No matter what happens with Measure G, St. Helena’s River Trail already protected

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Proponents of Measure G seem to suggest that development of the Adams Street parcel would destroy the trail to the Napa River. That notion is demonstrably wrong.

According to Google Maps, the entire path, from the corner of Adams and Library Lane to the mouth of the slough, is four-fifths of a mile (4,200 feet) long. The section that actually crosses the Adams parcel is only 600 feet long. The other 3,600 feet (86 percent of the trail) lie on a separate adjacent parcel that runs all the way to the river.

That parcel would remain untouched, regardless of what happens on Adams Street. Why? Because the levee, wetlands, and river bank on that parcel are protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement held by Land Trust of Napa County.

But what about the 600 feet, you ask? Well, if a hotel (or a community center, or workforce housing, or any other development) were to be built there, the city could mandate that the trailhead be integrated with the project’s landscaping, complete with benches, a picnic table, a kiosk, even a restroom. A smart developer would recognize the lure of such an amenity.

There are plenty of things that can be debated about Adams Street, but the permanence of our river trail is not one of them.

Jack Stuart

St. Helena

Editor’s Note: Stuart was a director of the Land Trust of Napa County from 2014 to 2020.

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