We are among the hundreds of American Canyon residents that have signed the referendum to place the Watson Ranch project on the ballot. We want to tell you why and ask you to join us.

Ask yourself, until three weeks ago when we started talking to our neighbors, had you really understood, or known, about the over 4,000 new residents Watson Ranch will add to our town. 90 percent of American Canyon residents we talked to did not.

Now that you know, an out-of-town developer is spending thousands hiring staff to stop you from having a say. We think that’s wrong.

The mayor’s recent Letter to the Editor unfortunately misrepresents our efforts claiming the Green Party is sponsoring the referendum. Republicans, Democrats and Green Party members can all sign but the Green Party itself had nothing to do with our efforts.

Since 2000, American Canyon has been the fastest growing city in Napa County - and it feels like it. Our traffic woes are legendary, city services are stretched and we desperately need new school facilities.

In this context, Watson Ranch is the wrong project at the wrong time. We simply can’t accommodate the project's 1,243 homes hosting over 4,000 new residents and generating over 18,000 new daily car trips on our city streets.

Traffic: The developer acknowledges in the environmental reports that several intersections will have unmitigated (can’t be fixed) impacts due to Watson Ranch. The developer claims “major reductions in local traffic” but fails to mention what the total impact will be of 18,000 more daily car trips.

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Schools: We need a new middle school but at what price? The elementary and middle schools are not expected to be finished till after the final housing is built at Watson Ranch. The district already has funds set aside to build the middle school. There are no facilities funds from the developer for the projected 188 high school students. Using State of California projected student generation formulas, Watson Ranch will add 877 students - far more than the 734 stated by the developer.

City Services: Watson Ranch will require an additional four firefighters and six police officers that all of us will have to pay for. This is a permanent drain on city finances.

Sign the petition to place a referendum on the ballot. It simply allows American Canyon residents more time to understand how this massive project will impact our community and then vote on it.

If you decide Watson Ranch makes sense, you can still vote for it. But if you don’t sign you’ll never get a chance to stop our community from looking more and more like Vallejo.

Pam Lewis and Eric Grapes

American Canyon

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