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City approves Grant Street apartment/condominium project

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Citing the need for more affordable housing, and praising a well-thought-out design, the Calistoga Planning Commission on Jan. 27 approved a 50-unit apartment complex to be developed on Grant Street.

The Silverado Apartments project consists of six 3-story buildings that include 10 work-live units and eight affordable housing units.

The property was previously approved for development in 2017-18. The current project, on almost 2 acres, calls for the demolition of two homes and an industrial building at 1408, 1410 and 1506 Grant St. The industrial building once served as Calistoga founder Sam Brannan’s livery stable, but a previous historical survey found the building does not have “historical significance.”

“There are other sites (around town) with a better connection to Brannan,” said Justin Shiu, the city’s consultant planner.

Representatives from the developer, DeNova Homes, Inc., said they plan to salvage redwood from the old building.

DeNova was also granted flexibility in the entitlement to convert the apartments to condominiums at a later date, should they choose. Representatives from DeNova said it’s not their intent to sell the property, but should market conditions change in 10-15 years, it allows flexibility without having to come back before the city.

DeNova would also serve as manager of the property, though with no on-site office.

Three different apartment designs will differentiate between one- and two-bedroom units, and a variety of design elements include open spaces, landscaping and raised garden beds, gables, balconies, and dormers.

Each unit will have at least a single garage, and DeNova Homes has also committed to improving on-street parking and sidewalks on Grant Street.

Planning Commission Vice-Chair Tim Wilkes also addressed concerns from the public regarding new construction of a three-story complex and maintaining Calistoga’s small-town character. He cited the continual need for affordable housing, especially when workers are needed for the new resort on Silverado Trail.

“We have a known deficiency of any kind of housing of this sort to fill a very real need,” he said. “We are in a rural area, and in a small town, but the only way to stay a small town, and to house the people we need to house in town, is either to grow out, as in Los Angeles, or to grow up.”

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