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No Decision on Napa Pipe

Monday's marathon meeting included public testimony from more than 70 people. After five hours, the planning commission continued the hearing. It will resume April 2, but the public comment period has ended.

An overflow crowd of about 250 people packed the Little Theater at for the start of Monday night's special meeting of the Napa County Conservation, Development and Planning Commission, held to gather public comment on the environmental impact report for the proposed Napa Pipe development.

Five hours later, when commission chair Michael Basayne ended the public comment portion of the meeting, more than 70 people had spoken and most of the crowd had left.

According to the , the planning commission did not deliberate on the EIR but continued the meeting to April 2, when commissioners will discuss and determine the fate of the Napa Pipe proposal.

However, the public comment period has ended.

Excerpts from the public comments at last night's meeting:

"There's a whole lot more pluses than minuses and it’s just time to get going. If you fool around long enough you'll have more trees cut for paper than for lumber on the project." (Foster Clark)

"I hope they have a welfare office there." (Michael Bartos)

"My husband and I are 100 percent for this project." (Kathy Mahoney)

"I call it 'Son of Redwood City.'" (Marc Pandone.)

"All of Napa doesn't necessarily have to look like the rest of Napa." (Bob Heath)

Many other comments focused on traffic, water use and the potential loss of industrial property in the county if Napa Pipe is developed for residential use.

The proposal was opposed by a series of Napa city officials and labor union representatives, and supported by a variety of citizens including Latino activist Hector Olvera, whose comments were delivered by an interpreter, and several older Napans who said they wanted their grandchildren to be able to afford homes in the county.

Seated on the theater stage, planning commissioners and county staff were bathed in blinding lights as videotaped the meeting in its entirety for cablecast this week.

Due to the length of the meeting, the time for the telecast had yet to be determined, said station manager James Raymond.

For more about the Napa Pipe development, including Michael Haley's traffic analysis and links to other reporting, please see our Napa Pipe topic page at napa.patch.com/topics/Napa-Pipe.

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