Mini Santa Rosa
Recent letters to the editor in support of the proposed new hotel on the Plaza state that it will be a good thing for Sonoma. I am not so confident.
A high-intensity commercial project at the most congested intersection in town represents poor planning and an inappropriate use of the parcels in question. A more modest project, of perhaps a 20-room inn plus some small shops, a bit of housing and a restaurant might work, and certainly is better scaled to the location.
The proposed hotel’s projected income to the city will be more than offset by the costs of additional law enforcement and associated expenses to insure the safety of pedestrians and drivers. Solutions may be traffic lights and eliminating parking. Accordingly, the value of the loss in the overall quality of life for Sonoma’s residents is too high to calculate.
In his letter of Jan 11, (“Surrendering hotel rooms to Healdsburg”), Steve Burns complains that Sonoma’s lack of hotel rooms and meeting facilities poses difficulties to his business. I sympathize, but he neglects to mention that the annualized occupancy rate of our large hotels is only 60 percent. I suggest he might have selected the wrong town for his particular type of business, which might be better suited to a more urbanized location.
In any event, turning Sonoma into a mini-Santa Rosa seems a lousy solution for the rest of us who happen to live here.