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Resolution of Litigation with City of American Canyon


Napa, CA: We are pleased to share that the Napa Valley Unified School District Board of Education has authorized dismissal of the City of American Canyon from the District’s responsive cross-complaint in the recent lawsuit of American Canyon I, LLC vs. Napa Valley Unified School District (Napa County Superior Court case number 22-CV-001145).  The decision was prompted by recent actions of the City, which have adequately addressed the District’s concerns.

This result positively impacts the educational experience of current and future American Canyon students by providing the funds mandated by California law to support safe facilities. We remain committed to the communities and the children we serve and are thankful that no further litigation with American Canyon I, LLC, Pacific West Communities, or the City of American Canyon is anticipated at this time. 

Last year, the District became aware that building permits were being issued to developers within the Watson Ranch Property without requiring certification that school impact or “developer” fees had first been paid to the District, as required by law.  After being sued by one of the Watson Ranch developers, American Canyon I, LLC, the District filed a cross-complaint against American Canyon I, LLC, and Pacific West Communities, Inc., as well as the City of American Canyon. The cross-complaint was necessary in order to ensure that the District received payment of fees in full to support its school facilities and the students and staff they house. 

In June, the District entered into a settlement agreement with American Canyon I, LLC, and Pacific West Communities, Inc., which resulted in the District collecting $736,415.52 in fees from the developers for previously-issued building permits. Following that settlement, the District’s remaining concerns regarding the appropriate payment of developer fees for development within Watson Ranch were alleviated by the City’s August 15, 2023, action to approve the remaining project anticipated to be developed on the Watson Ranch Property, the Promontory project. Promontory was approved on the express condition that “[p]rior to the issuance of each building permit, the applicant shall provide a receipt or proof of exemption for Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD) facility fees.” The City has also made specific representations, through its City Manager, that it will require proof of payment of developer fees in advance of issuing building permits for developments outside of Watson Ranch. Based on these events and representations, the District is pleased to be able to conclude the litigation.