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Driving north on the Silverado Trail past Bale Lane, look at the eastern hills. There is a large cut in the mountainside with a green pasture-like area below it. This is the Clover Flat Landfill. All the upper valley garbage goes there. The pasture-like green area is garbage that has been covered with dirt and seeded. The fact that you can see this from the trail means the landfill is close to capacity. Calistoga has approved three large resorts and St. Helena is considering more garbage generating development.

Where will our garbage go when the landfill is full?

It has not rained much during our two rainiest months -- January and February. Average rainfall for St. Helena is 26.96 inches -- we have received 9.3 inches or 34 percent of normal. The city has been sued by Water Audit California for taking too much water out of Bell Creek, which runs into our Bell Canyon Reservoir, the largest source of St. Helena water. The city settled and agreed to let more water leave the reservoir, also promising to study permanently bypassing the dam. The city buys water from Napa, but now we learn Yountville is running low and they want buy Napa water too. What if Napa doesn't have any to sell?

"Amid one of California's driest winters in modern history, state water regulators on Tuesday met in Sacramento to consider making permanent the water-wasting rules that were in effect during the last drought - rules that would carry fines of up to $500 per violation." from The Mercury News, Feb. 21, 2018.

While you are pondering this, here are the projects approved and proposed for the east side of St. Helena:

-On the Romero orchard on Pope Street: 51 homes

-On a 14 acre vineyard on Pope: winery, house, and apartments on the west side of College Avenue.

-684 McCorkle Townhomes (Brenkle Court) 8 units approved and started

-632 McCorkle Apartments, 8 units approved and started

-Turley Flats Apartment on Pope at Main, 8 units approved and started

-Hunter Subdivision Single & Multi Family 76 SF units 11 MF units equals 87 units total with possible 40 percent density bonus to 106 units plus 11 apartments equals 117

-Montessori Middle School 25 students

-Komes Custom Crush Facility, 890 Dowdell Lane, La Fata Street 120,000 gallons

-Redmond Winery Conversion (Dowdell Lane) 24,000 gallons/year winery uses plus commercial kitchen

-Farmstead Resort, 1000 Mills Lane 65 hotel units

The source of info was the Castellucci traffic analysis.

That makes for more than 164 new dwellings on the east side of town, which could translate into almost 650 new residents (164 times 4 per unit) to share our water and roads. Think about that next time the city asks you take short showers and take out your lawn.

Mariam Hansen

St. Helena