Hello! We wish you a warm welcome to our fully permitted vacation rental here in new, friendlier, easier-to-get-along-with St. Helena. Please do not let anyone know you are here.

We can’t tell you how hard it was to get this permit. It took the head of our planning commission hours of reviewing rentals on the Internet to blow the lid off the whole unregulated guest-unit scandal, days for city staff to draft a proposed ordinance, then under a year for the city council to consider, refer for consideration, consider deciding, defer deciding, and finally agree to consider deciding approval of the ordinance.

Once approved, adopted, made effective and implemented, the council allocated permits on a “first-come-first-served” basis, getting that idea from the local deli and the DMV. This set loose a stampede of would-be hoteliers rushing city hall, anxious to turn their illegal garage rentals into fully taxable enterprises. Picture the great Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893, or a herd of prospectors rushing to stake a claim to the same sporadically-profitable gold mine.

Through patience, determination, and incessant complaining to cause our neighbors’ forfeiture of their vacation rental permits, we were finally able to obtain one of our own. Don’t screw it up for us, or the only “wine country” you’ll be visiting in the future will be outside Lodi.

We are statutorily required to lay down a few House Rules. Please comply with them, or if you cannot, procure the silence of witnesses by invoking Permit Retention Procedure #1: Give them a nice bottle of Cabernet (use the box in the cellar marked “Bribing the Neighbors”) and relay our promise not to complain when their cousin Bob parks his Winnebago in front of our ranch-style Mediterranean villa for the month of July.

Maximum Occupancy: The number of bedrooms is limited to five, and the number of people sharing a bedroom is limited to two, plus two extras, meaning that only two of you in the house can have a three-way at any given time within the residential zoning district.

Parties: The number of allowed guests is two times the two people sharing a bedroom, plus two, with a maximum of 20. That means if you are one dozen single ladies sharing our five bedroom house for the summer, then only eight of you can bring a date to your own party, which is fine, because let’s face it, how many single men are out there anyway?

Noise: Please observe quiet time between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., but if you must be noisy, please broadcast our emergency diversionary sound-CD of children laughing and splashing and singing “Happy Birthday,” because who would be mean enough to call the cops on a bunch of little kids? Absolutely no amplified sound is permitted, and that means you, Plácido Domingo, and don’t try sneaking in the Philharmonic ever again!

Conduct: Do not be drugged or disorderly, but drinking is fine so long as it’s a Napa Valley vintage costing at least $20 per bottle. In the event that your drinking has made you obnoxious to others, please implement Permit Retention Procedure #2: Tell everyone you are in town for “The Wine Auction” (local-speak for Auction Napa Valley).

Parking: You are forbidden to park on the street. You’ll have to hire a driver to circle the neighborhood like everyone else.

In Case of Emergency: As you know, we live in Palm Beach, Frankfurt and Cape Town, which makes it difficult to respond to neighbor complaints within the legally-mandated 30-minute timeframe. But don’t worry; we’ve hired Frank to be our “property manager.” Frank has no handyman skills, scant personal charm and a serious substance abuse problem. Luckily this renders him both unemployable and awake at all hours — so he can be there on a moment’s notice 24/7. He can’t seem to hang on to cell phones, so we’ve given him a walkie-talkie — your handset is on the wine fridge.

In the event you are cornered by an angry mob of neighbors with the planning department’s phone number on speed dial, please implement Permit Retention Procedure #3: Tell them you are doing a site survey on behalf of the Society for Affordable Housing in Residential Neighborhoods, and you’ve heard (confidentially) that one more complaint will cause the city to pull our permit and allow its conversion into multiple affordable housing units. You will hear no further complaints from our neighbors.

(Laura Rafaty is the owner of PennalunaNapaValley.com, a resident of St. Helena, a Tony-nominated producer, author and columnist. Read more at laurarafaty.com.)