Friday, 16 April 2021

Draft EIR available for Guenoc Valley Mixed-use Planned Development Project


PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: February 21, 2020 – April 7, 2020

The County of Lake (County), as lead agency, has completed a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Guenoc Valley Mixed-Use Planned Development Project (Proposed Project) in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Draft EIR will be available for review and comment beginning on Friday, February 21, 2020. Members of the public and other interested agencies and individuals are invited to provide written comments, which will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Please mail or email your written comments to:

County of Lake
Attn: Mark Roberts, Principal Planner
255 N. Forbes Street
Lakeport, CA 95453
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


A complete copy of the Draft EIR and documents incorporated by reference are available during normal business hours at the County of Lake, Community Development Department, 255 N. Forbes Street, Lakeport, CA 95453. The Draft EIR is also available at the Middletown Library, 21256 Washington Street, Middletown, CA 95461, and the following website address: .


The primary project site (Guenoc Valley Site) is comprised of 49 assessor parcels totaling approximately 16,000 acres (25 square miles) in southeast Lake County, with an address of 22000 Butts Canyon Road, CA 95461. This site excludes approximately 500 acres of non-owned interior area where the Langtry winery and vineyards are located. A five-mile stretch of Butts Canyon Road bisects the Guenoc Valley Site, which is approximately four miles east of the intersection of State Route (SR) 29 / Butts Canyon Road, and 1.5 miles west of the intersection of Snell Valley Road / Butts Canyon Road. The Middletown Housing Site is an approximately 12.75-acre site located at 21000 Santa Clara in Middletown (APN 014-380-09). The off-site well property (Off-site Well Site) is located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Butts Canyon Road and HWY 29, (APNs 014-430-13;-12). The proposed water pipeline would be constructed along six miles of the Butts Canyon Road right-of-way from the Off-site Well Site to the Guenoc Valley site.


The Proposed Project includes a General Plan amendment to designate the Guenoc Valley Site as Resort Commercial and rezone it to Guenoc Valley District (GVD), pursuant to the Middletown Area Plan Policy 6.3.1b. These amendments, if approved, would allow for the development of up to 400 hotel rooms, 450 resort residential units, 1,400 residential estates, and 500 workforce co-housing units within the zoning district. The Draft EIR analyzes the effects of the proposed General Plan amendment and rezoning of the Guenoc Valley Site to GVD on a programmatic level.

In addition to the program level analysis, the Draft EIR provides a project level analysis of the impacts of the first phase (Phase 1) of the Proposed Project. Phase 1 proposes a phased subdivision and related entitlements to allow at full buildout up to 401 residential estates, 141 resort residential units, and 177 hotel units and accessory resort and commercial uses within the Guenoc Valley Site. In addition, Phase 1 includes a subdivision and rezone of the Middletown Housing Site to accommodate workforce housing, including 21 single family residences with optional accessory dwelling units, 29 duplex units in 15 structures, and a community clubhouse and associated infrastructure. Off-site infrastructure improvements under the Proposed Project include a proposed water supply well on the Off-site Well Site and pipeline located adjacent to and within Butts Canyon Road, along with intersection and electrical improvements.


The Draft EIR found that impacts associated with the following issue areas would be less than significant or less than significant with mitigation: Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Geology and Soils, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Land Use, Population and Housing, Public Services, Utilities, Energy, Wildfire. The Draft EIR concludes that the Proposed Project would have the following Significant and Unavoidable impacts: i) the visual alteration of the Guenoc Valley Site resulting from construction of the Primary Access Road Option 2 during Phase 1 would constitute a significant and unavoidable impact to the visual character and scenic views of the site; ii) the visual alteration of the Guenoc Valley Site under future phases of the Proposed Project is conservatively assumed to constitute a significant and unavoidable aesthetic impact due to the unknown exact location, scale, design and density of development; iii) Phase 1 would convert approximately 50 acres of Important Farmland to non-agricultural use and future phases may convert Important Farmland to non-agricultural use; iv) Phase 1 and future phases would result in emissions of GHGs that would contribute on a cumulative level to impacts associated with climate change and would result in a major increase in GHG emissions above BAAQMD thresholds and therefore conflict with the AB 32 Scoping Plan; v) a substantial increase in traffic related noise at sensitive receptors would be experienced along Butts Canyon Road between SR-29 and the project driveways under Phase 1 and future phases; vi) Phase 1 and future phases would not meet the recommended OPR threshold of a 15 percent reduction in per capita VMT below the regional average; vii) future phases would cause the level of service at three intersections outside Lake County jurisdiction to exceed acceptable levels.
Planning Commission Informational Presentation and Comment Opportunity

The County of Lake Planning Commission will host an informational presentation on the Proposed Project and Draft EIR, and hold a public comment hearing on the Draft EIR on Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at 1:00 P.M in the Board of Chambers on the first floor of the Courthouse at 255 North Forbes Street in Lakeport, CA at 1 pm. Written and verbal comments will be accepted.

Date: February 21, 2020

By: Scott DeLeon, Interim Community Development Director
County of Lake, Community Development Department

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