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From: Yountville Hill Neighbors [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Yountville Hill Neighbors
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2014 4:05 PM
To: Tod Mostero
Subject: Yountville Hill Winery's Impact on Napa Valley
Dear Fellow Napa Valley Vintners,
Eric Sklar recently sent out an email inviting your support for the proposed Yountville Hill Winery. We are writing to be sure you understand exactly what this project entails and how it would impact not only the immediate Yountville Hills area but the Napa Valley as a whole.
In brief: · The 100,000 gallon winery project is located on a steep, 10.9-acre parcel, in full view of an extremely busy part of Highway 29, just across from Mustards restaurant.
· The mostly vertical site requires an exception to the County conservation regulations for construction on steep slopes; a variance from the County viewshed ordinance for the location of the visitors’ center; and a variance for a reduced setback from Hwy 29 for the cave entry and winery delivery portal.
· When completed, the project site would include just 2.5 acres of grapes.
· The new road requires extensive cut and fill and must be supported by massive retaining walls that wind up to the reception and visitor centers at the middle and top of the hill.
· 37 parking spaces are planned, 19 of which would be used by staff; delivery trucks, caterers, shuttle buses, limos, and visitor cars will share the remaining spaces; at peak times, visitors must be shuttled from Ashe Vineyards due to the lack of parking spaces at the project site.
· The extremely aggressive marketing plan requests nearly 65,000 visitors a year for daily appointments and special events – this means tens of thousands of additional cars in this already heavily congested area of Hwy 29.
· The hillside will be topped by a 12,800+ sq ft cantilevered, glass and concrete visitors’ center, which will be very visible, especially when lit up at night. The proposed visitors’ center is three times the size of the Castle in the Clouds Inn currently on the site.
· The 1,200 sq ft reception building located half-way up the hill must be supported by a 16 ft. retaining wall below, 9 ft additional benching and topped by another 28 ft retaining wall above – making this area of construction the equivalent height of a 5-story building (see attached grading plan).
· 1.2 million gallons of wastewater will be handled by a package plant draining onto 2.5 acres of the only flat land on the property, which is traversed by a tributary of the Napa River.
This project pushes hard against the guiding principles of the Ag Preserve and has raised concerns County-wide over the interpretation and application of the WDO. We ask that you carefully consider its far-reaching impacts before endorsing the project. In fact, we believe the Napa County Planning Commission should deny all of the requested variances. More than 400 people have signed a petition to that effect so far.
For more information, visit www.yountville-hill-neighbors.org, where you will find links to the application and a comprehensive list of the impacts of the project. If you too are concerned about the implications of this project, we urge you to contact Sean Trippi, lead Planner for the County, or members of the Planning Commission. The project is scheduled to come before the Planning Commission on July 2.
Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
Ren Harrris, Paradigm Winery
Dennis Groth, Groth Vineyards and Winery
Dirk Hampson, Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel
Christian Moueix, Dominus Estate