Napa Pipe

County considers ‘light-speed’ talks with city on Napa Pipe

May deadline set to reach deal on services, revenue
2013-01-15T18:05:00Z 2013-12-29T17:53:01Z County considers ‘light-speed’ talks with city on Napa PipePETER JENSEN Napa Valley Register
January 15, 2013 6:05 pm  • 

Following Monday’s hearing on the Napa Pipe project, elected officials in Napa County and the city of Napa awoke Tuesday to a ticking clock.

The Board of Supervisors, with consent from Napa Mayor Jill Techel, voted Monday to put a 120-day window on brokering an agreement over the project site, and Napa Pipe’s fate could hang in the balance.

That gives officials until May 14 to reach a deal. While four months may seem like a long time to Napa County residents, Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht said Tuesday that, “We’re going to go light-speed for government in trying to put this together.”

The board voted on Tuesday to appoint Supervisors Bill Dodd and Keith Caldwell to a “two-by-two” committee, which will be joined by two elected officials from city government to come up with a deal.

Dodd suggested at Monday’s hearing that Techel would also likely be involved in this process from the city’s side. It was not clear Tuesday if the city has appointed its two representatives.

This document would spell out if the city of Napa would provide water to a residential development at Napa Pipe, how the jurisdictions would divide tax revenue from the project, project-specific entitlements, if the city would provide services such as police and fire, mitigating traffic, credit for housing allocations, and eventually a potential path to annexing the site within city limits.

Extending city services to the Napa Pipe site would take a four-fifths vote of approval from the Napa City Council, while annexation would require voter approval. Providing services means extending the city’s sphere of influence, which would also need approval from the Napa County Local Agency Formation Commission.

Larry Florin, the county’s director of Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs, told the board Tuesday that county staff believed that this two-by-two format could bear fruit in the negotiations.

“It’s fair to say there’s a desire to re-engage,” Florin said of the results of Monday’s hearing. “We thought this would be a good forum.”

Napa County Executive Officer Nancy Watt said that a professional mediator is also option that may be worth exploring. Wagenknecht said he favored that idea.

“Whatever we could get to make this function would be a benefit,” Wagenknecht said.

He also said that officials from both jurisdictions have been pointing fingers on who’s to blame for the talks’ prior failure, but he hopes each side can get past that.

“There’s been a lot of talk about where this broke down in the past,” Wagenknecht said. “There are two sides to every story. There could be some hard feelings from the process that’s gone on.”

He said he felt the team of Caldwell and Dodd offered the best means of getting an agreement accomplished.

“I feel very comfortable that their goals will be to get us to a positive conclusion in 120 days,” Wagenknecht said.

Supervisor Mark Luce said it’s a chance to rehabilitate relationships between the city and the county, which have been strained over the Napa Pipe project.

“We need to rebuild some bridges over this process,” Luce said.

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(4) Comments

  1. gettingreal
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    gettingreal - January 16, 2013 1:40 pm
    The biggest problem with this whole deal is that every developer from here on will buy property and expect to get a zoning change. Truly disgraceful!
  2. Michael Butler
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    Michael Butler - January 16, 2013 9:53 pm
    City and County:

    Remember the tax revenues that are generated from tourists coming to our valley. When the city comes up with extra money in the budget that was unexpected, it's not from an increase in sales taxes from stores like Costco, it's from tot taxes and other revenue having to do with tourism. When it comes time build already approved hotels within the city, you might find in future years that the occupancy levels are down, and thus the accompanying taxes,because the uniqueness of Napa is no longer an attraction. Couple that with the additional traffic that will clog our highways, (regardless of what an outside traffic engineer tells you) and you end uphave a place that while still nice
  3. Michael Butler
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    Michael Butler - January 17, 2013 9:33 am
    no longer is a go to place to get away from it all. Remarks to that effect are already being made as people drive up HWY 29 and see the Orchard and Target signs as they bypass the city of Napa and head to destinations further up the highway. The same comments are being made around struggling to get to the Napa Valley through the so called gateway to the Napa Valley (American Canyon). I believe that there was a traffic study there too by the the developer who built the Walmart Center that said that what is happening there now, would not happen. Hmmm Do you see the similarities?

    While I'm happy to see Julia and Jill working on this project on behalf of the city, it is a little disconcerting to see Bill Dodd on the county's side. His opinion on the project as well as his close relations with the developer, should give any bright individual a reason to question the process.
  4. Red Dirt Town
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    Red Dirt Town - January 17, 2013 5:58 pm
    Butler....On to Dodd. He is buddys with every developer drooling around the county offices.
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