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County Supervisors Meet on Napa Pipe

Expect a crowd at the Napa Valley Opera House Monday afternoon when the Napa County Board of Supervisors takes on the controversial Napa Pipe development proposal, which divided the county planning commission last year.

Find all our Napa Pipe reporting, with links to other media, at our Napa Pipe topic pagenapavalley.patch.com/topics/Napa-Pipe

Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Napa County Board of Supervisors takes up Napa Redevelopment Partners' scaled-down Napa Pipe proposal, with 700 to 945 apartments and townhomes.

The public hearing at the Napa Valley Opera House is the latest in a protracted series of public meetings that began in early 2011 and is likely to continue well into 2013 and perhaps even beyond.

The latest development proposal for the former industrial site on the east bank of the Napa River also includes a Costco store for the estimated 27,000 Napa County residents who currently drive elsewhere to shop at the members-only retail giant.

"I think we can confidently say we have left no stone unturned," said Napa County Planning Commissioner Tony Scott, as he prepared to vote in favor of the developers' proposal at the commission's final Napa Pipe meeting last October.

A 3-2 majority of the planning commission, with Michael Basayne and Jim Fiddaman siding with Scott, voted to approve the project's environmental impact report (EIR) and send the proposal on to the supervisors.

Commissioners Heather Phillips and Matt Pope were in the minority, voting for the second time against approving the EIR for Napa Pipe.

The proposed development just outside Napa city limits has been controversial since it was first outlined more than four years ago as a mix of housing and business with 3,000-plus dwelling units.

Click here to read the origins of Napa Pipe in a detailed 2008 magazine article by this reporter.

The project's environmental impact report has been circulated twice, for extended periods, and aired in a series of hours-long public meetings during which scores of county residents took their turn at the microphone to voice their support or opposition.

The planning commission had been split on the proposal since May, 2012, when it voted 3-2 to send Napa Pipe to the supervisors before agreeing to revisit the decision with the October meeting.

The pause gave Napa Redevelopment Partners time to scale its proposal down to one with fewer homes and the addition of Costco, which has been lobbying its Napa members to support the plan.

Traffic, water and infrastructure impacts have recurred as objections from Napa Pipe opponents, while supporters emphasize the promise of affordable housing for county residents and the renewal of the Napa River waterfront property.

Click the "Keep me posted" button below for an automatic update whenever we publish news about Napa Pipe.

For more about the Napa Pipe development, including Michael Haley's traffic analysis and links to other reporting, please see our Napa Pipe topic page at napavalley.patch.com/topics/Napa-Pipe. Articles include:

  • Michael Haley: Napa Pipe Comment for January 14 meeting of the Board of Supervisors
  • What Really Happened at the Napa Pipe Meeting?
  • Letter: "Napa Pipe is Bad for Students"
  • County Holds Hearings on Napa Pipe
  • Comment Period Extended on Napa Pipe Report
  • Luce “Happy" to Keep Napa Pipe Industrial
  • New Napa Pipe Hearings Set
  • Where Do You Stand on Napa Pipe?
  • How Big Should Napa Pipe Be?
  • Was Law Broken at Napa Pipe Meeting?
  • Many Voices Expected at Napa Pipe Hearing
  • Napa Pipe Vote Postponed
  • Napa Pipe Plan Divides County Planners
  • Napa Pipe Hearings Canceled as Developers Revise Proposal
  • Napa Pipe Returns to Planning Commission

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Horus McGillikuddie January 14, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Oh geez. This is a big fish to fry. As usual, Michael P Wilson makes no sense and is all over the place. There is a need for housing in Napa. Among the nay sayers are those who overpayed for their home and don't want to see supply meet demand and thus reduce their home "value". This region will not / cannot retain a young and/or talented workforce without more accessible housing. The gap between known as the middle class is being forced out of Napa partly because of the lack of (good) affordable housing.
Alex Shantz January 14, 2013 at 05:55 PM
I for one absolutely agree there is a need for more lower income and affordable housing. My position is Napa Pipe is not the best place for this lower income and affordable housing. If I was in a position to make major policy decisions I would be looking at the following solutions: First, we should implement a living wage in Napa County so workers can afford the housing that does exist. Second, we should build more lower income and affordable housing within city limits where housing density already exists. And third, keep Napa Pipe zoned for industrial use and find a way to provide green energy jobs through the site. I think these are perfectly rational and forward thinking ideas which people truly invested in the community could get behind.
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau January 14, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Alex, the idea of an energy production project is commendable, but there would be serious issues with distributing that energy. The entire energy grid in Napa County is owned by PG&E. They would let a project supply energy to their grid, but they certainly wouldn't pay anything for the surplus energy. In fact, they would likely demand that a metering system be used to determine how much energy the project was supplying to their grid and then charge Napa County for use of the metering system. That's how it works if a home or business has a solar system that produces more energy than the home or business needs. Even if your house uses no electricity supplied by PG&E you still get a bill for about $10 per month for a "leased meter". So, the project would be fantastic, but it certainly wouldn't produce any revenue to pay for green jobs. And building a private distribution grid? Not a chance. PG&E has nearly unlimited resources to assure that their energy monopoly remains intact.
Scott Yeager January 14, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Please, don't swerve off into fact free land. If you choose to believe, against all scientific and empirical data, that the atmosphere is not warming and that it was "made up" by liberals and scientists to take away your "freedom" that is ok. But why advertise your ignorance?
Napa Citizen January 14, 2013 at 08:51 PM
That's nothing but malarkey! Pay your employees a BAY AREA wage! There are plenty of options here. The same ones that existed when I moved to Napa decades ago. We no longer have the housing bubble prices to contend with. I'm middle class, and I've done just fine. No one built me any affordable housing!

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