In general, agriculture activities are not subject to County discretionary approval; however, pursuant to Chapter 18.108 of the Napa County Code (Conservation Regulations), Erosion Control Plans (ECPs) are required for agricultural projects involving grading and earthmoving activities on slopes over 5%. Approval of the plan by Napa County is subject to review and process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). For those projects within the County’s Sensitive Domestic Water Supply Watersheds, additional policies and regulations apply, aimed to protect water quality in those areas.
An Erosion Control Plan permit is required for the replanting of existing vineyards on slopes greater than 5 % and greater than one acre. There are two permit options for vineyard replants:
Track II Replant Plans
In accordance with the County’s Conservation Regulations, Chapter 18.108.080(D)(2)(a)(ii) and Resolution 94-19, erosion control plans for vineyard replant projects may be prepared by a qualified consultant provided the consultant is on the County’s approved list of pre-qualified consultants available to prepare erosion control plans for vineyard replant projects. Plans prepared by individuals from the approved list are called “Track II Vineyard Erosion Control Plans”. County approval of Track II Plans is a ministerial pursuant the CEQA and receive no technical review by the County and/or the County’s technical consultants. The Track II process requires the approved consultant to provide oversight of the installation and monitoring of the erosion control measures proposed in accordance with Chapter 18.108.135 of the Napa County Code. Please contact us for the County’s list of consultants qualified to prepare Track II Erosion Control Plans.
Track I Replant Plans
Track I replant plans provide applicants with another permit option when considering replanting their vineyard. Plan preparer’s don’t need to be on the County’s list of qualified consultants to prepare a track I replant plan. Track I replant plans are subject to CEQA, but typically qualify for a Categorical Exemption so long as they meet the exemption criteria. Track I replants are also used when a replant does not qualify for a Track II due to significant changes that have the potential to increase runoff and/or erosion rates, minor expansions of the footprint, among other things.
Conservation Division staff are available to answer your questions regarding the Conservation Regulations and if they apply to your project. Division staff also offer scheduled consultations to assist in project planning, environmental constraints analysis and review ECP pre-submittals for completion and processing. Please contact the main office receptionist to schedule the next available appointment.