Welcome to Napa Valley, the next stop for commercial solar power projects that will damage our valuable farm and agriculture land as well as our beautiful hillsides. The amazing view in our valley is one of the reasons so many of us choose to call Napa our home. These same views are what drive approximately 3.5 million visitors to our valley who spend about $2 billion yearly.
The 11-acre project on Palm Drive off of First Avenue in Napa was under review and is one of those hillside projects that would scar the valley, although it has been put on hold for the time being due to the 130 people who stood up against covering our valley in solar panels.
We believe that this project will be come back the minute a proposed American Canyon solar project is passed. The County of Napa is trying to get the project at 2180 American Canyon Road passed because only a few people knew about the 19 acres of solar panels to be placed on this 21-acre parcel.
Imagine 20, 30 or 100 of those projects on our precious hillsides up and down Napa Valley. This could amount to hundreds, if not thousands, of acres of these commercial projects in the very near future.
Solano County has very strict rules about these solar projects. Marin County has a moratorium on commercial solar projects and is looking into how to handle this process. We here in Napa are flying by the seat of our pants and trying to jam this project down the residents of Napa Valley’s throats while nobody is looking or aware of this happening in our valley.
Once this has been passed, it will be very hard to undo. Should this pass, it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits to undo what they are attempting to do at the expense of the citizens of Napa Valley — if we can undo it at all.
We would be living with the damage that has already been done. It is imperative that we put in place very specific polices, rules and regulations that would govern these projects. If we do not address this issue immediately, we will have to live with the damage to our valley.
Planning Commission Chairwoman Cottrell and Commissioner Gallagher voted against the project in American Canyon. Thank you both for considering the impact on Napa Valley and for standing against this project that has no guidelines, rules or regulations in place.
Commissioner Whitmer and Commissioner Mazotti both voted to pass this project. The swing vote is Commissioner Hansen, who was not present at the initial vote but has stated that she would approve this project.
The next vote will be on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 9 a.m., located at 1195 Third St., Suite 305 Napa, in the Board of Supervisors chambers.
I am asking that Commissioner Hansen will take into consideration the huge impact and president this will have on our valley and vote ‘no’ until proper rules and regulations are put in place to safe guard our beautiful Napa Valley. I am also asking that Commissioners Whitmer and Mazotti reconsider and change their votes to ‘no.’
Citizens of Napa Valley, do not allow this project to be passed. Please come to the planning commissions meeting and let your voices be heard.