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File #: 1585-2018    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Evening Public Hearing/Appeal Status: Passed
File created: 10/2/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: 12/4/2018 Final action: 12/4/2018
Title: Vista Grove Subdivision, a Proposed 27 Lot Residential Subdivision on a 4.9 Acre Property Located at 4455 Linda Vista Avenue
Attachments: 1. ATCH 1 -Draft Resolution, 2. ATCH 2 - PC staff report dte 10.4.18 neighbor corres & draft min excerpts, 3. ATCH 3 - Project Description and Plans, 4. ATCH 4 - Communication Received Oct 23, 2018.pdf

To:                     Honorable Mayor and Members of City Council


From:                     Lark Ferrell, Acting Community Development Director


Prepared By:                     Michael Allen, Associate Planner




Vista Grove Subdivision, a Proposed 27 Lot Residential Subdivision on a 4.9 Acre Property Located at 4455 Linda Vista Avenue





Adopt a resolution approving a Use Permit, Design Review Permit and Tentative Map for the Vista Grove Subdivision, a subdivision of a 4.9-acre project site into 27 single family lots, located at 4455 Linda Vista Avenue and determining that the actions authorized by this resolution are exempt from CEQA.






The Applicant, Catherine Okimoto, requests approval of a Tentative Map and Design Review Permit to subdivide two parcels totaling 4.9 acres into 27 single-family lots and a Use Permit authorizing use of flag lot development standards for Lots 22 and 23. The proposed lots range in size from 5,000 square feet (0.11 acres) to 8,300 square feet (0.18 acres) and would be accessed off an extension of Winedale Lane, Wine Press Way, and Wine Country Avenue.  The existing single-family house would be demolished. The project would complete through-connections for Wine Country Avenue and Winedale Lane and provide a cul-de-sac at the terminus of Wine Press Way.


The 27-unit development proposes a total of six house plan models that range in size from 1,413 to 2,515 square feet, with three models having two different elevations. All models provide three bedrooms with the exception of the home on Lot 24 (Urban Cottage) which provides two bedrooms. Eleven (11) of the proposed houses would include either an attached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) or a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU).  Two models (Pino Bungalow and California Dreamer) are designed so that the third bedroom could be used as a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit. Another model (Haystacks) includes a full Accessory Dwelling Unit in addition to the three bedrooms. Three of the models provide a one-story design that features a front porch element and recessed garages.


The project approvals requested as a part of this application include:


1.                     Design Review Permit authorizing the building designs and subdivision map layout including streets and sidewalks.


2.                     Use Permit to authorize the application of flag lot development standards.


3.                     Tentative Map to subdivide the properties into 27 single family lots.




The project site is comprised of two existing parcels totaling 4.9 acres and is located on the west side of Linda Vista Avenue and east of Malaga Way, between the eastern and western terminuses of Wine Country Avenue. The entire site is relatively flat with the 0.81-acre parcel containing a single-family residence with associated hardscape and landscape Improvements. The home would be demolished to accommodate the project. The 4.9-acre parcel is vacant and covered with ruderal grasses. It had contained a large grove of Eucalyptus trees which were removed prior to the application being received by the City. It should be noted that Eucalyptus trees are a non-native species and are not subject to the Tree Preservation Ordinance. Therefore, approval from the City was not required prior to their removal.  The site is surrounded on all sides by residential development that had been constructed predominantly throughout the 1990’s.  




The property is located within the SFI-3, Single Family Residential General Plan Designation, which provides for single-family residential development at densities from three to six units per acre. The 4.9-acre site provides a density range of 14 to 29 units. The 27 lot subdivision results in a density of 5.5 units per acre, which is consistent with the density range of this Designation. The project is also consistent with several policies and principles of the General Plan, including policies that encourage the creative and efficient use of vacant land along with providing an increased mix of various types of housing throughout the City to meet the community’s housing needs. The following is an analysis of the consistency of the project proposal with the City’s General Plan and applicable General Plan policies:


Housing Element Policy H1.1 encourages the efficient use of land, and Housing Element Policy H1.4 encourages approval of well-designed projects in the mid- to high-range of the General Plan density.


The proposed 27-lot infill development project has been designed to achieve a density that is above the mid-point of the density range for this property. The achieved density makes the most efficient use of the underutilized land, consistent with Policies H1.1 and H1.4.


Land Use Element Policy LU-4.5 encourages projects to be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.


The area has a variety of lot sizes ranging from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet and greater, but the predominant lot size appears to be between 5,000 and 8,000 square feet. The proposed lots are compatible in size with those in the neighborhood. The proposed single-family use and homes reflect a contemporary interpretation of traditional building styles that have similarities to the architecture of the existing neighborhood and are compatible with existing residences in the area, consistent with this policy. The proposed single-family use, lot sizes, and density are consistent with the pattern of single-family development in the area.


Transportation Element Goal T-1 seeks: “To provide for extension and improvement of the City’s roadway system to ensure the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.” 


The proposed subdivision connects two discontinuous streets (Wine Country Avenue and Winedale Lane) thereby extending and improving circulation for the residents in the project site’s vicinity. The intersection of Wine Country Avenue and Winedale Lane would be stop controlled on the Winedale Lane approaches. Additionally, the project is designed with bulb-outs identified as “chokers” along Wine Country Avenue to provide traffic calming for the residential neighborhood. These safety features involve a narrowing of a roadway near the center of the development which is intended to reduce traffic speeds thereby providing a safer environment.


Transportation Policy T-1.8 states, “The City shall connect (or require the connection of) discontinuous arterial or collector streets and improve circulation network continuity involving minor access streets and other high-volume streets…including Wine County Avenue west of Linda Vista Avenue.”


Wine Country Avenue is a discontinuous collector roadway that runs east-west from Byway East to Linda Vista Avenue and east of Malaga Way to Dry Creek Road. There is a gap in Wine Country Avenue between Linda Vista Avenue and east of Malaga Way. The project accomplishes Policy T-1.8 by constructing the discontinuous portion of Wine Country Avenue. Similarly, this new connection is consistent with Figure 3-2 of the General Plan which identifies desired future roadway improvements, including the completion of the missing segment of Wine Country Avenue west of Linda Vista Avenue. 




The project site is located within the Single-Family Infill (RI-5) district. The RI district implements the single-family residential category of the General Plan for areas that develop into a single-family detached unit pattern. RI areas typically include post war tract subdivisions which usually have uniform platting patterns, setbacks and building types. This district provides opportunities for low density detached single-family homes. The RI-5 Zoning District provides for residential development with a minimum lot size of 5,000 square feet. The subdivision proposes lot sizes that range from 5,000 square feet (0.11 acres) to 8,300 square feet (0.19 acres). All the proposed lots in the subdivision are consistent with and meet or exceed the minimum lot size requirement for the RI-5 Zoning designation.  For additional detail regarding the project’s compliance with the RI-5 development standards, see the attached Planning Commission report (Attachment 2).




The project site is located within the Affordable Housing Overlay (AH) Zoning District. The purpose of the AH Overlay is to provide a greater degree of housing affordability on identified key sites than would otherwise be required of residential developments outside of the AH Overlay.  Maximization of development opportunities on AH designated sites should be accomplished by providing well-designed projects at the upper end of density ranges.  Low-density Single-Family Infill (RI) districts with the AH Overlay are required to meet the following requirements:


1.     40% of total units constructed on site shall include second dwelling units.


2.     No development shall be age-restricted.


3.     Development densities shall be no lower than 90% of the site’s General Plan density range.


4.     The development shall comply with each of the provisions of Chapter 15.94 (Affordable Housing Impact Fees).  


The project provides 11 homes that have either an ADU or a JADU unit which represents 40.7% of the total units. Although the project would provide 11 ADU’s, four additional homes (California Dreamer) includes one room plumbed for easy conversion to a JADU by the future homeowner. The development does not contain an age restriction and the 27 units represents approximately 94% of the density range.  The project would also comply with the appropriate affordable housing impact fees per Chapter 15.94 of the Napa Municipal Code. Therefore, the project meets the AH requirements.




NMC Section 17.52.190 establishes property development standards for flag lots which allow for variations to the standards of the base district and provide additional requirements to ensure adequate parking and access to a flag lot.  A flag lot is a lot that does not front on a street and is located behind a standard lot with access from a driveway (the “flag stem”). A Use Permit is required for application of the flag lot standards which require the provision of an additional on-site parking space to accommodate the parking space normally located on the street. Additionally, driveways are required to be designed to allow for forward entry onto the street.


Lots No. 22 and No. 23 are flag lots of sufficient size and configuration to allow for guest parking. Sufficient back-up space has been considered to allow for forward entry onto the private driveway to Wine Country Avenue for both lots. It has been determined that adequate space for emergency vehicle access is provided by the private driveway.  The proposed flag lots are consistent with the Zoning Ordinance and the Flag Lot Development standards.




NMC Section 17.62.050 requires design review by the Planning Commission and City Council for Tentative Maps. There are three design principles that are evaluated through the Design Review Permit process, two of which are focused on home design. For review of the subdivision’s design, Staff analyzed the following principle applicable to site design:


Site Planning: New single-family housing and subdivisions should result in residential design and site planning that supports overall neighborhood design objectives and context.


The Vista Grove Tentative Map consists of 27 single family residential lots that would take access from new extensions of Wine Country Avenue, Winedale Lane and Wine Press Way. The subdivision has been designed around the necessary alignment to complete missing street linkages that are identified to be completed in accordance with General Plan Goals and Policies. The proposed road system follows the existing termini of Wine County Avenue, Winedale Lane and Wine Press Way.  All proposed lots front on the new street extensions and cul-de-sac consistent with the surrounding neighborhood’s development pattern (except for the two flag lots, Lots 22 & 23).  Both flag lots have been designed consistent with the flag lot development standards (see Section IV.D. Flag Lot Use Permit). The existing neighborhood contains a variety of lot sizes ranging from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet and greater, but the predominant lot size appears to be between 5,000 and 8,000 square feet. The proposed lots are compatible in size and configuration with those in the neighborhood.




Chapter 17.62.050 of the Zoning Ordinance requires the submittal of house designs in conjunction with design review of the subdivision. Consistent with this requirement, the Applicant has submitted six home plans utilizing different styles of architecture to create a neighborhood with a village feel.  According to the Applicant, the proposed architectural styles are a combination of "Urban Farmhouse" and "Contemporary Napa Cottage.”  The "Farmhouse" exterior offers a painted re-sawn wood applied in a board and batten pattern. The windows and doors have a "four light" pattern with surface mounted mullions for a true divided look. Proposed roof materials are dimensional composition shingle presented in a variety of complementary colors. Garage doors are proposed to include a barn door style with the convenience of sectional roll-up doors.


The "Contemporary Napa Cottage" offers a stucco exterior with a sand foam float finish using medium grain sand for a rich velvety look with earth tone colors. Windows complement the contemporary design with a three-light horizontal bar pattern to create a modern statement. Roof materials are proposed to be dimensional composition shingles with varied colors. Garage doors would be aluminum frames with frosted glass type panels in concert with the more contemporary styling of these homes.  For additional design review discussion of the project’s home designs, see the attached Planning Commission report (Attachment 2).




The proposed project consists of 27 single family residential homes. According to the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Manual: 10th Edition, a development of this type is expected to generate 255 new daily trips with 20 of those trips occurring in the AM Peak Hour and 27 of those trips occurring in the PM Peak Hour. The trip generation of this project is below the City of Napa’s threshold for requiring a Traffic Impact Study.



One comment letter was received on October 11, 2016 regarding the Vista Grove Subdivision (Attachment 3). The letter cited concern for the potential use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) proposed for some of the homes as a bed and breakfast rental.  It should be noted that bed and breakfast establishments are only permitted by use permit in historic homes that are listed on the Historic Recourse Inventory.  Therefore, none of the ADU’s in this new development could be used as such.  Similarly, ADU’s are prohibited from being rented for transient occupancy per Napa Municipal Code 17.52.015. 




On October 4, 2018, the Planning Commission considered the proposed residential subdivision (see Planning Commission Minutes Excerpts in Attachment 2).  At that meeting, the Commission heard a summary of the project from Staff including a presentation by the Applicant team.  The Commission then opened the public hearing and heard from eleven (11) members of the public.  The primary issues raised by the speakers included increased traffic, parking and neighborhood safety associated with the road extension of Wine Country Avenue.  Several speakers requested speed bumps to be installed on Wine Country Avenue.   


The Commission asked Staff to respond to the comments received during the public testimony.  In response to questions about traffic and safety related to the roadway extensions, Tim Wood, Development Engineering Manager for Public Works identified where stop signs would be located at the new intersections.  He also explained that speed bumps are not acceptable on collector streets such as Wine Country Avenue primarily due to their impact on Fire Department response times.  Mr. Wood discussed other methods of traffic calming and informed the Commission as well as the audience that a public workshop would be held the following week on the topic of traffic calming and neighborhood traffic management.  He encouraged anyone with concerns about traffic and neighborhood safety to attend the workshop.


In general, the Planning Commission shared its belief that the project responded in size and scale to the surrounding neighborhood and was a well thought out development.  The Commission recommended approval of the Use Permit, Design Review Permit and Tentative Map by a vote of 4-0-1(Commissioner Myers recused).



No direct financial impacts to the General Fund have been identified with this application.



City staff recommends that City Council determine that the Recommended Action is exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15332 which exempts in-fill development projects.



ATCH 1 - Draft resolution 

ATCH 2 - Planning Commission staff report dated October 4, 2018, neighbor correspondence and draft minutes excerpts.

ATCH 3 - Project Description and Plans

ATCH 4 - Communication Received October 23, 2018



Notice that this application was received was provided by the City on March 13, 2018 and notice of the scheduled public hearing was provided on November 21, 2018, by US Postal Service to all property owners within a 500-foot radius of the subject property. Notice of the public hearing was also published in the Napa Valley Register on November 23, 2018 and provided to people previously requesting notice on the matter at the same time notice was provided to the newspaper for publication. The Applicant was also provided a copy of this report and the associated attachments in advance of the public hearing on the project.