Design Review Commission to eye Williams Sonoma plans


The Sonoma Design Review Commission will consider architectural details and landscaping plans for the new Williams Sonoma tribute store and culinary center when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19.

In 1956, Chuck Williams opened a 628-square-foot store at 603 Broadway and gave it the name Williams Sonoma. The corporation has won approval from the Sonoma Planning Commission to reopen the store in its original size and location as a “tribute” to its founder.

Plans also call for a restaurant and a culinary center. A parking lot for nine cars will be developed on the vacant lot behind the house, along with a garden that will provide herbs and vegetables for use in the café. The house behind the storefronts will also be refurbished to accommodate visiting chefs who come in to conduct classes. The house is the same place Williams tested many of the recipes that eventually went into his cookbooks.

The commission will also consider the demolition of a structure at 840 W. Napa St., which qualifies as a historic building. The house is on a narrow lot that is the site of a proposed 12-unit apartment complex to be designed by local architect Vic Conforti. At the last viewing before the Planning Commission, an alternative location for an internal street was proposed, but the house was in the way. The DRC is responsible for reviewing demolitions.

Several sign approvals and a residence modification are also on the agenda, promising a full evening.

The meeting will be held in the Community Meeting Room, 177 First St. W.

  • Fred Allebach

    The new Ledson development is 18 units, 14 units for Mission Square, 12 units at 840 W. Napa. Infill, very good. What about the water? These new users add up. This is a major conundrum as on the one hand are property owners who just want to do what everyone else has done, build out. On the other hand water is a common resource in decreasing supply.

    There is no way to mitigate increased water demand and shrinking supply but to decrease overall use. I don’t feel any incentive to decrease water use if all my efforts just go to save water for personal wineries and watering new developments. Conservation won’t work if conscientious water savers deprive themselves only to see their efforts go for continued profligate uses.