My name is Steve Abbs, and I represent Davidon Homes and the Napa Oaks project. I have been with Davidon for 16 years now and involved in the Napa Oaks project for the past three years. My family and I are very much part of this community, going on nine years now, since my oldest son started school at St. John’s Lutheran. We have established a love for this community and have committed to raising our two boys here along with all of the other great families within this city.
Since my involvement, I have personally made sure that the proposed Napa Oaks project is one that the city will be proud of, not only immediately, but 10, 20 and 30 years from now, where the community can continue to benefit from the many things this project provides.
Over the past three years, we have gone through some extraordinary efforts to reach out to the community, and listened to ideas and concerns. We and have addressed every single concern raised and we have added many benefits to the project that are advantageous to our community.
We were told that no houses should be seen from Napa, and we modified to eliminate visibility of homes and forever protect the westerly hills of Napa.
We were told that Old Sonoma Road was too unsafe, and we added a roundabout to slow traffic down and the experts agreed this will be a significant safety improvement.
We were told that there were not enough recreational amenities, so we expanded the trail system to over two miles of pathways that take advantage of views nowhere seen in Napa, and we replaced two homesites with a highly amenitized trailhead that overlooks the entire city. All to be open to the public and privately maintained.
We were told that the property is unsafe from wildfires, and we have worked closely with the fire department and retained one of the top fire specialists in the country to provide a Wildland Fire Protection Plan that will forever be implemented and monitored by a third-party fire consultant. This plan makes the existing adjacent neighborhood safer through vegetation management, design and fire breaks.
We were asked if it is unsafe due to seismic faults and unstable hillsides, so we hired a well-respected geologist to thoroughly evaluate the property along side the city’s consulting geologists. They all agree that it is safe to build homes on the project as designed.
We were told we are removing too many trees, and, in addition to the 699 trees we are planting throughout the site and preservation of 18 acres of oak woodland, we have secured an easement to preserve 29 acres of oak woodland offsite, and we have also partnered with Napa Resource Conservation District to fund the Acorns to Oaks program so the youth of Napa can plant seedlings and learn about the native ecology.
We were told this project does nothing to house the workforce, and we have committed to including 30 percent of the homes to have an Accessory Dwelling Unit and pre-plumbing all other homes to easily be converted by any future home owner, and we committed to pre-pay funds to be allocated to the Gasser Foundation to help fund immediately a shovel-ready workforce housing project.
We were told the houses are too expensive and no one can afford to live there, and we provided an alternative plan with smaller homes, giving the city the choice on what to approve.
We were told that this property should remain agricultural, so we are continuing to allow grazing on the property, but now by Ag4Youth, who will receive a dedicated portion of the property and improvements allowing this amazing program for kids to expand and continue the cattle and agricultural heritage of the property.
And the list goes on and on.
Davidon acquired the property in 1996, at a time when 172 homes were allowed on the property, and the previous application for 85 homes was made in 1997. That application was denied in 2002. But circumstances within the city have changed over the past two decades. Napa faces a significant housing shortage at all levels, one that did not exist then.
Since then, the evolution of Napa Oaks has the community’s fingerprints all over how we reshaped the proposal to meet community needs. It has struck a balance, meeting the city’s needs and desires all at once. It provides housing at multiple levels and invests millions of dollars into the community, while it remains a low-impact, environmentally responsible project that allows its citizens the ability to access and enjoy this beautiful resource, instead of just a few cattle. All of this is due to the commitment to work together in a community-orientated way. This is a healthy part of the process, and the result is a win for the community.
We ask that you urge City Council to approve this investment into our community. To learn more visit NapaOaks.net