NAPA -- After years of intense discussion about how the proposed 154-acre redevelopment of the former Napa Pipe plant would unfold, the Napa County Board of Supervisors Tuesday passed General Plan and zoning provisions considered key to allowing the commercial and residential project to move forward.

[caption id="attachment_64221" align="alignleft" width="400"] Artist rendering of commercial and residential space planned as part of the redevelopment of the Napa Pipe property.[/caption]

While work remains to finalize specific design guidelines and an outline for the project's relationship with the adjacent city of Napa, today's vote represents a clear signal for many that the half-billion-dollar development will now go forward. Those efforts could be completed before the end of this year, with initial site work and environmental mitigation beginning soon after, according to project developer Napa Pipe Redevelopment Partners, LLC.

The vote created a new "Napa Pipe Zoning District" designation and accepted water supply findings and general plan changes related to the project. It was the sixth time that those items were on the board's agenda since Jan. 15.

The vote essentially solidifies a general guideline for the project. Napa Pipe would have less than 1,000 housing units, including 140 affordable units, plus a 154,000-square-foot Costco Wholesale store, 150-unit continuing care retirement center, 150-room hotel and other community, warehouse and office space.

The proposal reflects the recommendations last year by the county's Planning Commission, which drew increased public support for the region's largest project in recent memory.

The envisioned project now is markedly different from the 3,200 housing units first proposed. The former industrial site was purchased in 2005 by Napa Redevelopment Partners, led by development firm Rogal + Walsh + Mol and backed by Farallon Capital Management.

Elected members of Napa city government attended today's meeting.

"We're created the path," said Napa Mayor Jill Techel. "Now we need to do the details."

County Supervisor Bill Dodd said current discussions with the city were making significant progress in outlining the sharing of tax revenue and the ultimate annexation of the area into the city of Napa.

The board also adopted environmental and water-supply findings related to the project.