Alameda County voters will decide whether or not to amend the original Measure D that was passed by voters in 2000 in an effort to preserve agricultural land and open space.
Upon review of the measure itself, the official pro and con arguments in the county voter guide and statements from stakeholders, we've concluded that 2022's Measure D improves upon what was already established 22 years ago. Therefore, we recommend Yes on Measure D.
As with any planning document, it is important to review the terms over time to make sure that it remains relevant and effective to support the current needs of the community. In this case, the Alameda County Local Agency Formation Commission did exactly that and produced a report with recommended text changes that would allow for more flexibility for the size and location of buildings and expand permitted wine country visitor-serving uses within Alameda County.
The changes proposed in Measure D would benefit the Tri-Valley, specifically, as they are pertinent to sustaining and growing the Livermore Valley wine region -- a valuable source of agriculture and tourism. It also allows for the building and renovation of equestrian facilities as well as storage and production facilities for other agriculture businesses such as florists and olive oil producers.
The Livermore City Council previously expressed unanimous support for the amended Measure D. It is also supported by co-author of the original Measure D, Dick Schneider, and the Tri-Valley Conservancy.
In its opposition of the measure, the Alameda County Taxpayers' Association argues that Measure D would allow larger wineries in the county -- like Livermore's Wente and Darcie Kent vineyards -- to grow into "wine factories," which would threaten open space. However, based on the stated goals and our own review of the measure, this concern comes across as more of a fear-mongering tactic than an actual consequence of passing Measure D.
The provisions that are currently in place to prohibit uncontrolled growth remain intact in the new Measure D and any future changes to the overall general plan for the protected open space areas would still need to be approved by voters, which maintains the system of checks and balances that have kept excessive growth at bay for the past two decades.
To move away from stagnation and advance the local agriculture industry, vote Yes on Measure D.