South Napa County
|Oct 31, 2014|
Beginning in the 1980's South Napa County, below the City of Napa has been the designated sacrificial lamb for the county's agrarian dreams. Housing tracts and industrial development, anathema to the vistas of vineyards and wooded hillsides essential to the wine and tourism industries up valley, have been encouraged to blossom in the Napa River wetlands that must be traversed before entering the fabled valley. The Airport/Industrial plan was created in 1985. Napa Valley Corporate Park with its Grape Crusher statue was created in 1988. The City of American Canyon was incorporated in 1991. They joined the heavy industrial sites of the Napa Pipe plant and the Syar quarry and the more genteel Napa State Hospital and Napa Valley College sites to become the service sector for the rest of the county.
South Napa County has a traffic problem. The road system in the county assures that almost all traffic in and out of the Napa Valley must pass through a choke point between American Canyon and Napa City. In 2012 Highway 12 between the Central Valley and South Napa was widened to 4 lanes, turning on a fire hose of traffic connecting to the expanding industrial areas and putting the city of Fairfield and Vacaville within commute distance of expanding vineyards and hospitality venues. As the county continues to develop as a tourist destination and an industrial hub, the traffic in this location is becoming a major concern as development continues to outpace the capacity of the roads. South County Traffic Issues have a blog page here
The Napa steel pipe plant closed down in 2004. By 2008 the site was being looked at by the county as a potential mixed-use housing site to fulfill the mandate for affordable housing which was now being required by the regional Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). A private developer agreed to do the project with the affordable housing as a small part of the total. It is the largest urban development project ever undertaken in Napa County. The Napa Pipe Project has its own blog page here.
The other mega project in South Napa, the 1200 unit housing project proposed above and around the cement works ruins in American Canyon is now under development. We will continue to follow it on a new Watson Ranch Page.
Napa Pipe will be a major piece of urbanization, along with the Watson Ranch/Town Center Project [zoning map] and the Gasser North and Century Center projects on Imola, occurring between American Canyon and Napa that is now on the verge of uniting the two and creating a Napa-Vallejo metropolitan area. Napa Pipe, Watson Ranch and Gasser North will add perhaps another 4000 voters to the county rolls, most, probably, with a greater interest in shopping centers than in vineyards. The industrial-commercial development in Napa Pipe, and the large area of American Canyon and the airport targeted for light industrial will create the need for even more housing and more urban voters. Urban development is a ponzi scheme in which governments must always approve more projects to generate ever more revenues to support the infrastructure and service costs of previous developments - and so on. The pressure to vote to change the agricultural zoning in the county will be relentless, increasing with each new development. The demographic changes in the county's voters has been clearly laid out by the NVR editor, Sean Scully, in a couple of articles here and here.
Much of the development in South Napa County has been in warehouse projects. The wetlands at the intersection of the Napa River and the bay form an economical base for the acres of concrete slabs that need to be poured. What used to be an expanse of vast natural wetlands calming the traveler leaving the chaotic city in the approach to the fabled valley, is now reduced to an alley between the tilt-ups. The traveler must now run a gauntlet of Semi-tractor-trailers making their way to and from the Jameson Canyon freeway. And there seems to be no end in sight to the projects being proposed and approved.
American Canyon Broadway Specific Plan documents
NVR 3/22/23: American Canyon approves large Giovannoni warehouse complex
NVR 4/22/22: American Canyon looking at future growth
NVR 10/28/19: Napa County, American Canyon want money for airport industrial area
NVR 9/25/19: How should American Canyon grow over the next 20 years?
NVR 6/25/19: American Canyon plans transformation of Highway 29 thoroughfare
NVR 2/19/19: American Canyon: 27 years young and molding its own Napa County identity
NVR 1/19/19: American Canyon filling infrastructure gaps
NBBJ 12/10/18: Big Napa redevelopment with Costco store, hundreds of homes readies for construction
AmCan Eagle 8/22/18: More warehouses approved for northern American Canyon
NVR 3/8/18: Proposed large-scale apartment project raises concerns in American Canyon
NVR 10/26/17: American Canyon extracts more benefits from Napa Logistics Park developer
NVR 7/9/17: Hello IKEA. So long, vineyards?
NVR 6/1/17: Napa planners to get first a look at a Marriott hotel, winery
NVR 3/28/17: American Canyon Planning Commission approves luxury townhouse project
NVR 3/18/17: Highway development could boost American Canyon population
NVR 12/22/15: American Canyon approves new industrial development
NVR 11/02/15: Developer to help fund new American Canyon schools
NVR 10/14/15: Construction begins at new Commerce Center in south Napa
NVR 10/1/15: American Canyon planners praise mega business park
NVR 7/20/15: Costco, Napa Pipe waiting on city decision 7/22/15am
NVR: 12/25/14: Meritage resort plans major expansion
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So long, vineyards
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