City Council will consider Peet’s appeal
The Sonoma City Council will meet in regular session Nov. 19, beginning with a proclamation declaring Nov. 30 David “Lumpy” Williams day, in honor of Sonoma’s beloved citizen-Santa Claus who died Oct. 16.
The council will then conduct a public hearing on an appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of a use permit for a Peet’s Coffe & Tea shop in a commercially-zoned building at 591 Broadway.
The commission rejected the application for a Peet’s shop based on concerns about traffic generation, pedestrian safety and the constraints imposed by the city’s recently adopted formula store ordinance that require a use permit for “formula” stores within the city’s Historic Overlay zone.
Sonoma Mayor Joanne Sanders filed the appeal of the Planning Commission denial, which came on a 4-to-3 vote.
The City Council can, with a 3-to-2 majority, overturn the commission’s decision. City staff are recommending that the commission’s decision stand.
The council will also hear a report from Police Chief Bret Sackett on his department’s investigation of safety issues related to recent accidents on Fifth Street West during which cars have run into pedestrians.
An accident Nov. 7 resulted in the death of a 93-year-old man riding an electric scooter in the crosswalk on his way to the Safeway. The 80-year-old driver of the car in that accident left the scene and later told police he thought he had run over some debris in the street.
A week earlier, two boys were struck by an elderly driver who said he thought they had somehow jumped on his car.
Sackett’s report will reveal a slight upward trend in accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists, but his analysis suggests the bicyclists or pedestrians were most often at fault.
In other action, the council will be asked to approve a two-year permit to the board of the Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers Market.
According to a report by Public Works Director Milenka Bates, all the troubling issues related to previous market management have been eliminated, and the current market board has done a commendable job.
Sanders has also requested council discussion of a potential Brown Act violation that occurred during the Nov. 5 council meeting after Mayor Pro Tem Ken Brown reported that he inadvertently spoke with two different council members about a Planning Commission appointment. Brown recused himself from the appointment discussion as a result.
The council will also discus possible adoption of a Historic Preservation Plan to guide future historic preservation decisions.
The City Council meeting will begin at 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 19, in the Community Meeting Room at 177 First St. W. The public is invited to attend.