Clouds and sun

Early praise for new hotel design

The proposal for a 59-room hotel on West Napa Street near the Plaza is off to a good start, based on feedback given at Thursday night’s city Planning Commission meeting.

Of several local residents who spoke Thursday, and the Planning Commission members that followed, almost no one had a negative thing to say about the new proposal — although some did say they were still concerned about traffic, water and other impacts.

The new proposal is really a revised, and very much scaled-down, version of the highly controversial hotel proposal first floated in 2012. Opposition to that proposal culminated in Measure B, a local initiative to limit new hotels in Sonoma to no more than 25 rooms.

The older hotel plans were shelved until the outcome of Measure B was known. It lost by a slim, 124-vote margin in November 2013.

But developers said they heard and understood the concerns behind Measure B, and on Thursday, the new iteration was about half the size of the old one.

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