Letters to the Index-Tribune editor, Nov. 30, 2021

Readers question our water quality, talk SDC and explore the threat of Pacaso.|

What’s in our water?

EDITOR: A reminder to the residents of The City of Sonoma: The quality of the water distributed and sold by the City of Sonoma is worth your awareness, especially if you are in households with elderly individuals or infants, or immune compromised family members.

The water quality from 2019 showed an arsenic level 1,700 times the acceptable healthy limit, with 14 detectable carcinogens, among them Radium, Chromium, Nitrates and Chloroform, which are abundant in the water we are drinking and bathing in. I was unaware that the levels exceeded what are considered healthy limits, but fall within the federal guidelines.

This is a personal concern and opinion, but legal federal limits do not necessarily mean healthy limits. Easy research is available at Environmental Working Group of Washington DC (EWG.org). The City of Sonoma apparently sends out our water quality data once a year. Considering the high levels of carcinogens, I believe it is a subject that needs awareness and discussion.

Nancy J. Cline


SDC concerns

EDITOR: I'd like to begin with the elements of the plan that I support. I agree with the concept of maintaining and expanding the opens spaces and wildlife corridor. It is a resource that cannot be recovered if it is destroyed. I also like the concept of having a substantial proportion of any new housing development devoted to low-income residents.

However, I am skeptical about the three alternatives presented to the community from several perspectives.

First, I doubt whether it is possible to make the project economically feasible while meeting the other constraints applied to the property. The construction costs appear to be understated, particularly if the state insists on their traditional method of bidding the contract.

Second, the costs of remediation are assumed to be borne by the developer, making the project far less attractive. Why is the state not responsible for remediating the damage it created, just as it would hold a private party accountable?

Third, the density proposed is likely to change the nature of our community. Glen Ellen is a small village with a rural character. We cannot accommodate thousands of new residents without major implications on traffic and the essence of life here.

I do support low-income housing as a part of a much more modest development that could accommodate live-work and co-living arrangements. I am dismayed and surprised that some of the existing structures cannot be inexpensively repurposed for co-living/communal living. I suggest the team re-look at the actual costs of new build versus repurpose, using current construction costs.

I fear that if any of these alternatives are accepted, or approved with only minor changes that the county and our taxpayers will be accepting a huge financial burden that belongs more properly to the state.

Chuck Levine

Glen Ellen resident and chair of the Advisory Committee for Jack London Park Partners

Pacaso’s threat

EDITOR: Those of us on the anti-Pacaso front lines were encouraged by a recent article about the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors’ plan to hear residents’ concerns regarding this pernicious vacation home startup (“County to hear Pacaso concerns,” Nov. 16).

Many of us subsequently provided input at the meeting and were pleased to hear that our county government is planning proactive measures to head off this threat to both quiet family neighborhoods and bucolic rural areas.

We have also learned that Assemblyman Marc Levine is likely to bring forth state legislation to deter the flipping of residential homes into hotel-like commercial units.

Pacaso appears to think that it can ignore reasonable and necessary zoning regulations. And bear this in mind: Once a home becomes a Pacaso house, it will never again be occupied by a local family.

Learn more about this menace to our communities by visiting stoppacasonow.com.

Carl Sherrill


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