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.