Napa County Angwin General Plan Amendment Initiative, Measure U (November 2012)

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A Napa County Angwin General Plan Amendment Initiative, Measure U ballot question was on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in Napa County, where it was defeated.[1]

Measure U would have redesignated certain lands in Angwin from urban residential to "agricultural, watershed and open space (AWOS) or public institutional." It would have permitted modernization and expansion of a sewage treatment plant on Howell Mountain Road and prohibited further subdivision of "public institutional lands" anywhere in the county.[1]

Specifically, according to an analysis of Measure U prepared by the Napa County Council, Measure U would have amended the Napa County General Plan to:

  • Re-designate certain lands in Angwin from Urban Residential to Agriculture, Watershed and Open Space (“AWOS”) or Public-Institutional (“PI”).
  • Permit modernization and expansion of the existing sewage treatment facility located on one of the subject parcels west of Howell Mountain Road despite the AWOS designation.
  • Prohibit further subdivision of parcels designated as PI lands throughout unincorporated Napa County.
  • Re-designate approximately 16 acres south of the Angwin shopping center and 8.6 acres south of the ball fields from the UR land use designation to AWOS, and approximately 25.8 acres at the north end of Pacific Union College to PI.
  • Those parcels would "no longer be available for development of a full range of urban housing opportunities including multifamily housing, limited commercial, institutional, educational or cultural uses but would instead be designated primarily for agricultural uses and any existing vested uses."
  • "For AWOS parcels, the General Plan currently allows one single family home and a second unit per parcel, along with agricultural uses. Recreational and religious uses could be allowed with a use permit following environmental review."
  • Measure U would allow continuation "of any vested uses in addition to any permitted uses on AWOS lands."

Pacific Union College (PUC) owns most of the land that was to be impacted by Measure U. It opposed Measure U.[2]

Election results

Measure U
Defeatedd No30,76160.48%
Yes 20,101 39.52%
Final certified results from the Napa County elections office.


  • The Napa County Green Party supported Measure U. Lars Christianson, a member, said, "Measure U will protect agricultural and open spaces on Howell Mountain from inappropriate urban development. It will do this by redesignating land use on Howell Mountain from 'urban residential' to 'agriculture, watershed and open space.' This will align those properties with land uses in the rest of Angwin. It will also preserve the rural character and culture of Angwin, which is threatened by the Pacific Union College’s intentions to sell and urbanize the land."[3]
  • John Tully, an Angwin resident, supported Measure U. He said, "If Measure U passes and opponents sue and force Napa County voters to defend their decision in court, the costs would be nothing compared to the cost to Napa County taxpayers of servicing a city year after year in Angwin."[4]


The "No on Measure U" website logo

Maria Vance, an Angwin resident, opposed Measure U. She said:

  • "The real issue is property rights — the property rights of Pacific Union College. Measure U, if passed, would wrest control of its land from the college, a clear violation of property rights as we know them in America. The American way is: If you want to do something (anything) with someone else’s land, you buy it — then you have the right to make decisions about what to do with the land."
  • "Measure U is simply the attempt by a few Angwin citizens to prevent their ever having new neighbors. These people have acquired their property and homes in Angwin, but they don’t want others to have that same right. Ironically, some of those wishing to diminish Pacific Union College’s property rights have homes on former Pacific Union College land."
  • "Napa County’s engaged legal counselors have pointed out to the Board of Supervisors that there is a “significant likelihood” that parts of Measure U may be invalid. That being so, is it any wonder that if it were passed, the matter might well wind up in the courts, costing taxpayers a significant amount of money?"
  • "The bottom line is that Measure U is a flawed, and possibly very costly, property rights land grab that deserves a resounding 'no' vote by Napa County voters."[5]

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