The Crescent housing project to go before Napa City Council

Napa city commissioners and resident have recently expressed strong support for The Crescent housing project, which would bring more than 160 housing units to Napa County’s former Health and Human Services campus at 2344 Old Sonoma Road. Tuesday evening, the City Council is set to consider approving the project.

The council decision’s will be informed by positive reviews in recent weeks by the city’s Planning Commission and its Cultural Heritage Commission, which reviewed the part of the plan that would reuse three historic Mission-style buildings and a similarly historic crescent-shaped driveway.If approved, The Crescent would bring 154 condominium units and eight single-family homes to the 8.6-acre Old Sonoma Road site. It will also add several affordable units, though the exact number depends on the success of a $50 million grant application to California, submitted jointly by applicant Heritage Housing Partners and the city.

Approval of the grant would allow the project to include 65 low-income and 47 moderate-income for-sale units. That represents an increase of 64 affordable homes from the 23 low-income and 23 moderate-income units that are planned without the state funding.

Many Napa organizations have supported the project for various reasons, and some have called it a potential model for similar future developments. Representatives from Napa County Landmarks have, for example, noted the group has been involved in discussions of how to use the site since 2016, and they fully support The Crescent plan because of how Heritage has approached historic reuse of the site, which dates to 1912.

“We hope you agree with our assessment that this development by (Heritage) is a shining example of what can benefit Napa and be a successful model for other communities in Northern California to replicate,” Ernie Schlobohm, a board member for Napa County Landmarks, told the planning commission in April.

Other organizations have spoken more about the great need Napa has for affordable housing, and how The Crescent would help fill that need. Terence Mulligan, president of the Napa County Community Foundation, noted in a letter to the California Strategic Growth Council that the foundation believes Napa’s lack of affordable housing is the primary driver of poverty in the community.

Craig Smith, executive director of the Downtown Napa Association, noted in an emailed comment that such housing would support Napa’s downtown businesses, which employ many who currently must commute from outside the city.

“Many of Downtown Napa’s employees commute here from surrounding cities, because they cannot afford housing,” Smith wrote. “’Affordable’ housing and moderate income ‘missing middle’ housing is a must if employees can ever expect to be a true part of the community and raise their families in the same town in which they work.”

Also Tuesday, the City Council is set to hear several presentations, including one from the county’s Mosquito Abatement District, one on Historic Preservation Month, and one on National Bike Month and Bike to Work and School Day.

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