City of Calistoga Enchanted Resorts Project Referendum, Measure C (March 2013)
The "Enchanted Resorts Project" is a proposed real estate development that will consist of 110 resort hotel units, 13 custom residential units, 20 residence club units and open space. This development will be located on roughly 88 acres of land located at 515 Foothill Boulevard. This is near the intersection of Highway 29, Foothill Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue.
The Calistoga City Council gave the green light to the project via council-adopted Resolution No. 2012-062.
A "yes" vote on Measure C allows the Enchanted Resorts Project to go ahead. A "no" vote on Measure C would have prevented the development from going forward.
Voters in the City of Calistoga were similarly asked to vote on a different real estate development project, the Silver Rose Inn on Calistoga Trail, on the November 6, 2012 ballot. In that vote, the city's voters gave the green light to the proposed development.
- These final, certified, results are from the Napa County election office.
A notice posted on the Napa County elections office website the morning after the election said:
- "Unofficial interim results show that Measure C passed. A voter has petitioned the Napa County Superior Court for an order authorizing the Registrar of Voters to count the provisional ballot submitted. Measure C passed by a margin larger than a single vote, but final certified results cannot be released until the court order is received."
Supporters said that the proposed development is well-designed and will attract an affluent crowd to the city which, in turn, will boost business in the city and generate additional tax revenues for the city because of Calistoga's 12% hotel tax. The City of Calistoga has $23 million in debt and the local economy is in a prolonged slump. Supporters of Measure C hope that the Enchanted Resorts Project will help kickstart a local economic recovery.
Calistoga councilwoman Karen Slusser said, "The time has come to do something in our town to increase the economy, provide jobs and revitalize our downtown."
Vice Mayor Michael Dunsford said, "I think the benefits far outweigh the impact. I visited the property yesterday and this plan is a blessing."
According to the developer, the benefits to the city of the development include:
- "Approximately 200 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs would be created, in addition to internship opportunities for local students."
- "Over $5 million in water and sewer infrastructure improvements – primarily to replace the City’s main sewer line – would be funded solely by Enchanted Resorts."
- "Millions of dollars in various additional tax revenue would be generated to fund vital city needs, such as road improvements, debt reduction and general services."
- The Resort’s global marketing campaign would highlight Calistoga as a prime destination – encouraging visitors to dine and shop locally."
- "Enchanted Resorts would be an active, philanthropic citizen of the Calistoga community."
Opponents of the Enchanted Resorts Project feared that the development will "snarl traffic, overwhelm the city’s aging water and sewer system, and degrade the small-town atmosphere of Calistoga."
Retired teacher Carl Sherrill opposes the development. He said, "If we allow money to buy power, then it makes a mockery of our local democratic process." He also says, "Our City Council and to some degree our Planning Commission have not been willing to scale down some of these very large resort proposals that are coming in." Sherrill was a leading figure in the unsuccessful attempt to stop the Silver Rose Inn at Calistoga Trails project.
Path to the ballot
Measure C was on the ballot as a local veto referendum.
Opponents of the Enchanted Resorts Project collected 426 signatures to force the measure to a vote of the public. 213 valid signatures were required, and election officials determined that 347 of the 426 signatures were valid.
- Enchanted Resorts Project documents made available by the City of Calistoga
- Website for the proposed Enchanted Resorts Project
- Napa Valley Register, "Enchanted Resorts plan heads for special election", November 20, 2012
- Napa Valley Register, "Enchanted Resorts headed for Calistoga ballot", October 10, 2012
- Napa Valley Register, "Calistoga approves Enchanted Resorts", August 22, 2012
- About Enchanted Resorts, "Project Benefits"
- Napa Valley Register, "Enchanted Resorts opponents waiting on word from county", September 27, 2012