Napa County supervisors to weigh in on appeal of controversial Le Colline vineyard project next week

One of Napa County’s most controversial land-use debates — whether the Le Colline Vineyard should be allowed to be planted in the mountains near Angwin — is set to return to the Napa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The roughly 21 acres of vineyards would be located on a 90-acre property at 300 Cold Springs Road, and the county tentatively approved much of the project in March.

But the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit environmental organization that has challenged comparable Napa County vineyard projects in court, filed an appeal shortly after.

Most of the opposition to the vineyard project has been on environmental grounds, as the project would involve forest removal.

But the owners of the Le Colline property have pledged to operate the vineyard at net-zero carbon emissions — Napa County made that commitment a condition of approval — through reforestation efforts and use of electric tractors, among other efforts.

But that commitment has not been sufficient for project opponents, who argue the project lacks what is necessary to achieve net-zero emissions.

The Center for Biological Diversity said in a report that the project would harm wildlife and habitat, and would increase wildfire risk and danger.

The report said the county’s environmental review underestimates overall greenhouse gas emissions that will result from the project, and that the project will likely degrade the water quality of Conn Creek and reduce groundwater supply.

The center also said the project would harm the adjacent Linda Falls Preserve, a 175-acre nature preserve owned by the Land Trust of Napa County.

“The climate crisis could not be more urgent, and the project’s attempts to address it, including a dubious tree-planting program, amount to little more than greenwashing,” the center stated in the report.

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