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Warehouse

A proposed light industrial building in the Napa Valley Business Park by Rudd Properties has won county approval.

A 2.74-acre site in the airport industrial area targeted for development for more than 30 years should finally get a light industrial building dominated by a warehouse.

The building with 38,000 square feet of warehouse space and 2,000 square feet of office space is to be built on Devlin Road near Sheehy Creek. It is to be built on speculation, with a tenant to be identified later, county officials said.

The Napa County Planning Commission approved the warehouse on Dec. 5 by unanimous vote and with little discussion.

A 40,000–square-foot building isn’t particularly big for the area. The Planning Commission last year approved a 55,000 square-foot building for Portocork. Neighboring American Canyon has a 646,000 square-foot building being leased to IKEA.

A rendering presented to the commission shows a concrete tilt-up building with a metal canopy, multiple colors, a sloped roof and other decorative features. The property owner on the use permit is listed as Rudd Properties, LLC.

Traffic is always an issue in this area, given that nearby Highway 29 and Highway 12 experience congestion. The county used the Institute of Traffic Engineers Trip Generation to calculate a warehouse or light industrial building of this size would generate 143 to 279 vehicle trips daily, of which 13 to 39 would be during evening rush hour.

By comparison, the nearby Highways 29 and 12 intersection handles 46,000 to 67,000 trips daily, of which 3,800 to 5,400 take place during peak hours. The rush hour increase caused by the warehouse would be less than the 1 percent, which is the threshhold considered by the county to be significant.

Thus, a county environmental report lists traffic generated by the development as a “less than significant” impact. All development in the airport industrial area pays a county traffic impact fee.

Commissioner Joelle Gallagher noted the roof is to be built to accommodate solar panels. She asked if the warehouse will definitely be solar powered.

County Principal Planner Sean Trippi said the state requires roofs on these types of projects to be solar-ready. Solar power is typically used for the office part of the development.

“The specific tenant would dictate how much solar they need for their particular operations,” Trippi said.

The Planning Commission usually deals with wineries, given most of the unincorporated county is zoned for agriculture. A major exception to this agricultural zoning is the 2,000-acre airport industrial area between the city of Napa and American Canyon, which is officially called Napa Valley Business Park.

In an unusual Planning Commission year in 2018, the commission has approved almost as many business park projects, two, as new wineries, three this year.

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Napa County Reporter

Barry Eberling covers Napa County government, transportation, the environment and general assignments. He has worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield.