SodaCanyonRoad | We support ourselves by supporting others.


We support ourselves by supporting others.
Lisa Hirayama | Jan 18, 2015 on: St. Helena

Hi All,

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday.

Now that 2015 is underway, it’s time to start back up in our fight against Walt Ranch. DENW is starting to meet again to strategize on what needs to be done to protect Circle Oaks, our neighbors and Napa Valley.

One thing I have discovered in attending the Board of Supervisors’ meetings is that there are several small groups throughout the Valley who are very concerned about the overdevelopment from vineyards and wineries that will impact the watersheds and negatively affect residents. They want to join forces with DENW because they’re impressed at how quickly we organized and how much we accomplished in such a short time. In total, we submitted 894 form letters (529 were Circle Oaks residents) and 1256 petition signatures. Thank you to everyone who each signed the two letters and petition. DENW will be talking with the different groups and hopes to form a valley-wide coalition to show the Supervisors that there is a growing movement against all the projects that don’t take into account the cumulative effects of all the development (i.e. water, environment, residents, erosion, traffic, etc). We are a greater force to be reckoned with if we join together and support each other in our different battles.

In that vein, a development in the Upper Valley might not seem to be of concern to us, but all developments will have a ripple affect throughout the Valley. Geoff Ellsworth has been fighting for the common sense sustainability of winery projects, of which Davies Winery is not one of them. The St. Helena city council rejected his group’s appeal regarding the Davies approval right before the Nov 4 election. The mayor and one council member were then voted off in the election. There was one more opportunity to accept the appeal before the NEW council was seated because the item came back through the City Council’s consent calendar. However, Geoffs’s group pulled the item, but the council rejected the appeal once again even though two members were now leaving.

The new mayor and city council member think more in the line of Geoff’s group and with protecting the county’s General Plan. He’s hoping that community input helps them see the value of not having the city defend the lawsuit.

I am forwarding his email and attached the ad copy for your reading. If you feel comfortable, please forward your name to him by Monday so he can include it in the ad. His email is If you prefer not to add your name, please consider sending a letter to all the city officials listed below asking them to not defend the lawsuit and to send the Davies project back for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which was never even done.

Thanks for your support.

Geoff's email is here