Letter to State Senator Dodd and State Assembly Aguiar-Curry re: Senate Bill 20: Napa County Regional Parks and Open Space District re: Skyline Park

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry

California Assembly

Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Senate Bill 20 [Surplus State Property: Napa County Regional Parks and Open Space District]

Skyline Wilderness Park, Napa, California

POSITION: SUPPORT WITH AMENDMENTS

Hon. Dodd and Hon. Aguiar-Curry:

Napa Vision 2050 is a public benefit corporation formed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Napa County and their environment. We support Senate Bill 20 authorizing the sale of Skyline Wilderness Park, also known simply as Skyline Park, to the Napa County Regional Parks and Open Space District/County of Napa with the following amendments to the existing language of the bill. We believe these amendments strengthen the intent of the bill that Skyline Wilderness Park remains a park in perpetuity.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
Amendment No. 1
Amend SB 20 to remove the California Department of Conservation’s designation of over half of Skyline Park as a mineral resource area.
The 2014 Department of Conservation designation of Sector MM represents 504 of Skyline Park’s 850 acres. This signifies there are mineral resources present for future mining. Sector MM’s southwest border runs along the Skyline Park/Syar property lines. Since the legislation calls for the property to remain a park, there is no need for designation of the land as a mineral resource.
Amendment No. 2
Amend SB 20 to require sale of Skyline Park in its entirety, not just a part of it.
The purpose is of SB 20 is to preserve Skyline Park as a park in perpetuity. Skyline Park consists of six parcels. Sale of only some of the parcels allows for cherry-picking, leaving others at risk for development, industry or mining. Amending to require sale of the entire Park to the county would also make sure the local purchase includes the Park’s mineral rights.
Amendment No. 3
Amend SB 20 to define “park”, “wilderness park”, and “wilderness preserve”.
Existing legislation uses the terms “park”, “wilderness park”, and “wilderness preserve”.` Purposing Skyline Park to be a park, a wilderness park and/or a wilderness preserve is too uncertain to guarantee that the park will not be developed and will remain as we know it in perpetuity. This is important in light of the local record of active pursuit of an industrial project (recycled water pumphouse and commercial water truck filling station) within the park as being consistent with park use during the period the prior authorizing legislation was in effect. Other plans for the park in the past have included housing development, a sewage treatment plant to serve the Coombsville area and a new county corporation yard. As one local leader publicly said at the time “once we get the land, we can do anything we want with it.”
Amendment No. 4
Amend SB 20 to prohibit a different use designated by the legislation or rezoning of the park land by the county except by Napa County voter approval.
The terms specifying the use of Skyline Park as a park/wilderness park/wilderness preserve must be protected from state or local change which could serve to repurpose some or all of Skyline Park. Requiring voter approval of any change is the best guarantee of maintaining Skyline Park as we know it.
We would be honored to meet with you to discuss these amendments and thank you in advance for your consideration.
Respectfully,

Charlotte Williams
President, Napa Vision 2050

cc: Napa County Board of Supervisors
Napa County Regional Parks and Open Space District
Skyline Park Citizens Association