SCR February 2016 Update
on the web at: http://sodacanyonroad.org/forum.php?p=1186
Bill Hocker | Feb 5, 2016




Note that upcoming events and meetings concerning development issues in the county are shown on our calendars at protectruralnapa.org and sodacanyonroad.org


Feb 9th, 10th and possibly 11th: Relic ABC wine license (next week)

Last July 16th residents of Soda Canyon Road and beyond attended the protest hearing regarding the granting of an alcohol license for Relic Wine Cellars, at 2400 Soda Canyon Rd, from the state Dept of Alcohol Beverage Control. This proved to be only the beginning. The continuation of the hearing will now take place at 10:00 am on Feb 9th, 10th and possibly the11th, 2016 at the Napa City Hall, 955 School St, Napa. The Soda Canyon Road Relic page is here. Please mark it in your calendars - a show of community support in addition to the protestants may show the ABC that we don't want Soda Canyon Road to become a commercial tourism destination.


Diane Shepp is running for Supervisor of District 4

Soda Canyon Road's own Diane Sheep has stepped up to represent the residents of District 4 as a member of the Board of Supervisors. There is a concern that the current Board and Planning Commission have been too supportive of the tourism industry at the expense of residents' quality of life, and too supportive of vineyard creation at the expense of the health of our watersheds. The recent article in the NVR on fundraising shows the massive amount of money that people with development projects in the county pipeline are spending on pro-development candidates to influence their chances. Diane Shepp will be an advocate for the protection of the hallmark rural beauty and small-town character of the county that is increasingly under threat by development interests.

Her upcoming events page is here.
February 14th: Valentine's Day Luncheon
February 18th: Meet and Greet Wine Reception
Your contribution it important! Her website is here


March 2nd: NapaVision2050 Community Meeting

NapaVision2050 is taking on a host of issues concerning the impacts of development in the county. On March 2nd they are planning a community meeting to lay out their agenda of projects including the upcoming Tourism Impact Forum in April, their campaign over the health problems posed by the Syar mining operations, the implications of the Palmaz residential helicopter permit, the Water and Woodlands Initiative that will be on the 2016 ballot and the lack of government responsiveness to the needs of residents versus county industries.

The meeting is Wednesday, March 2nd, 7-9 pm at The Little Theater (Building 1200, Rm. 1231) Napa Valley College. The agenda is here.


Reynolds Winery Expansion

The Reynolds Family Winery at 3260 Soda Canyon Rd just south of the Soda Canyon junction with the Trail seems to have placed their planned expansion on hold.


Two Wineries may be coming to Soda Canyon Road

Grassi Mark and Jami Grassi submitted a proposal to the county in July for a new winery on their property at 1060 Soda Canyon Road near the junction with the Trail. Their introductory letter was received by neighbors within the 1000' radius in mid October. The proposal is modest but the inclusion of tourism and events, however modest, will be an addition to the cumulative impacts on the road as it slowly morphs into a commercial wine tasting route.

Meadowrock The former Astrale e Terra winery property at 3148 Soda Canyon Rd, just adjacent to the Antica Winery is now owned by Guarachi Family Wines. They have applied for a winemaker license from the State Alcohol Beverage Control board. We will continue to follow their intentions here.


The Trail at Soda Canyon

The Reynolds Winery expansion and the Grassi winery are modest projects, but they shine a light on the incrementalism that is about to change the character of the junction of the Trail and of Soda Canyon Road, and to make that occasionally congested and harrowing left turn from Soda Canyon onto the Trail more congested and harrowing still. Two fairly large wineries have been approved on the Trail near the junction: the 100,000 gal, 20,000 visitor/yr Corona Winery just at the junction, and the 50,000 gal, 25,000 visitors/yr Krupp Winery to the south. In addition are the 20,000 gal, 8,800 visitor/yr Sam Jasper winery, and the 14,000 gal, 4500 vis/yr Beau Vigne winery to the north.

Taken together with Mountain Peak these projects will add another 350 trips per day or a 3% increase to the 10600 daily trips on that stretch of the Trail. Is that significant?

The development of this stretch of the Trail is also a harbinger of the future of the entire Trail, a scenic treasure that defines the image of the Napa Valley. More about this is here.


Ongoing Conversion of the Rector Watershed

A recent update of the county's list of applications for vineyard conversion (converting the natural landscape to vineyards) has real implications for Soda Canyon Road. Some 260 acres of new vineyards are under review and at least one 25 acre vineyard has already been approved on the Rector plateau at the top of the road. In the last 20 years, the Rector reservoir watershed, which supplies water for Yountville and the Verteran's Home, has become the most heavily impacted watershed in the county by vineyard conversion. On google maps it appears that conversion might be at the saturation point, but obviously much more is being proposed, with potential water impact on the reservoir and with certain additional traffic on the road. GIven the drought, and following the issues raised by the Walt Ranch 500 acre conversion on Atlas Peak Rd above Miliken Reservoir, the county and the municipalities have become much more concerned about the affect that watershed conversion may have on the long-term availability of water. The correspondence with Planning Dir. Morrison regarding this issue is here.


Mountain Peak Winery

The developer resubmitted plans to the county in April. The changes are very modest. Visitation and marketing, production capacity and cave area are essentially the same but proposed as being phased over one year.

The revised submittal letter, traffic report and drawings are linked on the Soda Canyon Road Mountain Peak page. As of Jan 2016, John McDowell, the deputy director of planning, has indicated that MPV is still submitting documents to the planning department after which time the county staff may be able to form a better idea about the time needed for their review. The note at the top of the Mountain Peak page will be updated as further information is known.


Finally

We encourage you to sign our petition opposing commercial development of our community in general and the Mountain Peak project in particular.

And we also encourage you to donate to Protect Rural Napa, however modestly, to fund the eternal effort to protect our communities from development. (You will be able to note how you wish your donation to be used.) Thank you!


Contact me if you have questions:

Bill Hocker



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