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Napa County "Save Measure J Initiative", Measure P (November 2008)

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A Napa County General Plan Initiative, Measure P ballot question was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Napa County, California, where it was approved.

Measure P extended through to the year 2058 the provisions of Measure J, the Agricultural Lands Preservation Initiative, which voters passed in 1990.

Measure P was a citizen-initiated measure.

Election results

Measure P
Approveda Yes 24,300 62.27%
These final, certified, election results are from the Napa County elections office.


Under existing state law, each county is required to adopt a General Plan. The General Plan controls the manner in which lands that are not within a city (hereafter “unincorporated area”) may be developed. The General Plan establishes land use categories and places each parcel of land in the unincorporated area into one of these land use categories. Each land use category includes regulations identifying minimum parcel size and building intensity of lands included within that category. Napa County has adopted a General Plan which categorizes all land as “Urban” or “Open Space”. Lands categorized as Open Space are subcategorized as Agricultural Resource (“AR”) or Agriculture, Watershed and Open Space (“AWOS”). The Napa County General Plan includes a minimum parcel size of 40 acres for lands within the AR subcategory and a minimum parcel size of 160 acres for lands within the AWOS subcategory.

In 1990 the voters of Napa County passed the Agricultural Lands Preservation Initiative (“Measure J”). Measure “J” provides that, until December 31, 2020, changes to the General Plan policies describing intent, minimum parcel size and maximum building intensity of lands designated AR or AWOS cannot occur unless approved by the voters. Measure “J” also requires voter approval to change the designation of AR and AWOS lands to a new designation unless certain limited exceptions apply.

Measure “J” includes the following exceptions where changes to the General Plan Map will not require voter approval: (1) changes reflecting annexations to cities; (2) changes permitting solid waste disposal facilities involving waste generated solely within Napa County; (3) changes involving land physically unusable for agriculture provided certain conditions are met; and (4) changes to avoid the County condemning private property.

Measure “P” is written in a similar manner as Measure “J.” Measure “P” readopts portions of the Napa County General Plan as amended through September 28, 2007, requiring that, until December 31, 2058, those sections cannot be changed unless first approved by the voters. Measure “P” readopts existing General Plan provisions that specify the intent, maximum building intensity, and minimum parcel sizes permitted in agricultural areas designated as AR and AWOS. Similar to Measure “J,” Measure “P” requires voter approval to change the designation of lands identified as either AR or AWOS to a new designation unless certain limited exceptions apply. Measure “P” includes a new exceptions allowing the Board of Supervisors to designate AR or AWOS lands to another designation without voter approval where necessary to meet state mandated housing obligations but only if certain conditions are met.

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