|Jan 8, 2015|
The Dry Creek Road Alliance website
In the free-comment period at the beginning of the Planning Commission meeting on Jan 7th. 2015 (video), several neighbors got up to voice their concerns about the Anthem Winery major modification being proposed at 3123 Dry Creek Road. The project is still under review at the planning commission. It comes on the heels of the Woolls Ranch approval, the first of the tourist event centers allowed in the Mt. Veeder AVA (beyond the humoungous Hess Collection built in the late 70's). More will surely follow.
The initial application is for an increase of 20,000 gals/yr, 3400 sf of additional structure and 22,000 sf of caves, 21,000 visitors/yr, tasting hours 8am to 8pm, evening events til 10pm weekdays, midnight (a new record) on the weekends. 7 full time and 5 part time employees. All documents are on the County's Anthem Winery page.
Just as we felt in March of 2014 on Soda Canyon Road, the immediate neighbor described the project as a nightmare. The outraged reactions of the other neighbors were also familiar. For those of us who have cherished our lives of rural tranquility in the county, the idea of a tourist event center next door is a nightmare come true. It is a personal violation of our reason to live here, of the paradise we thought we had found. Call me a "little sister" (Volker Eisele's term) but for me the nausea and the sleeplessness have not disappeared even after 9 months. That sense of violation continues to drive this website.
The neighbor was made aware of the project by the developer in the course of other property line discussions. The project did not apparently fall under the new notification procedures put into place, procedures that came into being in part because of community activism. The procedures, which require notification at the time of application rather than at the end of county review, give the neighbors whose lives will be degraded by these projects an opportunity to weigh in during the review process, with at least the possibility of mitigations being worked out before the projects reach the Planning Commission.
There are perhaps 40 project applications in the planning department. All will have major impacts on their neighborhoods and cumulatively an impact on the future of the county. The importance of a public vetting of the projects well before the 20 day "public review" period, after which they go to the planning commission for judgement, is an important step in our battle to insure that all constituencies are represented in the land use battles necessary to protect the future and the soul of Napa County.
The county's Anthem page is here
10/4/18 Planning Commission hearing [continued]
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