The posting of scores of signs urging Napa County voters to reject an Angwin land-use initiative has generated the ire of proponents of the measure.

Reading “No on Measure U,” the signs went up around the county late last week, attached to light posts, real estate signs and high up on utility poles, making them difficult to take down.

The “No on Measure U” campaign, backed by Pacific Union College, paid a private vendor to put the signs up, PUC President Dr. Heather Knight said Thursday.

Knight said the vendor informed the campaign that the postings were legal, although proponents of the measure disagree. Beth Painter, a land-use consultant working on the opponents’ campaign, said many of the signs were vandalized, torn up, and several were left on the college’s property.

A phone call to the vendor who placed the signs, Oakdale-based Kirk Briggs Signs Inc., wasn’t returned Thursday afternoon.

Proponents of Measure U, including the conservation group Save Rural Angwin, assert that many of the signs were posted on private property without owners’ permission.

Save Rural Angwin Chairman Mike Hackett said Thursday that while driving around to put up “Yes on Measure U” signs he’s asked property owners if they gave permission for the “no” signs to be put up. Everyone he talked to said they didn’t, he said.

“Our reaction is they talk about property rights but they violate other people’s property rights — it’s as simple as that,” Hackett said. “We could not find a single case where permission was asked for.”

Hackett said proponents have made complaints to Napa County’s and the city of Napa’s code enforcement about the signs, as well as the mayor of American Canyon, Leon Garcia.

Napa County Public Works Director Steve Lederer said his office will respond to complaints that signs are in a public right-of-way, but if it’s on private property it’s a matter for Napa County code enforcement.

Knight said she’s received complaints about the signs, all from members of Save Rural Angwin, and promptly passed them along to campaign staff.

“I received a couple of complaints from SRA members,” Knight said. “I’ve received two emails and sent them right along.”

In many cases, the “no” signs were placed deliberately in front of a “yes” sign, Hackett said. He said the “yes” signs were placed only where proponents got permission from property owners, and always in compliance with local zoning ordinances that regard political signage.

“Everybody else asked permission,” Hackett said. “These guys just came in and did it.”

Measure U, if approved by voters on Nov. 6, would change the general plan designation for three parcels of land in Angwin that have an urban residential designation in the General Plan and are owned by Pacific Union College.

Two of the parcels are west of Howell Mountain Road and would change to agricultural designation, which places them under the voter-approval urban growth provisions of Measure P, while the third is north of PUC and would change to public institutional.

Proponents, including Save Rural Angwin, contend that the measure will stop future development from occurring in Angwin.

Opponents, which include the college, argue that it would trample property rights, would disrupt the college’s long-term plans, and the changes it seeks to enact are better made by the Napa County Board of Supervisors.

Hackett said while he objected to the “no” signs, he wasn’t interested in ratcheting up the dispute.

“I don’t want to start a war of the signs,” Hackett said. “It’s not earth-shaking here.”

(10) comments

Toewsish Bear
Toewsish Bear

"they talk about property rights but they violate other people’s property rights". They talk about creating a lot of value but in fact I've witnessed them destroy a lot of value. They talk about real estate and how they have l lot of assets but don't have any cash. The list goes on and on. If they understood the accounting they'd know that cash is an asset. They don't describe what their fixed assets are. They bigger problem is they want to tell their story when no-one wants to listen.

Red Dirt Town
Red Dirt Town

Just back from American Canyon where the town was a hardest hit along the 29 corridor. These illegal signs are placed 40 up on utility poles in abandoned gas stations etc. So much for local support of this initiative!

American Canyon tax payers, sadly, are allready feeling the bite of developemnt threats in Angwin, as they will have to pay their public works crews to remove thse red signs if in fact, they are ever to come down. Otherwise they just become litter.

Frugal citizens, cautious of costs from big development will be voting YES on Measure U!

roadrunner
roadrunner

Isn't it ironic that PUC, the great proponents of "private property rights", would show so little respect for the "property rights" of others by putting up signs without permission? Guess they only wish to defend their OWN property rights, not anyone else's. We could have guessed that, however, since they and their developer friends want to develop Angwin for their own profit and give not a hang about what that will do to their neighbors' property values.

Perceptive
Perceptive

I can’t imagine anyone voting no on U unless it is someone connected to pUc who has been sold a bill of goods. Who else would have any interest in promoting the urbanization of Angwin?

pUc’s signs should not worry the U advocates. The signs are simply an intellectual equivalent of a spite fence. pUc can carpet-bomb the County with their propaganda but they can’t change the fact they are wrong.

Wineandfood
Wineandfood

vandalizing signs, that is tacky not to mention illegal. i find it disingenuous that they complain about the legality of the opponents signs, and then break the law in destroying them or taking them down. just like their campaing slogans, very disengenuous.

Perceptive
Perceptive

The vandalized signs had nothing to do with U. The couple of signs they are trying to make issue with seemed to be on the College's own property in a remote location which suggested they were most likely the work of their own students.

You may be surprised to learn that virtually anything that pUc says is not what it seems.

Red Dirt Town
Red Dirt Town

It looks like citizens need to take back the county! Who are these bandits who have littered, tresspassed, and vandalized our roadways, parking areas, vineyards and homes?

gettingreal
gettingreal

Some local, Adventist families have put generations of blood, sweat and treasure to make PUC what it is today. For the college board to tell these people that they have no say is astonishing. It's time to take back our college.

vocal-de-local
vocal-de-local

This story may seem a little fuzzy but what it means is that Pacific Union College made a decision to NOT play by the rules. They, (or the person/s they hired) decided it wasn't worth their time to get permission to place campaign ads on private properties. They just did what they wanted to do without input from property owners. Not ok.

napablogger
napablogger

This kind of thing happens every election, although I have to say the number and the audacity of the violations is remarkable.

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