultural Preserve, in Agricultural Watershed and in the municipalities,” according to spokesperson Dan Mufson.
Believing that the current local planning systems are not providing the necessary stewardship of our limited resources, members of VISION 2050 strive to harness public concerns over excessive and inappropriate development and the resulting financial and environmental costs.
“VISION 2050 will be a force for positive, collaborative change. We are a group of residents who are proactive about conserving resources and the quality of life we see gradually slipping away. Local planning policy is creating unintended consequences up and down the Napa Valley. We are in danger of encouraging the wine and tourism industries to choke on their own success,” says Mufson.
VISION 2050 is the first example of such an overarching coalition in the Napa Valley. “VISION 2050 exists to preserve local values and to protect our water resources, forests, rural communities, agriculture and open space,” said Mufson, adding, “We want to build on the legacy of the visionary leaders of the 1960’s and ‘70’s who created the Agricultural Preserve and the Rural Urban Limits (RUL) to prevent Napa County from replicating the sprawl of subdivisions and strip malls that dominate so many communities of the Bay Area. Let’s refocus on a sustainable approach to both agriculture and wine making”.
The Napa County Statement of Vision reads: “The legendary wine destination of Napa Valley will be recognized as a thriving and sustainable community within an agricultural treasure.” The VISION 2050 Coalition believes we have lost sight of that goal. Therefore, the Coalition has requested a voice in the process of evaluating and revising current policies to reflect that vision. Planning Director David Morrison is now recommending the formation of an ad hoc Advisory Committee that will include representatives from a broad base, including community and environmental groups. “We applaud this effort,” says Mufson, “and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to help ensure that Napa regains its rural quality of life and a sustainable environment.”
Vision 2050 Steering Committee
Mike Hackett, Angwin
Charlotte Williams, Citizens for a Green Community
David Heitzman, Defenders of the East Napa
Ginna Beharry, Dry Creek Road Alliance
Eve Kahn, Get a Grip on Growth
Chris Malan, Living Rivers Council
Gary Margadant, Mt. Veeder Stewardship Council
Diane Shepp, Protect Rural Napa
Mary Ann Moffitt, Save Yountville Hill
Nancy Tamarisk, Sierra Club
Geoff Ellsworth, St. Helena Citizens
Dan Mufson, Watersheds Alliance for Atlas Peak, [email protected]