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Don Quixote and Measure B

By Tom Thornley

What disturbs me about the well-intentioned efforts of Measure B proponents is that there is only a marginal connection between the perceived problem, to quote Larry Barnett, “most residents feel Sonoma is getting too hurried, too crowded, too noisy and they don’t like it,” and the proposed solution, essentially banning hotels of more than 25 rooms.

Why hotels? Why not other projects that generate “traffic, people and noise?” That presumably would include all new residential and commercial development.

The traffic generated by the proposed new hotel would include cars driven by tourists who would be contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in much needed TOT directly into the City of Sonoma’s General Fund. You certainly could not say that about an equal amount of traffic being generated by a new residential or commercial development. If, in fact, something needs to be banned in order to magically “fix” the problem, it probably should not be hotels.

Measure B is a cause looking for an enemy, much like Don Quixote fighting windmills to defend his honor. There is simply not much valid evidence that slaying hotels of more than 25 rooms will fix the problem.


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