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City planning works, Measure B unnecessary

Letter to the Editor

By I-T Letters

Editor, Index-Tribune:

As I prepare to cast my vote for Measure B (the Hotel Limitation Measure), I’ve read the voter information written by both the sides of Measure B. The most misleading argument within the ballot arguments is a claim by Measure B supporters, in their opening paragraph, that states, “Sonoma risks becoming overbuilt and over-commercialized.”

Frankly, nothing could be further from the truth. I am a former chair of the Architectural Review Board and assure you that our first and foremost concern has always been to protect the character of Sonoma and its historic authenticity and charm.

In looking at the independent impact report prepared for the City of Sonoma, you see the facts that prove Measure B has serious unintended consequences. It also shows we have done an amazing job managing growth. But more importantly, look around you and see the results of years of citizens taking pride in where they live and protecting their treasured town. The fact is, no new “large” hotels, as defined by Measure B, have been approved in the City of Sonoma for more than 10 years. Yes, they’ve been proposed, but none have been approved, a testament to the fact that the city’s planning process works, and Measure B is unnecessary.

If I thought Measure B was good for Sonoma, I’d wholeheartedly support it. But when a measure seeks to undermine our General Plan, take my voice out of the process and create another layer of bureaucracy, voting ‘no’ is the only choice.

Judith B Friedman

Sonoma

  • Jim Pacheco

    No hotel proposal has made it to the City Council in 10 years. So I can equally say that no hotel proposal has been denied in 10 years by the City Council. That would also be the truth, but not the whole truth. The developer of the proposed hotel just off the Plaza withdrew his application, pending the outcome of Measure B.

    Judith, please don’t cherry pick facts to make your arguments.

    And there was also something called the “great recession” which greatly reduced development in Sonoma. Now that the economy is starting to come back, we have seen 2 developers interested in building a hotel in Sonoma. The voters of Sonoma will not be swayed by your twisting of the facts to server your own purpose.
    And what about the project between W Spain St and Napa St W that was just approved by the planning commission, without listening to the voices of the nearby residents that wanted to see some of the 2 story houses reduced to 1 story.
    And then there is the nearly 30 tasting rooms near the Plaza.

    • Chris Scott

      Mr Pacheco;
      Your’s is what is called the Partially Pregnant theory. Good luck with that.

  • Mike Stephens

    Exactly! Crazy Sonoma allows for more housing to be built, but won’t allow a first class hotel. Something is not right with this picture. Why doesn’t Larry Bennett propose a moratorium on apartments too. Mr. Pacheco’s reaction to Judith’s well written and factual letter is one of the many reasons Measure B will never pass. Voting yes on Measure B will finally turn Sonoma into anywhere USA. It will be a town that values Subway and Jack in the Box along with apartments and more strip malls full of stores you can find anywhere in the country. If you want Sonoma to retain and gain more charm and continue to make the town of Sonoma more fiscally sound you will VOTE NO ON MEASURE B.