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Napa Valley Register Calls Out PUC’s Duplicity in Land Battle


An editorial in the Napa Valley Register on February 8 takes the side of the land conservation group Save Rural Angwin, agreeing that the Napa County Board of Supervisors needs to take action sooner rather than later to protect about 100 acres of rural land owned by Pacific Union College. 

Save Rural Angwin advocates for the land to be rezoned as agricultural watershed to prevent housing development on that land. 

The editorial quotes Napa County’s General Plan for June 2009, where an item asks the county to re-evaluate and re-designate some zoning in Angwin. The editorial notes that plan was made almost five years ago, and that it is high time that the county follows through with the task it gave itself, without further delay.

Save Rural Angwin has been around for almost a decade and has been actively fighting development on PUC’s land – sometimes feeling like the battle was fruitless. In 2012, Save Rural Angwin asked Napa County voters to intercede and rezone some Pacific Union College parcels through Measure U. This extreme step was defeated. 

The editorial calls attention to PUC’s duplicity when it notes that “Pacific Union College went to great lengths to assure voters (and the Napa Valley Register) that there was ‘no plan’ for additional housing” on parcels of land under contention. However, “legal actions filed in December show that PUC Vice President John Collins was actively negotiating throughout the campaign with a buyer interested in developing vineyards and residential units on the Measure U parcels.”

The editorial continues:

“At the very least, the college – led by a board of directors made up primarily of out-of-state members – was disingenuous and deceptive.”

Not surprisingly, the Register felt lied to. Thus it seems to indicate it has changed sides with this editorial – after endorsing “No on Measure U” in 2012.

The editorial concluded:

“Logic doesn’t prevail in much of the current zoning in Angwin, not just on the PUC parcels. The county has an opportunity to address at least part of that through this stipulation in the General Plan.


Angwin is a pocket of Napa with unmatched beauty but also incomparable limitations on water, sewer and transportation resources. 


Providing it better protection from urban development is something the country’s Board of Supervisors should examine carefully and quickly.”

This afternoon an article by Angwin resident Herbert Ford was posted on the Register website, arguing that the editorial did not tell the whole story, and that PUC is in desperate need of the money from land sales to make much-needed improvements and additions to its campus.

Image: Photo taken today, February 11, not far from the PUC girls’ dormitory. Clear-cutting is underway on land sold to a vineyard developer.

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