The proposed project involves the clearing of vegetation, earthmoving, and installation and maintenance of erosion control measures associated with the development of approximately 0.42 gross acres of new vineyard (i.e., development area, proposed clearing limits; approximately 0.24 net acres of vines) within one vineyard block (Block C), located on an approximate 67.8-acre parcel (i.e., project site) (Figure 3). Average slopes within the development area range from 22 percent (%) to 30%, with 0.04 acres occurring on slopes over 30%. Trees within the proposed vineyard block were severely impacted by the 2020 Glass fire and a Notice of Emergency Timber Operations was granted in February 2021 for the removal of dead and dying trees. A total of 46 fire impacted trees (0.42 acres), have been harvested from the project site. However, per new Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) policies in regard to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, the project is required to result in no net decrease in carbon sequestration capabilities. To mitigate the loss of sequestration, due to the removal of the 46 trees, the project proposes the preservation of two (2) GHG Conservation Easement Blocks (A and B) consisting of 8.61 acres and 1.98 acres. Furthermore, the Conservation Easements Areas A and B contain a combined area of 0.45 acres of developable land under 30% slopes and outside of creek setbacks thereby meeting the no net loss in GHG (Exhibit B-3). An additional preservation area is proposed to comply with the Vegetation Canopy Mitigation Area required under Napa County Code (NCC) Section 18.108.020.D and E, identified as Area C in Exhibit B-3. Mitigation Area C identifies 1.29 acres of comparable forest to preserve, a Biological Report of the proposed Preservation Easement was provided (Exhibit B-4), achieving consistency with Napa County Code (NCC) Section 18.108.020.D and E. In total 11.88 acres of additional land will be permanently preserved on the subject parcel. Additionally, the project applicant has planted 2,000 Douglas-fir seedlings on the parcel, in an attempt to help regenerate trees lost due to the fire. All temporary debris, vegetation, soil and soil amendment stockpiles, as well as storage areas, if needed, will be located within the proposed vineyard development area and clearing limits. 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 project proposes 117 cubic yards of cut with 104 cubic yards of fill to create runoff attenuation; all excess soil will be distributed within Block C. 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. An attenuation basin is also proposed at the eastern corner of the new vineyard block. There is deer fencing enclosing the two existing vineyard blocks and the project proposes to fence in the entirety of the new vineyard block (0.42 acres). Said fencing will be outside of the required stream setbacks. All roads required to provide access to the project site are existing and no new roads are planned as part of this project. (Exhibit A)
Project construction activities are anticipated to require up to approximately eight (8) two-way worker trips per day for work crews of two (2) to eight (8) people split between two (2) - four (4) vehicles, which includes trips anticipated for project mobilization and demobilization for equipment, as well as materials delivery and pick up. Construction equipment is anticipated to include a D-7 size bulldozer, an excavator, tractor/trailers, backhoes, trencher, and pickup trucks, passenger vehicles, and other small to medium service vehicles.
Vineyard operations, including pruning and harvest is anticipated to require up to a maximum of approximately eight (8) two-way worker trips per day for work crews of approximately two (2) to eight (8) workers who are anticipated to carpool. Approximately two (2) additional two-way trips per day are anticipated for a grape haul truck during harvest which is expected to be one (1) day. Equipment for vineyard operations is anticipated to include a tractor/trailer, grape trucks, pickup trucks, ATVS, passenger vehicles and other small to medium service vehicles. Vineyard operations would result in a maximum of 20 trips per day, which is less than the 110 trips noted by the BAAQMD CEQA transportation greenhouse gas (GHG) threshold; whereby projects with fewer than 110 trips per days are considered to have a less than significant impact.
Implementation of the proposed project would be in accordance with the Babu Vineyard ECP prepared by O’Connor Environmental, Inc. (December 2021 - Exhibit A-1). The proposed project is further described in the application materials including the Supplemental Project Information sheets. All documents are incorporated herein by reference and available for review in the Napa County Department of Planning, Building and Environmental Services (PBES).