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PLANNING

‘Hotel California’ approved by Napa planners

‘Hotel California’ proposed for downtown Napa Victorian

Owners of the William Andrews House at 741 Seminary St. in Napa want to turn the property into a luxury inn.

A luxury bed and breakfast inn, which the owner intends to call the Hotel California, is one step closer to coming to Napa.

The city’s Planning Commission unanimously approved a bed and breakfast use permit for the historic William Andrews House at 741 Seminary St. at a Thursday meeting.

Though the project was approved under the name “Heath Bed and Breakfast,” owner John Heath said that, though nothing is currently set in stone, he’s hoping to name the business 'Hotel California' as homage to the iconic 1976 rock song by The Eagles.

In case the Eagles don’t allow Heath to use the name, his backup plan is to call it the “Hotel Cali.”

And the plan for the hotel goes beyond the name: Heath said each room of the hotel would be named and themed around a famous musician who underwent recovery from addiction. That may include Joe Walsh of the Eagles, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn, he said.

“So many of those people have brought so much joy into our lives through years of music and it’s going to be done in a very luxurious way,” Heath said.

Heath added the hotel won’t be advertised around this aspect, that it would be more of an underlying theme. Another plan incorporating the theme is to have a pianist and violinist play classics from the artists to entertain guests, he said.

Though the commissioners spoke highly of the project, some said they didn’t like the proposed name. But they noted the names of businesses aren’t up to them.

Commission chair Gordon Huether said he likes the concept of honoring artists that have gone through addiction recovery, but the name choice seemed off.

“For such a gorgeous property, be called something like that seems really strange to me, for the Napa Valley, but it’s your property,” Huether said.

Commissioner Paul Kelley also said he doesn’t think the Hotel California name is the best for the project, but he liked the theming.  

“When I think of Hotel California, it’s not really a Victorian,” Kelley said. “It’s out in the desert somewhere. But anyway, that’s not in the purview of the commission.”

Even so, the commissioners said they appreciated the passion Heath was putting into the project. They also spoke well of the restoration process and the adaptive reuse of a Victorian mansion.

“We have to look for adaptive reuses for these larger Victorian mansions that don’t really support single families anymore,” Kelley said.

In other news, the commission appointed Huether as chair of the commission and Bob Massaro as vice-chair. Traditionally, the commission appoints the vice-chair of the commission to the chair position each year. But the previous vice chair, Reed Oñate, withdrew his application to be reappointed to the commission, As a result, the commissioner's members deliberated over who would be chair this year.

Both Kelley, who was the chair last year, and Huether expressed that they wanted to be chair of the commission. Ultimately, Kelley withdrew his bid for the position, and the commission unanimously appointed Huether as chair.

You can reach Edward Booth at (707) 256-2213.

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