Pool group closing in on sites

The group of Sonoma residents, pushing for a community pool, is closing in on a location and looking to make an offer around springtime.

The Sonoma Valley Health and Recreation Association (SVHRA), a nonprofit comprised of Valley residents (including those in the former Citizens United for a Sonoma Pool) who want to bring a public pool to Sonoma, is actively looking at two locations and has a few on the back burner, with the help of local realtors Nicki Naylor and Chuck Lamp. The properties, all in the vicinity of Maxwell Park, need to be a minimum of 2 acres, with 3 to 3.5 acres being the ideal lot size to build the facility. Sam Coturri, a spokesman for the group, estimates that cost will be around $5 million, including building costs, but variability in property prices could increase the total budget.

While the group is not ready to release the specific locations of properties it is considering, the group has already begun talking to members of the surrounding neighborhoods to ensure that the community is supportive of the project. Eventually, Coturri explained, the group will hold meetings to hear public input and assure citizens their concerns will be considered and addressed in the plans.

“The challenge is, Sonoma is already a built-out town,” Coturri said.

The ideal spot, the group decided, is close to the center of Sonoma Valley – near Highway 12 and Verano Avenue. The group had originally hoped to build the pool at Maxwell Farms Regional Park, but when notified that they would have to wait for consideration until an update of the park’s master plan was completed – no earlier that 2015 – the board decided to pursue private property within a two-mile radius of the area.

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