Le Colline Vineyard
on the web at: https://sodacanyonroad.org/forum.php?p=1995
Bill Hocker | Nov 8, 2023

lt green: vineyard block reduction in approved proposal

Update 11/8/23
NVR 11/8/23: Napa County explains controversial Le Colline vineyard rejection
Frances Tinney LTE 11/6/23: Le Colline denial isn’t a rebuke of Napa's ag heritage
Sierra Club LTE 9/8/23: Napa Sierra Club supports Le Colline decision

Update 8/21/23
NVR 8/21/23: After rejection of Le Colline, what does the future hold for Napa County vineyard plans?

I finally had the chance to look at the hearing video. I was quite struck by the amount of vehement opposition, worthy almost of a Walt Ranch hearing - including t-shirts! I was also a bit dismayed by the apocalyptic language and the demonization of the developers who were, in fact, proposing a project no different than the many unopposed lifestyle vineyards that already surround Angwin. A little more appreciation of how quickly the zeitgeist and reality has changed due to climate catastrophe would have been welcome.

The significant pushback had much to do, no doubt, with the organizing efforts of the Save Napa Valley Foundation which hopefully will be instrumental in promoting the county's rapid shift to sustainable conservation and away from entrepreneurial economic growth as we move into the next General Plan cycle.

Update 8/15/23
The appeal was upheld on the basis of biological impacts, potential erosion impacts, and non-consideration of tree burning in GHG analysis!

NVR 8/15/23: Napa County rules against Le Colline vineyard
Video of the hearing
Caloyannidis LTE 8/18/23: Supervisors made the right call in rejecting Le Colline
Napa County Farm Bureau response

The Board, reconfigured from patriarchy into matriarchy by the arrival two new members at the beginning of 2023, has made its first major land use decision concerning the ongoing deforestation of Napa County for vineyard use. It may (or may not) represent a watershed moment, so to speak, in the approach the County is willing to use to address climate change. Thus far the county's response to climate change has been a slow-walk for years through committee hearings and reports, all while the county burns and the watertable sinks. Putting a hold on vineyard development in the forested hills, thus mitigating the GHG's emitted and groundwater depleted by such projects, is a first concrete action in the right direction. The decision was 3-2 with Sups. Cottrell, Gallagher and Ramos backing the appeal and Sups. Gregory and Pedroza for denial.

The findings to uphold the appeal will be finalized by the BOS on Nov 7, 2023.

Update 7/25/23
Le Colline Appeal Notice
CBD summary of appeal
Save Napa Valley hearing email
Objection correspondence

The Appeal Hearing will be held on Aug 15, 2023 in the BOS Chambers. Submit comments by email, letter or verbally at the hearing. Form letter, email addresses, contact and location info is on the SNV email.

Update 4/15/23
NVR 4/15/23: Napa County fight over Le Colline vineyard to continue
Mike Hackett LTE 4/16/23: Le Colline vineyard developer’s classic greenwashing

Update 3/25/23 Project Approval
Notice of Administrative Decision to certify La Colline FEIR and approve ECP

Project Documents on Project Explorer
As usual these documents will be lost to easy retrieval once the project disappears from the Current Projects list.

Rather that approve the "environmentally superior" alternative among the three alternatives to the project originally proposed in the DEIR, the County approved the environmentally not-quite-superior alternative, called the "Increased Water Quality and Sensitive Habitat Alternative" which reduced the acerage disturbed by 5+ acres for a total deforestation of about 28.5 acres. Almost universally in these EIR's , the "environmentally superior alternative", as here, is the "No Project Alternative", ie just leaving the existing state alone. It shows how little governments are concerned about the long term health of our environment when they routinely recognize that development projects are detrimental to that environment but approve them anyway because enabling capitalism is more important than life on earth - a truth more apparent with each new climate catastrophe.

Update 1/9/23
NVR 1/9/23: Napa County decision on proposed Le Colline vineyard coming
County FEIR documents (viewable on fewer and fewer browsers)

Update 2/18/19
Comment deadline extended to Mon., Feb 25, 2019, 5:00pm.

NVR 2/18/19: Napa Open Space District suggests improvements to vineyard project

A vineyard development at the southern edge of Angwin has been making its way through the county meat grinder for a couple of years now. The Le Colline Vineyard ECP and DEIR calls for the clearing of a wooded hillside with a flat topped knob (Le Colline) just south of Angwin. (map) The vineyard will consume much of a watershed that adds to the popular natural attraction of the Linda Falls Preserve before heading down Conn Creek to Hennessey Reservoir and the taps of Napa city residents. It will also consume a fair number of trees that will be cleared in a timber harvesting operation. This was one of the projects that convinced CalFire to turn over control of Timber Harvest Plans to the County in 2017 (see here). Access to the vineyard will be off the dead-end Cold Springs Road, a community already concerned over the threat of the Aloft Winery proposed at the end of the road.

A Draft Environmental Impact Report has been prepared for the project and public comments have been requested on the DEIR. The deadline for public comments is Mon, February 25, 2019, 5:00pm.
NV2050 Elaine De Man: Le Colline Vineyard Conversion, Public Comment Suggestions

Comments should be directed to:

Brian Bordona, Supervising Planner
Napa County Planning, Building, and Environmental Services Department
1195 Third Street, 2nd Floor
Napa, CA 94559
Email: Brian.Bordona@countyofnapa.org
Phone: (707) 259-5935

The County's Le Colline ECPA documents page is here
DEIR Notice of Availability
The DEIR document is here

SRC 3/9/17: Deforestation leader: CalFire or County?
NVR 3/8/17: Cal Fire shifts timber harvest permits to Napa County
James Conaway's Nose blog 10/9/16: Fish biologist Patrick Higgins Comments on Le Colline
Deborah Leidig LTE 5/16/16: Let the valley soil host the vines
NVR 5/9/16: Angwin land in the bull's-eye yet again

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