Angwin Issues
Updated February 2017

Angwin Land Use Designations COMPLETED December 20, 2016

The Task:  Napa County General Plan Action Item AG/LU-114.1 reads as follows - "Undertake a planning effort to re-evaluate areas of Angwin designated Urban Residential after June 2010, with the objective of re-designating areas to better reflect land uses existing or authorized at that time."  Why is this Action Item in the General Plan and why is it important?

The Considerations:  For the Board of Supervisors to determine appropriate land use designations for the approximately 100 acres under discussion in Angwin, key land use tenets must be considered: 

  • 1.  CA Government Code Section 65300 requires each county and city to adopt a General Plan and Land Use Map "that expresses the community's development goals and embodies public policy relative to the distribution of future land uses, both public and private." 

  • 2.  Land Use Designations (aka Categories) are a system for classifying and designating the appropriate use of land areas.  Land Use Designations are not "parcel specific". The County has the power to change land use category designations and zoning because such designations are not a property right.  The Land Use Map takes a long-term outlook designating land use categories for the good of the community as a whole, not for any single property owner, and the land use designation provides the guide for determining appropriate zoning.  

  • 3.  Ultimately the Supervisors must determine to what extent the unincorporated area of Angwin should continue to attract proposals for fundamentally inappropriate and unsustainable development projects.  The cumulative effects and impacts of building an urban satellite remote from public infrastructure would be very costly to the taxpayers of Napa County.

  • 4.  This discussion should not be about Pacific Union College or property rights; the discussion should be about completing the Land Use Designations left incomplete at the end of the 2009 Napa County General Plan Update.

The History: The current Napa County General Plan was updated in a two-year process that occurred from 2005-2007.  One topic - the issue of twelve so-called "urban and residential bubbles" (loosely drawn configurations on the Napa County Land Use Map indicating roughly where communities of people resided in the unincorporated areas of Napa County) - was deferred to be addressed as a General Plan Amendment.  That process required another year (2008-2009) to deliberate; at its conclusion, eleven of the twelve "bubbles" and a portion of the twelfth "bubble" (Angwin) had been resolved.  At the time of the Amendment discussions, there was an active development application on file with the County that related to about 100 acres in Angwin.  To allow full consideration of that development application (the "Eco-village"), the Board of Supervisors expressed their intent in Action Item AG/LU-114.1 to complete the Land Use Designations for Angwin at some appropriate time in the future.  On July 22, 2014, following a 5-year hiatus, the Board heard public testimony and discussed this Action Item.  The Board directed County Planning staff to prepare specific recommendations for the five areas in Angwin for which Land Use Designations needed to be completed and to bring the report back to the Board at a yet-to-be-scheduled future public hearing. Though both the Planning Director and Board of Supervisors vowed their intent to resolve General Plan Action Item AG/LU-114.1 (“the Angwin issue”) prior to the end of 2015, the subject did not return to the Board’s agenda until Fall of 2016.  A whole new host of thorny issues arose in 2015 and the county was heavily impacted by a significant workload due to an earthquake and wildland fires. 

The Conclusion:  In the later part of 2016, SRA began, again, lobbying the county to complete the Action Item prior to 2017 when a new Board would be seated.  After another false start and two more public hearings, Action Item AG/LU-114.1 was completed on December 20, 2016 by Board adoption of two Resolutions. As of December 20, 2016, the land use designations under review per General Plan Action Item AG/LU-114.1 now better reflect the existing and historical uses of the areas.

Proposed Howell Mountain Timber Harvest Plans (Three) Pending
Spring 2016

What is a Timber Harvest Plan and how is it approved?



As of April 2016, three proposed Timber Harvest Plan requests affecting Angwin are pending with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.  They are:

  • 1. Ciminelli Estate one mile north of Angwin Plaza.  The project would create 17.8 acres of vineyards and maintenance areas on 40 acres and would require removing 16.3 acres of forest.
  • 2. Le Colline Vineyard at 300 Cold Springs Road southeast of Angwin Plaza.  The project would create 35 acres of vineyards and maintenance areas on 88 acres and require removing 32 acres of forest.  It is near the Land Trust of Napa Valley’s Linda Falls Preserve.
  1. 3. Davis Family Estates Friesen Vineyard at 1875 Friesen Drive near Angwin.  The project would create a 14-acre vineyard on 38.7 acres and require removing 10 acres of forest.

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