Wikipedia describes urban planning as “a technical and political process concerned with 1) the welfare of people, 2) control of the use of land, 3) design of the urban environment including transportation and communication networks and 4) protection and enhancement of the natural environment.

Napa has the last part of this covered with the Ag Preserve. Now we need to devise a strategy to address the other areas in an inclusive, thoughtful and collaborative manner.

We can officially include Napa Chamber of Commerce members and local businesses among those with increasing interest — and concerns — regarding our future “downtown growth and development plan.”

Due to the amount of government-owned land/properties that fall within this urban planning zone, collaboration between the city and government is required to address the “technical and political process AND control and use of the land. ”

I recently attended a discussion hosted by the city on a Master Plan for the five-acre parcel that once housed the Cinedome Theatre.

It was a thoughtful presentation that left me with more questions than answers.

We know the Downtown Specific Plan is the master plan for ALL of downtown. It guides decisions for the future of this area and it went through a rigorous public vetting process.

Have we checked in on the plan lately? Are there new conditions to be aware of? Do current projects and activities meet those predicted at the time of approval?

NCC Members News: Congratulations to NCC members Bank of Napa and Bank of Marin on their recent merger/acquisition.

Founded in 2006 as a small local community bank, Bank of Napa earned its way to the Top 200 Healthiest Banks in the Country list for the past two years under the leadership of President Tom LeMasters.

Both LeMasters and Bank of Marin CEO Russ Colombo indicate the collaboration between the two A+ rated industry leaders will ultimately increase its community banking presence in Napa County, and provide additional benefits to our local businesses.

Bank of Napa Part II: Vice President Sandra Re Sims recently announced her retirement after 40 years in the banking business. My wife and I had the pleasure of working with her as Bank of Napa clients, and it was the absolute best banking experience we’ve ever had.

Sandy has been an avid supporter of our renewed efforts here at the Chamber from the moment I walked through the door.

Congratulations to Sandy and (husband) Gordon. Cheers to you both!

Upcoming NCC Events

Please join us for Leads Over Lunch at Oenotri on Friday, Aug. 11 from 11:30 a.m.—1 p.m.

This month will feature NCC Napa County Library Director Danis Kreimeier, who’ll join us to inform members about a few great tools and resources readily available to assist small businesses.

Please go to napachamber.com to register to join us for lunch, or to countyofnapa.org to research the available business services and products.

Thank you for engaging, connecting and collaborating with the Napa Chamber of Commerce.

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Travis Stanley is the president and CEO of the Napa Chamber of Commerce. Call 226-7455 or visit NapaChamber.com.