The promise of mitigation and Measure B

Letter to the Editor

By I-T letters

Editor, Index-Tribune:

Folks around the Valley are looking to the City of Sonoma for an indication of how small cities in the future will handle growth. Like Healdsburg, which has experienced traffic and use issues around its small city plaza, Sonoma is faced with preserving not only its unique character, but its future. Tourists come to see something different that represents a part of California history both past and present.

Both merchants and city officials have worked to preserve store fronts and small alleys as they were. When the original hardware store burned down, it was rebuilt in its entirety to be exactly like the original with bricks sponsored by the community.  If lost, Sonoma cannot recover this charm by building large complexes and spreading out into the Valley floor.

The planned hotel expansion so near to the Plaza will, by the developer’s own admission, cause traffic problems that will necessitate mitigation. Since the word “mitigation” is never clearly defined, it may take the form of traffic lights and wider roadways. Traffic problems will mount during the three-year construction period, diverting business away from the Plaza. Is this something Sonoma can afford?

Organizations like Sonoma County Conservation Action and the Valley of the Moon Alliance, as well as Preserve Sonoma, have looked at traffic issues and development throughout the valley. We need to plan for a sustainable future that includes growth that adds to the charm and quality of life in Sonoma Valley. The Sonoma City Council has done a good job of stewarding growth and so have the people of Sonoma. Vote “Yes” on Measure B to both protect and preserve Sonoma.

Keith Hale
Glen Ellen

  • Mike Stephens

    Voting Yes does not solve the traffic problem. Do you think an apartment building or shopping mall will be any different? Quit using the FEAR of Traffic to be the reason the hotel should not be built. There are far better reasons for it to be built versus the alternative. Have you been to Healdsburg? It is thriving much more than Sonoma is. If Sonomans continue to make bad development decisions you only dig yourself a deeper grave. Thoughtful, tasteful and to scale design,is what is needed in Sonoma. If you spend time looking at the plans for the hotel you will see they cover all of this. Vote No on Measure B