Deadline to Comment on Napa County’s New Draft Groundwater Sustainability Workplans is January 30, 2024
ATTENTION: The following proposed measures will impact existing groundwater pumpers in the Napa Valley Subbasin.
Napa County’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) was approved by the California Department of Water Resources on January 26, 2023. The approved GSP identified the need to develop a Water Conservation Workplan and Groundwater Pumping Reduction Workplan. The GSP also identified data gaps in evaluating the depletion of interconnected surface waters and groundwater dependent ecosystems, and proposed the preparation of a workplan to address such data gaps. These three plans have now been prepared by Napa County’s Groundwater Sustainability Agency and are available for public review and comment. All public comments on these three plans are due by January 30, 2024.
General information on the scope of the three workplans is below:
- Groundwater Pumping Reduction Workplan:
- This plan identifies a goal to achieve a 10 percent reduction (about 15,000 acre feet) in pumping relative to the average annual historical pumping (as measured in the years 2005-2014).
- This plan also presents voluntary programs that will purportedly result in Subbasin sustainability benefits, and in addition, presents mandatory measures to reduce groundwater pumping (which could be implemented if the voluntary measures are insufficient).
- Water Conservation Workplan:
- This plan is a resource for stakeholders to learn about, consider, and adopt new or additional water conservation measures.
- Interconnected Surface Water and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Workplan:
- This plan addresses the data gaps that were identified in the originally adopted GSP and provides a structured approach to evaluating the effect of groundwater conditions on interconnected surface waters and groundwater-dependent ecosystems.
Public comments on these plans can be submitted using the Excel Comment Form on the County’s website (link below), submitted via email to: [email protected].
For more information, visit the County’s website here: https://www.countyofnapa.org/3219/County-of-Napa-Plans-Reports-Documents.
Deadline Is October 1, 2023 To Apply for Continuation Under Napa County’s Winery Waste Discharge Program
DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 1, 2023 TO APPLY FOR CONTINUATION UNDER NAPA COUNTY’S WINERY WASTE DISCHARGE PROGRAM
The deadline to apply for Napa County’s Winery Waste Discharge Program was recently extended. For wineries currently enrolled in Napa County’s Winery Waste Discharge Program, the deadline to apply for continuation under the program is coming up on Sunday, October 1, 2023. Below is additional information on how to apply for continuation and additional information for wineries that are not currently enrolled in the program.
As California winery operators are likely aware, the new California Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements for Winery Process Water Order requires compliance for most existing wineries beginning January 20, 2024. However, Napa County has arranged to continue its existing Winery Waste Discharge Program for an additional three years. If you have not yet applied for continuation, you can submit the application here (the application page still references the prior August 1, 2023 deadline).
More information can be found on the County’s website here.
Wineries that do not have current enrollment in the County’s program are NOT eligible for apply for this continuation and will be required to enroll in the new Statewide General Winery Discharge Program by January 20, 2024, which can be found here.
Deadline to Apply for Continuation Under Napa County’s Winery Waste Discharge Program
DEADLINE IS AUGUST 1, 2023 TO APPLY FOR CONTINUATION UNDER NAPA COUNTY’S WINERY WASTE DISCHARGE PROGRAM
As California winery operators are likely aware, the new California Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements for Winery Process Water Order requires compliance for most existing wineries beginning January 20, 2024. However, Napa County has arranged to continue its existing Winery Waste Discharge Program for an additional three years. If your winery is currently enrolled in Napa County’s Winery Waste Discharge Program, the deadline to apply for continuation under the program is coming up on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. If you have not yet applied for continuation, you can submit the application here: Napa County Winery Waste Discharge Program Application.
More information can be found on the County’s website here: Winery Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs).
Wineries that do not have current enrollment in the County’s program are NOT eligible for apply for this continuation and will be required to enroll in the new Statewide General Winery Discharge Program by January 20, 2024, which can be found here: General Waste Discharge Requirements for Winery Process Water.
For more information or for assistance with enrollment in either of the above, please contact Josh Devore.
Napa County Appoints Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee
Last week, the Napa County Board of Supervisors appointed members to the recently-formed Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee (“APAC”). APAC is an advisory body of the Napa County Planning Commission, and it was formed in order to evaluate and make policy recommendations on Napa County’s Winery Definition Ordinance and other regulations governing winery development within Napa County. DP&F is pleased to have Jeff Dodd, a land use and water law attorney at the firm, sit on the committee as an alternate member.
APAC will meet semi-monthly beginning on April 13 and is scheduled to deliver its policy recommendations to the Napa County Planning Commission on September 2. These policy recommendations will involve the following topics:
- Minimum parcel size for new wineries
- Minimum percentage of grapes used in the winery to be grown on-site (i.e. an estate grape requirement)
- Requirement that new or expanded wineries result in no net loss of vineyards
- Requirement that a majority of winery employees be directly engaged in vineyard or production operations
- Permissibility of variances for road and stream setbacks for new wineries
- Requirement that wineries include the number of temporary events in their use permit approval as part of its marketing plan
- Development standards for wineries located in the Agricultural Preserve and Agricultural Watershed zoning districts
APAC meetings are open to the public and provide for public comment on matters before the Committee. To stay up-to-date on APAC’s schedule, activities, and agenda items, click here.
Napa Lot Line Adjustments and Involuntary Mergers
The Napa County Public Works Department is in the process of preparing amendments to the Subdivision and Zoning Ordinance as it relates to lot line adjustments and certificates of compliance. The changes originally proposed by staff were minor and did not warrant comments. However, during the “stakeholder” review of the changes, the Napa County Farm Bureau suggested that Napa County take this opportunity to amend the merger ordinance to implement the Napa County specific enabling legislation in the Subdivision Map Act (“Map Act”) the state approved in 1997 in recognition of Napa’s extraordinary agricultural land value.
Under the Map Act, Napa County can adopt an ordinance that would authorize the County to require the “merger” of an undeveloped “substandard parcel” as a condition for issuance of a permit or development approval for a contiguous parcel located in the agricultural zoning district and held in common ownership on or after January 1, 1998 A “substandard parcel” is one that does not meet the current minimum parcel size; generally 40 acres on the valley floor and 160 acres everywhere else. There are certain exemptions under the Map Act for:
- Parcels that were created before 1/1/1997 that have been recognized by a certificate of compliance or conditional certificate of compliance.
- Parcels created by a recorded subdivision or parcel map on or after 12/29/1955.
- Parcels lawfully created by Record of Survey prior to 2/27/1969.
- Parcels that have had a consolidated legal description that includes the merger of any underlying parcels that may exist.
(See Government Code Section 66451.22)
County staff is recommending that the Napa County Board of Supervisors refer this request to its legislative subcommittee for consideration. Given the impact that this could have on property values if the County decides to adopt these provisions, property owners should be advised to contact legal counsel to take the necessary steps to confirm that they either meet the exceptions or take other actions necessary to prevent or decrease the likelihood of being subjected to involuntary merger in the future.
Napa County Winery Audits: What are the odds?
St. Helena City Council Rescinds Amendments to Small Winery Ordinance
St. Helena’s City Council unanimously voted to approve an emergency ordinance repealing recently passed amendments to the Small Winery Ordinance. We wrote about this matter earlier in the week. Tuesday’s vote prevents the amendments from being put on the November ballot as a referendum item, and effectively reopens debate regarding the proposed amendments.
A video of Tuesday’s meeting is available on the City Council website.
St. Helena City Council Will Consider Rescinding Amendments to Small Winery Ordinance
Aggressive State Stream Diversion Enforcement Comes to Napa River Watershed
California ABC Announces On-Sale Liquor Licenses for Napa County
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced authorization for the issuance of five (5) original on-sale general liquor licenses for bona fide public eating places in Napa County, as authorized in Section 23826.10 of the Business & Professions Code. These licenses are to be issued only to premises having a seating capacity for 50 or more diners. The fee for a new on-sale general license is $13,800