Our community and our properties in rural Napa County are under serious threat. A huge development project intends to cut 24,000+ mature trees from our surrounding hillsides, greatly disrupting a pristine oak woodland habitat and changing the nature of two undisturbed watersheds.
The greatest threat to us is the taking of water from our water source for 350-plus acres of new vineyards. The drought is already severe and there is no end in sight. This water will be drawn from the same aquifer that supplies Circle Oaks, the Atlas Peak Road area, and Milliken Reservoir. Real estate developer Hall Brambletree intends to construct wells and reservoirs to divert significant amounts from two watersheds, to be drawn above other properties in the area that depend on the same source.
A four-year construction period is projected, involving blasting, logging, and burning. Continual heavy equipment traffic will damage Circle Oaks Drive, a road not built to support heavy loads, endangering critical water and sewer pipes that lie under the road.
The effects of the Walt Ranch Vineyard Conversion project are likely to be devastating to the land itself, to those of us who live near it, and to the local environment as a whole. Water availability and quality. Deforestation. Dispersion of wildlife. Erosion. Air quality. Damage to the property values of our homes and an assault on our quiet and peaceful lifestyle.
Blasting can cause seismic effects damaging the vital flow of water to Circle Oaks. And there is the related noise of an ongoing construction zone for four years. After completion, there will be noise and continual traffic of workers and heavy trucks, all of which is to be routed through Circle Oaks.
Concerned residents have been meeting and working on a response to this challenge since mid-2014. We formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation to make a stand for Circle Oaks, neighboring communities, and for the Capell and Milliken Creek watersheds. We inform the rest of our community on what we are all facing. We need to do what we can to defend our rural life environment. With a united effort, we can make an impact.
Much has already taken place in a short period of time. We have joined forces with other concerned groups from Atlas Peak, Monticello Road, and Soda Canyon, as well as the Sierra Club and Living Rivers Council. We helped form the Napa Vision 2050 coalition to join forces across the county to bring some sense back into local development planning. Together, we have challenged the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Reports presented to Napa County by Hall Brambletree of Frisco, Texas. These reports give no consideration to the impact on Circle Oaks and beyond. It is critical that we become informed and stand together as a community under threat.
Join us. Become more informed. Protect our local resources, our rural way of life, and our property values. Show your support by attending Napa County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission meetings, sending your concerns by email or letter to the Napa County Board of Supervisors and the County of Napa Planning Commission, as well as letters to the Napa Register (and comment on letters and articles online). Our voices are being heard–we are making a positive impact!