Regarding “Housing project in the works on Pope Street” (St. Helena Star, Aug. 22) the article states Mr. Castellucci, the developer has met with neighbors who “are enthusiastic about the prospect of high-end housing that will boost property values.” This made me wonder which neighbors Mr. Castellucci has met with? I asked the manager at Vineyard Valley if Mr. Castellucci had met with her and she said there had been no contact with the office or the park owner.
Stopping by a yard sale on Peppertree Court, I asked the same question. The residents there said no, Mr. Castellucci had not contacted them. Perhaps he has contacted Silverado Orchards, a senior facility, but it is doubtful high-end housing would help their property values. Or College, Paulson Court, Mariposa, Starr Avenue?
In fact 100 new housing units will not help anyone who is living on Pope Street today. If approved, the bulldozers will rip out all the trees. The whole east end of the street will become a massive construction zone. When built approximately 400-plus new residents will live on our street (100 times 4 people per unit). We will have to battle traffic to leave our homes.
The new residents will all need water. City policy requires new development to be water neutral. Meeting this requirement has already been a problem for the Hunter Project of 87 units, which proposed to take out 12 acres of lawn throughout the city amongst other water neutral mitigations.
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So 100 units are proposed for Pope Street and 87 at Starr/Adams. If both these projects are built life on the east side of St. Helena will change for the worse forever. Gone will be the days when we could leave our homes without battling traffic and find a parking space at the grocery store. As Mr. Castellucci says, “This project will bring the east side of town to another level.”