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Napa is a city after all

Napa is a city after all

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It is long past time that the city of Napa and the county of Napa pay attention to the overall needs of the community rather than some short-sighted homeowners.

In the latest letter regarding the potential for badly-needed apartments at the county-owned site on Old Sonoma Road ("No multi-unit housing on Old Sonoma Road," Feb. 28), the writer suggests that any new apartments be located on vineyards within the city limits in north Napa. The trouble with such locations on the urban fringe are legion.

Unlike the Old Sonoma Road site owned by the county, the north Napa locations are on the periphery of the community far from services and decent transportation.

Unlike Old Sonoma Road, they are nowhere near major streets that already have a lot of traffic.

Unlike Old Sonoma Road, they are not already surrounded by industrial uses and the Juvenile Hall on one side, and apartments across the street.

Unlike the Old Sonoma Road location, the north Napa sites near Salvador and Big Ranch Road are a very long block away from 30-minute frequency VINE bus service--which serves the Old Sonoma Road location directly and not 1/2 to 3/4 mile away. Location near good bus service is an important consideration for those likely to live in any proposed apartments.

If Cliff Nelson and Kevin Eggers don't like the consequences of living in an built-up urban area, I suggest they move to some other area, away from arterial streets like Old Sonoma Road, Jefferson and any number of other major streets. They apparently don't like living in cities, where things like traffic, apartments, commercial developments and other features of urban life are inevitable.

And only in Napa, would some people think one seven-story building (the Archer hotel) and several four- or five- story buildings in the core area of downtown Napa is too "dense."

While Napa is not San Francisco, it is a small city where the dense commercial development is occurring in the correct places, like downtown and along major arterial streets near downtown.

For the most part, dense housing is being developed in the proper places, such as within a block or two of Soscol Avenue or Silverado Trail, adjacent to established commercial properties such as between the river and South Napa Marketplace.

I agree with homeowners near the city edges that dense development of any kind does not belong on the fringe, remote from already established corridors, utilities and public transportation, among other necessary services.

Michael D. Setty


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