|Oct 14, 2014|
Napa County contains 5 municipalities: Napa, American Canyon, St. Helena, Yountville, and Calistoga. St. Helena (pronounced Saint Heleena), has the worst traffic of the bunch. Traffic is bad in American Canyon leading into the valley and at the Jameson Canyon hub a little further north, but the traffic mitigations make the long backups at signals seem suburban-normal (for the present). Hwy 29 bypasses Napa and Yountville making their traffic less onerous. And Calistoga at the end of the valley gets almost no through traffic. St. Helena's single main street gets almost all of the valley traffic and is gridlocked at many times of the day. Not coincidentally St. Helena has also been at the forefront of the resistance to expanding tourism among the municipalities, both in respect to urban event centers like the proposed Davies Winery and to the resident drain caused by lucrative airb&b tourism beginning to hollow out neighborhoods.
Before leaving for Oregon, Sandy Ericson of the St. Helena Window, provided the most active website devoted to citizen awareness of the development threats posed to the town. She waged the battle against the Small Winery Ordinance and against individual projects as wineries continued to expand their tourist activities into the town. The website is no longer maintained but I have archived it here to make use of its valuable insights and links.
In 2020 Elaine de Man has taken up the challenge of citizen advocacy where Sandy left off with her own St. Helena Post
Geoff Ellsworth in St. Helena, energized by the fight against the Small Winery Ordinance and of individual urban wineries, has also become a tenacious voice in opposition to the tourism development threatening the rural character of the county. Geoff speaks to the cause at almost every government meeting and has provided a map of the county showing the potential for development that threatens us all. In 2016 he was elected to the City Council.
In 2018 Geoff Ellsworth is running for Mayor of St. Helena.
Mary Stevenson represents Our Town St. Helena committed to the development of affordable housing in the town.
2019 Grand Jury Report on St Helena
SHStar 7/15/20: St. Helenans will cast advisory vote on Adams Street hotel question
SHStar 5/29/19: Council hits brakes on hotel plans for city-owned Adams Street property
SH Star 10/25/18: St. Helena releases draft General Plan, EIR
NVR 12/28/17: Sharing the spirit: Tony Holzhauer works to preserve the Napa Valley
NVR 11/16/17: Court rules for city of St. Helena in battle over Davies winery
SH Star 8/23/17: Checking in with city council newcomer Ellsworth
NVR 7/18/17: St. Helena housing project faces yet another delay
NVR 6/5/17: St. Helena wants Chamber to support more community programs
NVR 5/24/17: St. Helena City Council narrowly rejects CIA dorm plan
NVR 4/12/17: St. Helena City Council deadlocks on proposed downtown improvement plan
NVR 3/8/17: St. Helena Planning Commission rejects CIA dorm plan
NVR 1/26/17: St. Helena City Council rejects downtown tasting room
St Helena Star 12/14/16: Ellsworth, Koberstein sworn in; council says goodbye to Phillips, Crull, Pitts
St Helena Star 11/8/16: Koberstein, Ellsworth lead St. Helena City Council race
NVR 12/1/16: Davies winery in St. Helena clears two procedural hurdles
NVR 4/5/16: St. Helena considers restrictions on short-term rentals
NVR 2/17/16: Owners of illegal St. Helena rental will pay $20,000 in penalties
NVR 11/23/15: St. Helena commission backs overhaul of short-term rental ordinance
Mary Stevenson: Do enough people care about housing?
Mayor Alan Gilbraith: Guest commentary: Our challenging budget situation
NapaBroadcasting: City Manager Jennifer Phillips talks about St. Helenaï¿½s financial crisis
Report highlights economic challenges, resources
Citizens debate small winery ordinance
St. Helena council to reconsider small winery ordinance
St. Helena council repeals small winery ordinance
St. Helena planners OK winery expansion
Time will tell on Davies winery approval
Davies winery expansion appealed to City Council
Rescind approval of Davies winery project
Barbarians at the gate
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