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What is happening to our town II

Letter to the Editor

By

Editor, Index-Tribune:

I have to agree with Cat Petru’s Feb. 11 letter to the editor, “What is happening to our town?”

Do we need a Pet Food Express when we already have Broccos, the Granary, the wonderful little pet store down from Whole Foods? Oh wait, Sonoma Market, Whole Foods, Lucky’s, CVS and Rite Aide all sell pet supplies. And then there are all the veterinary offices in town that sell pet supplies. And don’t forget all the smaller dog and cat businesses in town that offer bathing, etc.

We saw what happened to the smaller businesses when Staples came to town. Is this what we want to happen again? I am very sad to see Body and Soul closing so that we can have another pet supply store.

You are so correct, Cat – what is happening to our town? Where are the voices? And why weren’t we told about Pet Food Express? Do we really need another pet food establishment in town?

How many businesses do we want to see close due to another chain store?

Denise Sobel

Diamond A

  • Mike Stephens

    It is truly pathetic that the likes of those against the Hotel wasted their money, time and energy fighting the wrong cause. The cause to fight are the proliferation of big box chain stores in Sonoma. This is not what Sonoma wants or needs. Wake up people of this sleepy town and realize the more chain stores you allow into town the more you will be just any other ordinary town. Sonoma should hardly be ordinary.

  • Darla Brocco Kobza

    I didn’t hear about the new pet food store until it was a done deal. How did that happen? It all seemed very clandestine! The owners of the complex don’t really seem to care about maintaining our small town atmosphere. Because of people
    Ike this, that went away a long time ago. Sad!

  • Patti Kozlovsky

    Having spent last weekend in Mendocino County,
    I wish I had taken photos of and could provide the stark comparison between
    Mendocino and Fort Bragg. Mendocino has assiduously preserved its history and
    maintained its charm, while Fort Bragg has allowed chain stores and strip malls
    to mar any beauty or charm the town ever had. Allowing big box stores
    like Pet Food Express into Sonoma opens that chain store door that much further
    and we will soon look like Fort Bragg.

  • Larry Barnett

    A change of use within a large retail center does not trigger a use-permit review or public hearing. That only happens when sufficient square footage is added to trigger review, or ideas like drive-thru windows, such as what triggered discussion when Walgreens planned to remove 1/3 of the center. If they had not proposed a drive-thru, the demolition and conversion would have been able to happen by right. Unless the development code is changed to trigger a use-permit review based on change of use and/or square footage changes within an existing footprint, the public will continue to find themselves the last to know of changes like this.

  • Mike Stephens

    What we do to change the development code? This should be done ASAP before our town is ruined by chain stores!

    • Larry Barnett

      The development code and zoning ordinance, like the General Plan, is controlled by the City Council and can be modified or changed by a simple majority vote. Lacking the will to undertake such an effort the only other remedy is through a change in the sitting council or (sigh) the initiative process. Zoning need not be accomplished solely by “district” but can be tightly narrowed, parcel specific, and specific to use. Changes and applications would therefore be subject to public hearings and use permit requirements.

    • The Village Idiot

      Measure B was an effort to change the development code in only one small way — the size of hotels — to prevent “our town (from being) ruined.” It was narrowly defeated. If memory serves, Mike Stephens opposed Measure B.

      • Mike Stephens

        You truly are the VILLAGE IDIOT! I did oppose Measure B. What does this have to do with changing the code??? This was about the size of 1 hotel, not the constant allowance of chain stores. This hotel that will be built will not be part of a chain. It is your kind of thinking that makes Sonoma appear so backward sometimes. You missed the point completely. Sorry you are still bitter about Measure B not passing. Better luck next time..

        • The Village Idiot

          Tsk. Even an Idiot knows that the only way to change the development code to stop chain stores in Sonoma is to either have City Council vote to do it, or a ballot initiative.
          Even an Idiot knows that the pro-Chamber of Commerce majority on Council will never vote to stop chain stores.
          Even an Idiot knows they tried that before and only got a muddled response — followed shortly by a new chain store — Williams-Sonoma!
          So — either get your ballot initiative ready or take your meds.