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Measure C Trails by 135 Votes with More Votes to Count

Napa County Registrar of Voters John Tuteur said between 13,000 and 15,000 ballots are left to be counted
by Kerana Todorov
June 12, 2018

The Napa County ballot measure that would limit the removal of woodland acres in the hills above the Napa Valley floor is now trailing by 135 votes, according to the latest counts.

As of late Monday afternoon, the campaign against Measure C had received 10,885 votes – or 47.85 percent of the ballots tallied so far; “Yes on C” had 10,750 votes – or 47.25 percent of the ballots counted. Napa County Registrar of Voters John Tuteur said between 13,000 and 15,000 ballots are left to be counted.

As of Friday afternoon, Measure C led by 33 votes. There are about 76,200 registered voters in Napa County, all of whom vote by mail on June 5.

The Elections Office plans to release another update later today, Tuesday. The staff may release another tally Wednesday.

If approved, Measure C would allow the removal of up to 795 acres of oak woodlands in properties zoned “agricultural watershed.” Other provisions include setting buffers zones of 25 to 125 feet along streams in the hillside. Wetlands would be protected with a 150-foot buffer.

Supporters said Measure C protects the watershed and Napa County’s water supply; opponents said the measure was unnecessary full of unintended consequences and would result in litigation.

No on Measure C collected about $646,000, mostly from the wine industry, according to campaign finance reports filed in May. During the same time period, Yes on Measure C campaign raised more than $211,500 for its campaign.

The Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative was one of two initiatives placed on the June 5 ballot.

Measure D, a proposal to ban private helipads in the county, is apparently passing. Measure D had 13,115 votes – or 57.6 percent of the votes tallied as of Monday afternoon. The campaign against Measure D had 8,295 votes – or 36.4 percent of the votes, according to the Elections Office.

The initiative was placed on the ballot after residents protested plans by vintner Christian Palmaz to build a helipad and heliport at his family vineyard near Napa. George Caloyannidis, a Diamond Mountain resident near Calistoga, led efforts to place Measure D on the ballot.

The committee in support of Measure D raised more than $115,700 for the campaign, including a $20,000 loan from Caloyannidis, according to campaign filings. The Palmaz family and their affiliated businesses spent more than $125,000 to defeat Measure D, according to campaign filings.

The Napa County Planning Commission and Airport Land Use Commission in September voted against the Palmaz project. The Palmaz appealed the decision to the Board of Supervisors. The proposal was set to come before the Board of Supervisors in July.

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