A pink door and a pirate flag seem to have generated more community controversy, contretemps and calumny than any issue since large hotels threatened to swallow Sonoma wholesale. At the same time, perhaps no events of such wondrous whimsy and seeming absurdity have blessed our wine-besotted village since feral chickens swarmed the Plaza and a city manager famously (or apocryphally) tackled a fleeing fowl on First Street East.
Some people are laughing at us, others are laughing with us, and many are wondering why any of the infinitely more important issues worth focusing our attention (and newspaper space) on aren’t permanently displacing cerise delight and the Jolly Roger.
Fair enough. But if there’s any real truth in the ancient homage that you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, Sonoma may be following a back-alley path to the creation of some necessary new policies and a better set of rules and regulations guiding building and planning decisions around town.
The pink door gave us, if nothing more, a better understanding of the power of color, especially in historic context, and sent us looking, perhaps, for some guidelines to better review and judge it.
The pirate flag forced into sharper focus an issue percolating just below the surface of official conversation about a permit review process many business owners feel may be overly complicated, opaque, arbitrary and obtuse.