One house sits mere yards from the freeway, while another home faces the road leading into Kennedy Park. Each is empty and crumbling – and both will soon disappear in the face of new city projects.
A pair of vacant homes is set to disappear from the Napa map after the City Council approved their demolitions on Tuesday. One of the derelict dwellings, at 1795 D St. Alley, will give way to the east approach of a passageway to guide those on foot and bicycle below Highway 29; the other, at 2291 Streblow Drive, will be removed ahead of a major reworking of Kennedy Park, the largest recreational space in south Napa.
City officials advised the council not to attempt moving or repairing the homes due to deterioration that has attracted intruders and accelerated their decay, which includes extensive mold and water damage.
At the Streblow Drive home – which served as a residence for city-employed Kennedy Park caretakers until 2012 – lead paint, asbestos tile and shoddy electrical work in a patio-turned-sunroom are among the flaws that dissuaded Napa Valley College from moving the building to its campus to the north and restoring it, according to city parks manager Dave Perazzo.
Despite the advanced decay of the onetime caretaker’s residence, Vice Mayor Scott Sedgley sought some way of refashioning it into housing, given Napa’s extreme shortages. “I just hope we’re not losing this house prematurely – I’m a little torn, that’s all,” he said.
Sedgley’s colleagues, however, declared the structure too far gone to revive on any reasonable budget. “I think that’s why there are no rats in there – they know better,” quipped Liz Alessio.
Napa has acquired both sites ahead of their replacement by city projects. The vacant D Street home is near the north end of a rectangular plot, through which the city plans an undercrossing that will follow Napa Creek below four-lane Highway 29 to give cyclists and pedestrians a safer connection between downtown and Browns Valley than the First Street flyover.
Removing the D Street dwelling will let a developer build six to eight units of affordable housing on the half-acre parcel, senior civil engineer John Ferons estimated.
At Kennedy Park, a long-term master plan approved in 2015 would overhaul its 123-acre grounds off Highway 221 with additional sports fields, a great lawn and a performance stage for concerts and festivals. No timetable has been announced for the renovation, which is expected to require at least two phases and $45 million.