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Napa City Planning Commission – People at the Podium

March 17, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Make your voice heard and help us bring “people to the podium” (or just in the room!)

Dear City of Napa Planning Commissioners,

Below are recommendations from Napa Climate NOW! for the Climate Change and Sustainability Element and the Transportation Element of the Public Review Draft of the 2040 General Plan.  

We want to express our deep concern that it appears the work of the citizen representatives selected by the City Council to serve on the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) has been ignored and overridden in the Public Draft.  The GPAC members not only held in-depth discussions of goal and policy wordings, but also incorporated public feedback they received during GPAC meetings, public hearings, and additional outreach efforts.  We urge the Planning Commission to retain the language from the Draft Element Framework (4/2021) that resulted from the GPAC’s process.


General Recommendations

  1. Retain the stronger, more precise terms proposed by the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) in the Draft Element Framework (4/2021) as noted in Specific Comments below.
  2. Throughout the document replace “GHG emissions” with “GHG/SLCP emissions”.
  • Aligns the Plan with the reduction targets of SB 1383 for the Short-Lived Climate Pollutants: black carbon (a particulate) and the GHGs methane and hydrofluorocarbons.
  • Allows incorporation of the GHG/SLCP inventory the City is supporting through the Napa County Climate Action Committee.

Additional policies recommended for inclusion: 

Under Goal CCS-1: Climate Change and GHG Reduction

  • (From the 4/2021 Framework) Set clear goals to increase energy efficiency of City-owned buildings by implementing alternative and renewable energy solutions.
  • Reduce emissions from Small Off-Road Engines (SOREs) by prohibiting use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers.
  • CCS 1-4: Add “Create a Sustainability Coordinator position within the City to provide oversight of CC&S goals and policies.  This position would also expand local awareness of actions that residents and businesses…”

Under Goal CCS-2: Land Use and Mobility

  • Limit expansion of fossil fuel gasoline service stations to avoid additional brownfield sites and support transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs).

Under Goal CCS-4: Solid Waste Recycling and Waste Reduction

  • (From the 4/2021 Framework) Transition the heavy refuse and recycling vehicle fleet to vehicles that are 100 percent electric by 2023.
  • Adopt a Disposable Foodware Ordinance to eliminate non-recyclable, non-compostable takeout ware.

Under Goal CCS-5: Water Use Efficiency and Conservation

  • (From the 4/2021 Framework) Invest in infrastructure for potable recycled water.

Under Goal CCS-8: Green Building

  • (From the 4/2021 Framework) Require NZE or net-positive design for significant retrofitting of existing buildings by (2025-suggested deadline).  Encourage NZE and net-positive design for adaptive reuse projects.  
  • Align City regulations with proposed BAAQMD thresholds of no natural gas appliances or natural gas plumbing in both residential and non-residential development.
  • Require that City-owned building projects provide training and apprenticeship opportunities targeted to local residents as specified in a Project Labor Agreement in order to develop the local skilled and trained blue collar construction workforce needed to craft high performance buildings. 

Specific Recommendations

  • Page 6-4, Methane Emissions Reductions: Senate Bill 1383

Include the following: This legislation also set statewide emissions reduction targets specifying a 40 percent reduction in methane, a 40 percent reduction in HFCs, and a 50 percent reduction in anthropogenic black carbon below 2013 levels by 2030. 

(from https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/slcp/about#:~:text=These%20pollutants%20include%20the%20greenhouse,climate%20change%20and%20public%20health.)

  • Page 6-9

Include the following under Solid Waste Recycling and Waste Reduction: (From the BAAQMD 2017 Clean Air Plan, page 3-13) However, in the case of GHGs with a shorter atmospheric lifespan, such as black carbon and methane, a 20-year time frame provides a more realistic means to express their global warming potential. For example, …, methane has a GWP of 34 using a 100-year time frame, but its GWP increases to 86 using a 20-year time frame.

  • CCS 1-1: (Retain 4/2021 language.) Replace “Seek to achieve net zero climate pollutants…” with “Achieve net zero climate pollutants…”
  • CCS 1-2: (Retain 4/2021 language.) Replace “The City should lead by example…” with “Ensure that the City leads by example…”
  • CCS 1-2: Replace “Develop plans for the reduction of fossil fuel consumption…” with “Develop plans for the elimination of fossil fuel consumption…” and set a deadline.
  • CCS 1-2: Add “utilizing sustainable construction practices to achieve a standard of (e.g.CalGreen Tier 1/Tier 2/LEED Gold or other).”
  • CCS 1-5: Insert (in bold) “develop a Climate Action Plan for the City…”
  • CCS 2-1: (Retain 4/2021 language.) Replace “Expand programs that encourage the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.” with “Expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”
  • CCS 2-3: (Retain 4/2021 language.) Replace “Study options to transition the City’s vehicle fleet…” with “Transition the City’s vehicle fleet…”. Set a deadline.
  • CCS 3-1: (Retain 4/2021 language.) Replace “Study and incorporate green infrastructure…” with “Incorporate green infrastructure…”
  • CCS 3-3: “Install a BioEnergy system…” Move this policy from Green Infrastructure to  Energy Generation and Security.
  • CCS-4: (Retain 4/2021 language.) Replace “divert 75 percent (or more) of waste from landfills by 2035 and maintain diversion at 75 percent of greater through 2040.” with “divert 100% of waste from landfills by 2022 (Note: Date chosen by GPAC will have to be updated) and maintain 100% diversion through 2040.”
  • CCS-8: Change text to “Support the City’s vision of a sustainable community by promoting efforts to reduce energy demand, reduce GHG/SLCP emissions, and conserve resources through improved building design.”
  • CCS 8-1: Add “Incentivize Tier 1 and Tier 2 upgrades.”
  • CCS 8-2: (Retain 4/2021 language.) Replace “Seek to incorporate net zero energy…” with “Require net zero energy…”
  • CCS 8-3: (Retain 4/2021 language.) Replace “Encourage roofing design…” with “Require roofing design…”
  • CCS 10-1: Correct “Napa Green Certified Land Program” to “Napa Green Certified Vineyard Program”.


General Recommendations

  1. Prioritize community concerns of increasing safety for pedestrians and cyclists, reducing vehicle speed in residential areas, and employing traffic calming measures from the April 2021 Public Hearing on the Draft Element Framework.

Additional Policies recommended for inclusion

Under Goal TE-3: Promote active transportation…

  • Prioritize maintenance and improvement plans that remove barriers identified through the Safe Routes to Schools program to allow students to bike and walk safely to school and reduce congestion and emissions around school sites.

Under Goal TE-5: Automobile Movement

  • Adopt proposed BAAQMD thresholds for Land Use Projects including targeted reductions in VMT.

Specific Recommendations (additional text in bold)

  • Page 3-14: Clarify the following: “…rail right-of-way owned by the Sonoma Marin Area rail Transit in American Canyon.” Is this right of way in American Canyon a north-south route, east-west route?
  • Page 3-14: Include the date of the SMART Feasibility Study for the Novato to Suisun City corridor.
  • TE 1-2: Set a target and date for completing planned bicycle and pedestrian plans, e.g. complete at least 50% of the planned bike and pedestrian network by 2035.
  • TE 2-3: Add text “Install traffic calming infrastructure during routine paving and maintenance.
  • TE 2-4: Include as examples “street landscaping and street trees” and “ADA compliance” that were in item I in the Draft Element Framework.
  • TE 6-1: Include V Commute website information (vcommute.org) as requested by NVTA staff.
  • TE 6-4: Change text to: “Include Travel Demand Management responsibilities under a Sustainability Coordinator position in the City Manager’s office to provide…”
  • TE 7-5: Change text to: “This can be accomplished through thoughtful design of parking lots/structures and site design, improved connections to nearby uses, traffic/parking management, and financial incentives such as discounted paid parking.
  • Goal TE-10: Sustainable Transportation Choices: Set specific goals and timelines, e.g. “Achieve a mode shift of 10% for bicycling/walking for trips less than 3 miles by 2035.”

We are happy to provide further information about our recommendations.  Please contact Chris Benz at christinabbenz@gmail.com.

Thank you for your consideration,

Napa Climate NOW! Government Accountability Issues Team

Chris Benz
Linda Brown
Lynne Baker
Jim Wilson


March 17, 2022
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


City Hall Council Chambers
955 School Street
Napa, 94559 United States
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