Nikolau Vineyard Conversion Erosion Control Plan Section 17 Exemption P22-00044


SCH Number
Lead Agency
Napa County
Document Title
Nikolau Vineyard Conversion Erosion Control Plan Section 17 Exemption P22-00044
Document Type
MND - Mitigated Negative Declaration
Present Land Use
General Plan designation Agricultural, Watershed and Open Space (AWOS), Zoning Designation Agricultural Watershed (AW)
Document Description
The proposed project involves the clearing of vegetation, earthmoving, and installation and maintenance of erosion control measures associated with the development of approximately 3.4 gross acres of new vineyard (i.e., development area, proposed clearing limits; approximately 2.5 net acres of vines) within one (1) vineyard block, located on an approximately 60-acre parcel (i.e., project site) (Figure 3). Average slopes within the development area range from 17 percent (%) to 24%, with 0.5 acres occurring on slopes over 30%. Per Ordinance No. 1438, Section 17 earthmoving activities associated with an agricultural project of five (5) acres or less on slope of less than 30% can utilize a one-time exemption whereby the project is required to comply with the Conservation Regulation in effect prior to the effective date of Ordinance No. 1438. As such, the project is exempt from the vegetation requirements of Napa County Code (NCC) Section 18.108.020. Trees within the proposed vineyards block were severely impacted by the 2020 Glass fire and a Notice of Emergency Timber Operations was granted in August 2021 for the removal of dead and dying trees (Exhibit G). A total of 95 trees have been harvested from the project site, the project proposes to removal an additional four (4) trees, if approved. Per new Bay Area Air Quality District Management District policies in regards to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, the project is required to result in no net decrease in sequestration capabilities. As such, even though the project is exempt from NCC Section 18.108.020, it will require the preservation of 2.9 acres of comparable woodland to offset the 2.9-acres of Douglas Fir vegetation proposed for removal in order to meet the new air quality CEQA threshold. The applicant has identified 2.9 acres of Douglas-fir forest to be designated as a permanent preserve to meet the new greenhouse gas threshold. An existing pond and ephemeral drainage will have 35' setbacks, consistent with County Conservation Regs. Mitigation measures are proposed to ensure a less than significant impact to western pond turtles and any nesting birds. All temporary debris, vegetation, soil and soil amendment stockpiles and storage areas, if needed, will be located within the proposed vineyard development area and clearing limits. A small area below the proposed vineyard block has been identified for permanent disposal of stumps and rocks, and is included in the overall project area statistics. Rock generated as a result of site preparation will be disposed of within the development footprint by being buried in the vineyard roads or will be placed in the permanent stump and rock disposal area. Rock may also be processed and used for lining existing roads within the vineyard development. Temporary rock stockpiles and staging areas would be located inside of proposed clearing limits. No grading activities or ground disturbance would occur outside of the proposed clearing limits. The vineyard would be irrigated with water sourced from an existing groundwater well, and pipelines would be located in existing roadways, vineyard avenues and/or within the proposed clearing limits. There is no existing deer fencing on the property and the project proposes to fence in the entire vineyard block. Said fencing will be outside of the required stream and reservoir setbacks. All roads required to provide access to the project site are existing and no new roads are planned as part of this project.

Contact Information

Dana E Morrison
Agency Name
County of Napa
Job Title
Planner III
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Michael Muelrath
Agency Name
Consultant Planner
Job Title
Contact Types
Project Applicant / Consulting Firm


Countywide, Unincorporated
Cross Streets
Dutch Henry Canyon Road and Silverado Trail
Total Acres
Parcel #
Dutch Henry Creek and Biter Creek

Notice of Completion

State Review Period Start
State Review Period End
State Reviewing Agencies
California Air Resources Board (ARB), California Department of Conservation (DOC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bay Delta Region 3 (CDFW), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Transportation, District 4 (DOT), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), California Natural Resources Agency, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region 2 (RWQCB), Department of Toxic Substances Control, Office of Historic Preservation, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water
Development Types
Other (Agricultural vineyard development - Erosion Control Plan)
Local Actions
Agricultural Erosion Control Plan
Project Issues
Aesthetics, Agriculture and Forestry Resources, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Drainage/Absorption, Economics/Jobs, Energy, Flood Plain/Flooding, Geology/Soils, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards & Hazardous Materials, Hydrology/Water Quality, Land Use/Planning, Mandatory Findings of Significance, Mineral Resources, Noise, Population/Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Transportation, Tribal Cultural Resources, Utilities/Service Systems, Vegetation, Wildfire
Local Review Period Start
Local Review Period End


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