SodaCanyonRoad | Rural Angwin has been saved

Rural Angwin has been saved

Kellie Anderson | Dec 27, 2016 on: Other Groups

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* Save Rural Angwin * Special Bulletin *


In a 4 - 1 vote at their December 20, 2016 meeting, the Supervisors agreed to keep the "Green Fields" GREEN in Angwin! This open space area adjacent to Conn Creek and north of the ball fields is considered the heart of the Angwin basin, a key to the rural character of the community.

At the December 20, public meeting, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution completing an amendment to the Napa County General Plan to change the approximately 16 acres of the area located southwest of the intersection of Howell Mountain Road and Angwin Avenue from Urban Residential to Agriculture, Watershed, and Open Space (AWOS). This is a decision Save Rural Angwin (SRA) has been working for since 2006!

The decision by the Board of Supervisors completes the General Plan Update process that began in 2006 and ended in 2009 with completion in all parts of the County except the Angwin area, which was being targeted by Pacific Union College (PUC) and an associated developer, Triad, for an urban residential and commercial development called the Ecovillage. There had been widespread resistance to this development in the community, led by SRA. The County opted to hold out the lands that PUC wished to develop until their Ecovillage plan could be presented to the county in final form for evaluation. The Ecovillage plan was subsequently dropped, but PUC still wanted time to come up with their college master plan, and the County was taken up with other concerns such as repercussions of the earthquake and other matters. Thus, it was not until late 2016 that the Angwin issue was again able to find its way onto the Supervisors' agenda.

Ultimately, on December 20, 2016, four of the five supervisors agreed that they had given the college enough time and flexibility to update their 40+-year-old master plan. Since the college still did not have a plan to put forward, the Supervisors denied yet another request for more time from PUC, and they decided that a designation of AWOS for the green fields would be the best "starting point" for any future college plans. The College should be able to determine its future, but any plans should include input from the community, with a focus on the value of open space to Napa County.

Prior to the December 20 meeting, SRA met with PUC representatives several times. We were able to compromise on a mix of AWOS, Public Institutional and a small Urban Residential area for the lands near the airport and co-generation plant. PUC backed off their desire to have all the held-out 100 acres, including the Green Fields, remain Urban Residential. After these meetings, only the Green Fields remained contested, with the College requesting Public Institutional, SRA supporting AWOS. On December 20, Save Rural Angwin and the Angwin community prevailed.

The Save Rural Angwin Steering Committee hopes sincerely that this decision spurs the PUC Board of Trustees and leadership to see the open space in the Green Fields with new eyes and value it for its rural character and riparian importance to everyone on and off campus.

Kellie Anderson

Duane Cronk

Michael Hackett

Susan Leick

Virgil Morris

Paula Peterson

Allen Spence

John Tully

Marsa Tully

Jim Welsh


Jon-Mark Chappellet

Lauri Claudon

Randy Dunn

Guy Kay

Robin Lail

Dick Maher

Robert Redford

Dario Sattui

John Shafer

Mel Varrelman

Barbara Winiarski

Warren Winiarski

In Memory of
Volker Eisele

Copyright © 2016 Save Rural Angwin, All rights reserved.

Duane Cronk - Feb 1, 2017 8:50PM

A better future for Angwin

I have come across a story in the Napa Valley Register in 1985. That was 31 years ago. In those days, Napa County planners expected Angwin to become a city. But times were changing and those who looked ahead realized that a larger population in a remote community that had no jobs for newcomers was not a good idea. Almost everyone would have to commute to St. Helena, or join the traffic jam to Napa or Santa Rosa.

In addition, Angwin does not have the infrastructure to support growth. Half the households depend on a private well and a septic system in the back of the property. There are only a few feet of sidewalks. No doctor's office. No bus service to anywhere.

So in 1985, the five county supervisors said, "Time to turn the page, Joe." They looked at 4,566 acres in Angwin and Deer Park, which were zoned mostly for new subdivisions and they voted unanimously to change that zoning to agriculture.


The Register reported that "Chairman Mel Varrelman praised the rezonings as conforming to slow-growth wishes of Angwin and Deer Park residents." Supervisor Jay Goetting agreed. The basic feeling -- almost unanimity -- is that the rezoning plan is a very good one," he said.

A few days ago, the county supervisors considered that a small area of Pacific Union College land in the heart of the village had been in agriculture for more than a hundred years and by a vote of 4 to l, they erased its obsolete designation for urbanization. The vote was for just about 16 acres, but almost everyone is celebrating.
Particularly the supporters of Save Rural Angwin, who now see a safer future for that mountain-top community.

There could not have been more joy after the decision in 1985 saving 4,566 acres than this one protecting just 16.

A few years ago, the college wanted to build 580 houses on the land surrounding the campus, including the 16 acres for which the supervisors have now said, "No, Joe." So we must shout "Thank you" to the planners and elected officials who wrote another chapter in a long struggle that began 31 years ago.

Ring the church bells. Have a party. Enjoy.

2/1/17 NVR LTE version: A Better Future of Angwin