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NOTES FROM THE WATERFRONT
ANOTHER STINKY DEAL....

MONTALCINO has a "green light?"  Does this sound fishy or what?  The hearing on the matter is tomorrow.  

On June 10, 2001,  NewMakingNews exposed some of the players behind a deal to build a luxury resort under the flight-way of the Napa Airport known as Montalcino  ... but actually in areas of the County zoned Agricultural Preserve and Watershed.  Watch out -- if this deal flies, there goes Napa County.  It will look like the strip from Indian Wells to beyond Palm Springs -- golf course after golf course and resort after resort, as the "greens" change from vineyards to sand and tourist traps.

A hearing is scheduled before Napa County's Board of Supervisors on June 26, where Farm Bureau and Sierra Club are among those challenging the development -- based on land use laws and important habitat, species, and environmental issues.

With more names cropping up as a result of our research, we've been able to do more online fishing.

According to Napa Sanitation District (owner of much of the land), it is HCV Napa Associates LLC  that signed the lease -- a copy of which simply wasn't available.  Interesting.  This venture was formed February 13, 1998.  By September 16, 1998 the District gave HCV the green light to begin an EIR, having been advised the District is under no obligation to lease its property to HCV.  By February 1999 the District put the property out for bid -- and naturally HCV won the deal.

But here are the amazing things that pop out. Letterhead used in the matters reads HCV Pacific Partners (a joint venturer with HVC in Carmel and Sqaw Valley -- Hyatt resorts), and that gave us our first lead to an internet site for the developers: http://www.hcvpartners.com   

Take a look, this Napa project is known as Hyatt Regency Montalcino -- right back to the beginning with the Pritzkers and their Chicago Hyatt Corporation ventures we mentioned. Moreover, HCV Pacific Partners is a Calfornia real estate firm of unnamed origin that is paired with Hsin Chong development, a Bermuda corporation headquartered in Hong Kong.  Notice all of the other developments underway in North Bay counties.

And do they have an attitude?  Evidently applying for a Use Permit = an entitlement by their definition.  And they pride themselves in developing agricultural land which they consider of low value.  Meanwhile, while farmers had to pay a percentage of their gross revenue each year plus a flat rate to lease the land for cattle grazing and hay crops, the resort set has a flat rate lease.  We find nothing but a bunch of bottom suckers as we ply the waters.  

The site has more specific information on Montalcino and http://www.hcvpartners.com/resorts/montalcino.htm is a good place to start.  You will see that for months HCV has been raving this is a done deal -- and that construction began in 2000!

Neither is it a done deal, nor has any construction begun.  See what we mean when we write something is fishy here?

HCV even states it has succeeded where a prior developer failed.  It's correct that a private developer failed -- because voters rejected the project across the road -- 84% voted NO to Measures W and X in 1996.  But let's see how the County's elected Board of Supervisors views this -- will they follow the mandate of the electorate and local land use laws, or will they bend on this one?  

 


 

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