Le Colline: one more cumulative impact
on the web at: https://sodacanyonroad.org/forum.php?p=2304
George Caloyannidis | Apr 19, 2023

I have been following the Le Colline project application. Two arguments in support by the applicant surprised me as considered relevant by people who want to enter the wine-making business in the Napa Valley. And as they are made again and again, they also seem to resonate with the Planning Commission and our Supervisors.

The first applicants’ argument is that planting a vineyard, building a winery, a home and raising their children in the Napa Valley has been their life-long dream. This sounds very romantic, noble and on its face convincing enough.

The second argument this particular applicant - and others before them - made when asked to minimize the scope of their project, is that such reduction would not economically support their business model.

The problem is that there are appropriate places in the Napa Valley to realize these kinds of dreams and inappropriate places without the environmental impacts Le Colline has. There are plenty of data on file on what these impacts are that I don’t need to repeat here.

But the presumption that this Valley has the obligation to make all kinds of concessions in order to facilitate any business anywhere has been promoted by our local government for so long or these types of arguments wouldn’t be made in the first place.

Over the more than two decades I have been here, I have seen how ineffective the County’s so-called mitigation measures have been as it consistently has failed to consider cumulative impacts of the projects it approves. This failure has created incremental deforestation, river bed siltation, commuters and traffic jams, declining school enrollment, affordable housing shortage, the list is endless. Yet, our government has assured us that all these impacts were mitigated by each project. How can such government by worthy of our trust?

If more proof is needed, it is the increasing contention of winery projects, especially ones in the hillsides for which the County’s taxpayers, the applicants and the public are forced to spend inordinate amounts of time and money better spent on our crumbling infrastructure than in lawsuits. The County has failed miserably to safeguard - in fact has promoted - the incremental degradation of our overall quality of life; its foremost obligation. Undaunted, it keeps at it!

NVR LTE version 4/18/23: Le Colline project not a good fit for the area

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