AMERICAN CANYON — As many as five new warehouses could be built in northern American Canyon as part of a project the city’s Planning Commission approved Thursday.
The Napa Airport Corporate Center includes an option to build four instead of five warehouses, but would add a gas station, truck refueling station, car wash, quick-serve restaurant, and convenience market on the southwest corner of South Kelly Road and Highway 29.
The project, which would front South Kelly Road and Devlin Road, must still be approved by the City Council before going forward.
Approximately 500,000 square feet of new warehouse space would be built by the Napa Airport Corporate Center. The buildings would range in size from 24,000 to 147,000 square feet.
The project originally included plans for building a warehouse to the west of Devlin Road and next door to the Napa Logistics Park, another larger warehouse project.
But Napa Airport Corporate Center decided to sell that parcel of land to the Napa-Vallejo Waste Management Authority.
When it was originally submitted for consideration, the project proposed 50 percent of the warehouses would be used for wine-related activities and 50 percent for general warehousing. But that was changed to 100 percent general warehousing.
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There is high demand for commercial space in south county, where vacancies are hard to come by for businesses.
The project’s environmental impact report, released two years ago, was reassessed after the developer, Panattoni Development, suspended its application from September 2016 to April 2017.
The delay was due to the applicant changing project engineers, revising the project to accommodate needed right-of-way for South Kelly Road/Highway 29 improvements, and updating a stormwater management plan, according to city staff.
The final environmental report found the project would add traffic to local roads and Highway 29, according to Grant Gruber with First Carbon Solutions, which produced the report.
“This project would generate approximately 4,900 daily trips (by automobiles),” Gruber told the Planning Commission.
Chairman Andrew Goff asked if the traffic analysis determined whether there would be “a difference in traffic” if the project produces four warehouses plus the gas station/fast-food development, known as the second option.
Bob Grandy with Fehr & Peers, which performed the traffic analysis, said: “The second option produces more traffic than the first” option of building only warehouses.
Grandy added that about half of the additional vehicle trips are considered “pass-by trips” because they’re produced by automobiles already on the highway stopping off to get either gas or food.
Gruber also told the Planning Commission that the project would contribute to future traffic improvements at the intersections of South Kelly Road and Highway 29 and at South Kelly Road and Devlin Road.
It would also contribute impact fees to other transportation projects, such as improvements planned for Airport Boulevard and Highway 29 and at Soscol Ferry Road/Highway 29.
Furthermore, the project will have to implement a transportation management program intended to reduce traffic during peak commute hours in the morning and afternoon, according to the city’s contract planner, Colette Meunier.
The program could require businesses leasing the warehouses to start and end work shifts during off-peak hours — those not between 7-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. — and using shuttle services, car-share programs and transit subsidies.