SodaCanyonRoad | Melka Winery and the Categorical Exemption

Melka Winery and the Categorical Exemption

Gary Margadant | Feb 16, 2015 on: Other Groups


Napa County has prepared a revision to a Procedural Manual to guide their application of the California CEQA code. The document is attached below indicating the latest changes in the Napa County Procedural Manual. Here are some highlights.

Chapter 5, Exempt Projects.

Appendix B - Additional Categorically Exempt Projects in Napa County.
Please note the interesting exemptions in Classes 1,3,4,5, all of import, but the Key is the Class 3 exemptions.

You can drive a huge wine truck or water truck through these exemptions. And some advisers appear to have directed their clients to the roadmap for these exemptions.

I refer you to the upcoming Melka Winery Proposal before the NC Planning Commission and the Categorical CEQA exemption Memo below, not to mention the 10 day (working business) notification memo with an extremely short public review.

These exemptions were not discussed in the latest NC BOS review of the NC CEQA Procedure Guidelines, so they remain. True, NC is trying to streamline their vetting process for Winery Applications, but what should they do when an applicant has appeared to design his application specifically to gain a Categorical Exemption and avoid the CEQA requirements as defined by the Napa County Administration Procedural Manual? What about the 600 foot setback required for such a project and the required variance? Again, have a look at Appendix B and the zoning requirement. What about the Cave construction and its size? What about the size of the winery building?

Is this activity really exempt from any environmental review, and actually a project that does not affect the environment where you live Cumulative Impacts will not be presented nor discussed.

So is this the case? Whatever your opinion, written or oral comments must be presented to the Planning Commission by their meeting on 2/18/2015 if they are to be considered in later proceedings.

Melka Agenda Letter
Melka Categorical Exemption Memo
Napa 2015 CEQA Guidelines Markup