Democrats in Napa to hold forum on affordable housing

2014-04-12T10:00:00Z 2014-04-12T10:01:59Z Democrats in Napa to hold forum on affordable housingRegister staff Napa Valley Register
April 12, 2014 10:00 am  • 

The Democrats of Napa Valley Club is hosting a panel discussion about the challenges of building affordable housing in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country.

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis; Larry Florin, Napa County’s director of housing and intergovernmental affairs; and Rick Tooker, the city of Napa’s community development director, will give an overview on Napa’s housing situation.

Panels include Kathleen Dreessen, executive director, Napa Valley Community Housing; Ken Frank, board chairman of the Napa Chamber of Commerce and owner/chef of La Toque; Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd; Napa Councilman Alfredo Pedroza; and Rex Stults, government relations director for Napa Valley Vintners.

The forum will be Wednesday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. at Napa County Library, 580 Coombs St., Napa.

For more information, email

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(22) Comments

  1. Mashed Potatoes
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    Mashed Potatoes - April 12, 2014 10:57 am
    Want to know why Napa housing is not affordable? Please ask the city of Napa representatives why they charge $60,000 in permit, fees, water and sewer fees. Please ask why the Napa Valley Unified charges $19,000 for school impact fees. Please ask PG&E why it's fees are so high?
  2. Mashed Potatoes
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    Mashed Potatoes - April 12, 2014 2:57 pm
    And, Latinos Unidos stated in a letter to the editor last September that county officials scuttled water and sewer hookups for land zoned for affordable housing near Silverado Country Club. Could the Napa County officials please explain that. And, if they give the hooey about the water and sewer being inadequate will the county officials please explain why Whetstone Winery, next door to the land just got a city water hookup? Apparently affordable housing is only wanted in certain areas, not close to the country club.
  3. Red Dirt Town
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    Red Dirt Town - April 12, 2014 4:57 pm
    Really Bill Dodd did you say? You mean the one 'supervisor' who vaporized the only realistic affordable housing site in the General Plan from his district? You mean the very same Bill Dodd that had language in the General Plan changed so that his precious Silverado Country Club buddies would not be troubled by proximity to those unsightly 20 unit per acre projects?
    The Bill Dodd that worked behind then scenes ( and likely illegally) to have LAFCO make sure utilities would NOT be provided to those reasonable affordable housing sites Atlas Peak and Monticello Rd?

    Oh THAT Bill Dodd. Of course his approach to affordable housing is to stand his ground, go to court with Latinos Unidos, waste a million dollars of our tax money, in order to exclude the one and only site proximate to services, jobs, public transportation, schools and for cryin' out loud even Wal Mart, because it was in his back yard. That Bill Dodd is on the panel? You don't say.......

  4. Crosscountrykid
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    Crosscountrykid - April 12, 2014 5:47 pm
    It's no coincidence that Napa County has some of the most expensive housing in the country for ordinary working folk and one of the most restrictive land use ordinances in the country.
  5. Michael Haley
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    Michael Haley - April 12, 2014 11:47 pm
    CCK you understand that we have to have that restriction, the ag preserve, in order to maintain farmland which is the basis of our economy?

    We lose the farms we lose it all. We lose the farms we won't have to worry about affordable housing because we won't need the workers.

    The reason we don't have enough housing, affordable or otherwise, is because of farming. It will always be that way, unless we get rid of the farms.
  6. glenroy
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    glenroy - April 13, 2014 9:28 am
    Not a word about cleaning up a destructive modus they alone brought upon the middle class...

  7. Mashed Potatoes
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    Mashed Potatoes - April 13, 2014 11:38 am
    Michael. I think rents are high too because of the AG Preserve and farming limiting the amount of housing available. But when renters complain about high rents you and the other wealthy land owners profiting from high land prices ignore renters. You don't acknowledge the you continue to get rich.
  8. Mashed Potatoes
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    Mashed Potatoes - April 13, 2014 11:47 am
    To Red: I think the Democrats in Assembly District 4 who are supposed to be so attentive to people in need should be aware of what you are saying. I think the other candidates in the race should be aware that you have fingered one of the candidates in your comments. I think the person you names should tell us the truth. Renters and people who can't find affordable housing need to know who to vote for...which candidate is a true democrat and supportive of the people not just the unions.

    Can you find a way to publish your knowledge and provide sources? I have heard this too about the person you named being involved but cannot verify it.
  9. MrWnC
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    MrWnC - April 13, 2014 12:29 pm
    Hey I have a great idea! How about the grape growers (and every other employer) pay a wage sufficient enough so their employees can afford housing, healthcare, clothing and food for them and their families. The costs can then be passed along through the retail chain to the buyers/consumers of the product.
    Nooo that probably wouldn't work!!!
    I guess it is better to add fees and taxes on the rest of us. Thereby privatizing profit while spreading the costs around to the public.
    Hey just like the housing and banking crisis.
    This must be what they mean by capitalism. They reap the rewards while we suffer the risks.
  10. Caroline Silver
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    Caroline Silver - April 13, 2014 1:24 pm
    Wow! That is crazy about Bill Dodd's attack on affordable housing! Dan Wolk is the only candidate talking about poverty and income inequality. And he stood up to Joe Krovoza on his own City Council when they weakened that City's affordable housing rules (

    Dan Wolk appears to be the only Assembly candidate standing up for affordable housing!
  11. Peggy J
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    Peggy J - April 13, 2014 1:29 pm
    That is insane. Atlas Peak and Monticello Road is a TERRIBLE spot to put affordable housing units! Napa needs to learn from its past mistake and promote SMART GROWTH that focuses housing development near major transportation arteries (not one-lane rural roads!) and other sorts of consumer services (grocery, water, etc.).
  12. Crosscountrykid
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    Crosscountrykid - April 13, 2014 2:18 pm
    Michael, I totally agree. We've made our choice. My point is that further discussion about affordable housing is just about useless. I'm not criticizing, just saying the obvious.
  13. Mashed Potatoes
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    Mashed Potatoes - April 13, 2014 2:34 pm
    To Peggy. If what you say is true, why don't you ask the county supervisors why they rezoned the land near Silverado CC from RC to high density? Then tell us what they say. We all want to know the answer to that question.
  14. Mashed Potatoes
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    Mashed Potatoes - April 13, 2014 2:40 pm
    Oh yeah, Michael I forgot to mention all the monstrous tax breaks that large land owners get when they place conservation easements on their land then protected from any use by the big wig owned Napa Valley Land Trust. This has taken thousands of acres out of potential housing development, some of which that could have been used for affordable housing right here in Napa County. Those tax breaks shelter other income for wealthy people and are funded by the taxes from low and middle class wage earners who end up supporting the government while the wealthy get their tax loop holes.
  15. Michael Haley
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    Michael Haley - April 13, 2014 2:55 pm
    Taters, as is so often the case, you are wrong and just seem to say anything to support a philosophy regardless of the facts.

    First of all, I would make a lot, I mean A LOT more money if I could convert my farm over to development. Here's one example, I have a 14.5 acre parcel growing grapes that I make about 28K a year on growing grapes. Hardly a mega millionaire. However, if I could convert it to 14 one acre parcels and build estate homes on them, I could easily make $14 million just by selling the land. How long would it take to make $14 million at 28K a year?

    I am arguing against my own economic interests here, because I like the lifestyle of living in a smaller farming community.

    If everyone wants to build out the valley so there is more housing, I would accept that, and would profit immensely from it.

    I read stuff like this and it appears so obvious that locals don't understand their own economy, and it makes me think the ag preserve is doomed.
  16. V-Twink
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    V-Twink - April 13, 2014 8:12 pm
    Take a look to your neighbor to the north, Calistoga. Calistoga has approved four large resorts and a apartment complex. Zoning is not a priority, it was changed to allow these developments. Kudos to the city council of Calistoga. Zoning is a out of date socialist scheme and it is about time it be discarded so people can do with there property as they see fit, not the way the government sees fit.
  17. hyperbole
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    hyperbole - April 13, 2014 9:35 pm
    Dan Wolk also has been bought by the Davis Firefighter's union as well as other unions. If elected there will be paybacks. Look at his voting record flip-flop.

    Dan votes yes-

    Dan votes no and flip-flops-

    Al least Joe Krovoza was a consistent voice of reason.
  18. Solipsistic
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    Solipsistic - April 13, 2014 9:53 pm
    Once groundwater regulations go into place, this county is doomed.
  19. glenroy
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    glenroy - April 14, 2014 7:00 am
    Don't bring any facts into the equation MP.... they pass plenty of gas without help.

    There is pleny of low income housing in AmCan and other more rural areas of the county.
  20. Truth Addict
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    Truth Addict - April 14, 2014 10:16 pm
    Hypothetically you’re correct Mr. Haley, however, if the Ag Preserve was repealed and everyone could sell off small pieces of their land for development, the law of supply and demand would kick in. You’d be lucky to sell off that same one acre for the same $28K you make selling grapes every year. Your property value is completely dependent on the Ag Preserve.
  21. Michael Haley
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    Michael Haley - April 15, 2014 11:33 pm
    Perhaps truth addict, I am sorry I haven't kept up with this thread but in case you are still reading. In theory that is true, but all that land doesn't open up at once, we are constantly chipping away and every other place where that was done, Pasadena, San Jose, Orlando, etc were all farming communities which now have high priced residential over ALL the farms, and the main reason is that the farmers got more money for their land than they could make farming. Napa is a paradise and it would be covered in neighborhoods in no time flat. The more we build the more we need to build. We have to maintain slow growth to maintain farming.
  22. Michael Haley
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    Michael Haley - April 15, 2014 11:34 pm
    Tax breaks given to land owners are for farm land, and open space that would not be used for housing. Wrong again.
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