Hopmonk: We don't want to hear the music
Should collective intelligence of a committee be the final law?
From my experience with the Sonoma Planning Commission, a big NO is my answer.
Individually (one on one), I suspect the intelligence of planning commissioners is above average, maybe even genius. However, as a group, to me it is apparent they do not listen, or what they hear does not resonate, which makes them incompetent to make a final decision on any project.
The issue I speak of is Hopmonk's loud outdoor music, and the proposed licensing music issue now on the table that will replace the music permit.
First, the small group of neighbors, who have become villains or wicked people because they do not want to be forced to listen to the Hopmonk music three days a week, have been misquoted and misunderstood by the small group of the Planning Commission.
So let's get it right. We don't care how many hours or what time of day Hopmonk has outdoor music. We don't want it to encroach on our property, our lifestyle, etc. That is pretty simple.
However, the Planning Commission has collectively agreed that, according to commissioner Chip Roberson, we will never be happy. So that right there is a ridiculous statement. Since Hopmonk cannot control the nuisance level of the outdoor music, the only alternative is to not allow it.
Second, Mathew Tippell likes Hopmonk's music, and he states, "It is unimaginable to me how music is at a complaint level." Mr. Tippell, apparently you have never been annoyed by music, nor have you annoyed anyone with your music in your entire life, including your teenage years.
Third, the really scary part is that at some point in the future (due to the loopholes in the music license proposal), it is feasible for Hopmonk, and/or other music venues in the area, to have special events once or more a week, which could be the beginning of a Sonoma-style Barbary Coast.
So, my happy Sonoma residents, it seems very worthwhile for you to attend the Planning Commission meetings even if the issue on the agenda is not particularly encroaching on your area, because it will effect you in some way in the future.