Hotel does not belong on Plaza
It is a testament to Darius Anderson’s consummate ability as a lobbyist that he was able – in one meeting – to change Doreen Proctor’s mind about building an out-of-place hotel on the Sonoma Plaza.
Every day that I drive down West Napa Street to the Plaza, traffic is backed up to the signal on Second Street West. This is on a Monday or Wednesday. It’s worse and takes longer to navigate this area on weekends. Traffic also gets backed up on Broadway and West and East Spain Streets. It is not just because there is more car traffic; it’s also because there is so much more pedestrian traffic. A hotel with 59 rooms in a complex with 123 parking spaces, two restaurants and a multitude of shops and the staff to keep it all going, does not belong on the Plaza. As director of a local nonprofit that hosts events and periodic conferences, I would welcome a conference center – but, not on the Plaza.
Ultimately, I think the residents of Sonoma should vote on the proposed Chateau Sonoma. It needs to be a community decision because the community will have to live with the results for a long time.