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Your View: The next Napa? Careful what you wish for

Having grown up in the Napa Valley, just outside of Yountville, I would like to add my insight to your editorial.

In 1955 there were seven wineries between Napa and Calistoga. Fast forward 65-plus years and there are over 400 wineries.

Do they all survive? Of course not. Owning a winery and producing wine is an expensive endeavor and one should be aware of this prior to making the leap. It is not just some romantic whim.

How has this winery growth impacted the community? Well, if you think you can leave your house on the weekends and travel on Highway 29, think again. Limousines carrying wedding parties, tour buses and individual visitors crowd the highway, making traffic a nightmare.

Real estate developers came in and gobbled up land and subdivided the area. Home prices have skyrocketed. Last year Silverado Trail burned, as did Sonoma. Mendocino is currently on fire.

Ironically, my spouse and I recently moved to the Rogue Valley for the slower pace and open, undeveloped space it offered. Our home is almost directly across from Rellick Winery on Old Stage Road. Driving toward Jacksonville I see five homes for sale within a 2-mile radius. I can name at least two real estate developers subdividing this area.

I want to caution everyone to be very careful what you wish for. Be mindful of how growth and development can change a beautiful, peaceful, serene setting. And should it go that route, it will never be the same again. It must be achieved with consideration for all who call this beautiful area their home.

Carla Fracchia Jamison lives in Central Point.

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