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Sonoma Hotel Project back before planning commission

The Sonoma Hotel Project is returning to the Sonoma Planning Commission Tuesday August 17, with an updated proposal that includes eight residential units.

The 62-room hotel and 80-seat restaurant proposed on West Napa Street, a half block from the Plaza, will come before planning commissioners as part of a project study and scoping session, in an early-stage review of the latest incarnation of the hotel proposal that’s been on hold since 2019.

In addition to the hotel and restaurant, the project includes a spa with six treatment rooms, a raised swimming pool veranda and 130 onsite parking spaces. New to the plan is an eight-unit residential condominium building and the designation of seven existing onsite units as affordable housing, according to an updated CEQA summary of the project.

Hotel Project Sonoma is being developed by Kenwood Investments, founded by Darius Anderson, who is also managing partner of Sonoma Media Investments, which owns the Index-Tribune.

In a message emailed this week supporters of the hotel project, Anderson said he hopes the improvements to the plan will lead to the city’s approval of the project that has been years in the making.

“After many years of careful planning, and response to community input, we are proud to put forward an updated plan that downsizes the design and layout of the hotel, continues to limit the use at 62 hotel rooms, and now includes the addition of eight residential units, proposed in response to community input,” wrote Anderson in the email.

According to the CEQA summary, the project site encompasses 1.24 acres and consists of four parcels which would be developed as a single parcel for the hotel component, and another parcel for the residential condominium component following lot line adjustments.

Following the scoping session, the project is slated to come before the city’s Design Review Board on Aug. 17, followed by a public vetting before the planning commission in September and a potential planning commission vote on the project in October.

The Aug. 12 project study and scoping meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at City Council Chambers, 177 First St. W.

A full planning department staff report on the project is expected to be available on Aug. 6 at sonomacity.org.

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