SodaCanyonRoad | The urban cancer In Carneros

The urban cancer In Carneros

Bill Hocker | Jul 19, 2018 on: Growth Issues

NVR 7/19/19: Napa County planners endorse a comprehensive deal for Carneros Resort and Spa

Update 7/11/18
On July 17, 2019 the County Planning Commission will take up the expanding development of the Carneros Inn, combining the creation of a Napa municipal water connection to the well-water-starved resort (undertaken by the new Carners Inn Mutual Water Company) along with a passel of changes necessary to get the entry off Hwy 12 and other amenity upgrades. All was outlined out in a a proposal for a development agreement presented to the BOS let year.

Update 11/1/18
NVR 11/1/18: Napa County tries to work out a solution to Carneros Resort's water saga

Update 10/19/18
BOS Agenda 10/30/18 Item 9A

A proposal for a development agreement between the County and the Carneros Resort will be presented the Board of Supervisors on Oct 30, 2018. The Notice of Public Hearing is here.

The agreement would allow for the extension of Napa municipal water from the currently serviced Congress Valley water system to service the Carneros Resort site. In addition the agreement calls for an enlarged access to the Carneros Resort from Old Sonoma Hwy and an expansion of the parking lot, and a relocation of a County fire station to facilitate the new entry. This meeting is intended to give staff direction on the conditions of the agreement prior to the proposal being presented to the Planning Commission for formal review.

County's Carneros Inn page

Roger Wolff LTE 3/30/18: Regarding the Carneros Resort Hear! Hear!
NVR 3/20/18: Napa council votes to offer city water to Carneros Resort for 50 years
NVR 12/6/17: LAFCO opens door to piping Napa water to Carneros resort

12/4/17 LAFCO hearing video
Agenda Letter prepared for the hearing

How does urban development begin even within a regulatory regimen specifically tailored to inhibit that development? A connected developer manipulates a government to push through an inappropriate project, then moves on (in this case to Napa Pipe) leaving the owners to deal with the negative impacts foreseen from the beginning. The owner then pleads with government to solve the problems lest he goes bankrupt. Urbanization, like some cancers, may begin in an isolated location and then grow just slowly enough to hide its inexorable spread until its too late to be stopped.

Note that a 2015 state law shepherded by Bill Dodd, whose election as Supervisor in 2000 shifted the board in a more development-oriented direction, allows cities to extend infrastructure to county parcels without requiring city annexation of the properties. A growth inducing bill if ever there was one.

The appropriate solution in the case of the Carneros Resort is not to aid urban expansion with growth inducing infrastructure. Cut out the tumor. Or at least cut down the size of the project to match the amount of water available from its wells. A County committed to maintaining a healthy agricultural environment shouldn't be encouraging urban tumors to survive and grow.

The LAFCO infrastructure expansion area for the Carneros Inn (and properties in the neighborhood) is the green dogleg on the bottom.

The history
1/1/09: Urban Land institute Case Studies: Carneros Inn
12/12/03: The Carneros Inn Opens in Napa Valley's Winegrowing District
Simms, Kahn LTE 8/26/02: Slow-growth groups oppose Lodge
NVR 9/4/02: Carneros Lodge plan slashed, then approved
SHStar 11/29/01: 12 percent of Carneros groundwater considered 'not significant'