The residential development project at the Napa Pipe site was supposed to meet its fate in 2012.

The Napa County Board of Supervisors pledged to finally vote on the controversial project’s fate this year, five years after the project’s application was submitted to the county Planning Department.

The significant changes the proposal underwent in 2012 rank it third in the Napa Valley Register’s countdown of the top 10 stories of the year.

The Planning Department wrapped up work on completing the project’s environmental impact report in February, which set the stage for the county Planning Commission to hold a series of public meetings.

These meetings, some lasting long into the night, featured charged rhetoric from proponents and opponents of Napa Pipe. In May, the commission voted 3-2 to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve the project.

But with a meeting date for the supervisors’ vote looming in June, the project’s developers pulled their application and gave it a significant overhaul, shrinking its size from 2,050 units to 700 to 945 units and adding a site for a Costco, a school and a community farm.

That led to more delays — Napa Pipe has seen plenty already — and makes 2013 the target for resolving the project’s fate.

The revised Napa Pipe plan went to the county Planning Commission again this fall, and again got a 3-2 vote in favor of approval.

The project application, which asked for zoning and General Plan changes to allow for residential construction at the former industrial site, was slated to go to the supervisors in December.

But that was pushed off until January when the city and county announced that they wanted to engage in discussions that could lead the city to extend services to the site — water, most crucially — and potentially lead to the annexation of Napa Pipe within city limits.

Much remains to be resolved in 2013. If the city extends services, city officials say that would require approval from the Local Agency Formation Commission so the city could extend its sphere of influence, and a four-fifths vote of approval from the City Council. Annexation would require voter approval.

Those steps will hinge on a possible deal between the city and the county. They’re discussing revenue-sharing, housing allocation credits, mitigating the project’s impact, and expanding the city’s role in planning for the site, among other subjects.

The city and the county had been down this path previously, as they engaged in the same discussions before those talks broke off near the end of 2008. From that point on, the county continued planning for the site to remain in the unincorporated area, while the city began to vocally oppose the project.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take up the project application on Jan. 14, and give residents an early update as to whether the city and the county have made any headway in their talks.

(7) comments


Such drama...


Wineandfood, it doesn't matter what proposal your talking about it's still a bad fit for the citizens of the City of Napa to put any housing in this location. I'm afraid it's a done deal though, the right sups were bought off by the developer before he spent a nickle and now the developer feels it's his right just because of the money he's invested. Now he wants to get involved in the Copia area. You know what they say about letting the camel get his nose under flap of the tent or feeding a stray dog or cat, you'll never get rid of them. I'm sure this developer feels he's hit the softest touch of his life, and we'll never get rid of him until he destroys our city.


Even though it is smaller than it started, it is still a huge project, one of the biggest in Napa history. I guess I wouldn't be so opposed to it if there were some kind of overall plan to limit growth in Napa. But we have in various stages of proposal or development some 2000 hotel rooms, three new wineries a month, 5000 families in the city of Napa alone that need affordable housing and on and on. Everyone wants to build right now, and there seems to be no overall plan. We do not have the infrastructure and there is no apprarent plan in place to handle all this.

The big problem with Napa Pipe is that it appears to be the first step in a lot of development to turn Napa into something much bigger.

Are we going to lose the small town community feeling we have that is already starting to fade, for what, more shopping and another hundred wineries? It aint worth it.

We already have too much land in development areas in the general plan. Keep Napa Pipe industrial.


Catch up Publiusa - you're still talking about the old much larger proposal.


I think Napa Pipe developers are seductive but not every BOS is easily seduced Publiusa. Just a few of them are and they should be identified.


Napa Pipe does not provide adequate infrastructure nor traffic mitigation and causes many environmental issues detrimental to Napa County. No schools are to be built to provide for the thousands of children. That means that Napans will be intimidated into paying for the schools. Is that ok!? Or, do we reject new school bonds? If we reject new school bonds the Napa Pipe kids will overcrowd our schools. Is that OK? Do you want to pay $500 a year increase in your property taxes to pay for school bonds to buy schools for Napa Pipe kids? The truth is, the developer is going to get away with this just like the American Canyon developers got away...and who had to buy the American Canyon high school???...Napans! How do the developers get away with it???...The wine and dine the city council and the county supervisors and take them on trips to Mexico and get their votes...then we taxpayers get the bill!


Thanks for succinctly describing the real reasons for the project. Just like the fertile Santa Clara Valley, our valley will soon be paved over in concrete. So sad.

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