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|2019-03-29Mar 29, 2019
On Monday night, March 18th, an Appeal was heard by the Healdsburg City Council. Filed by a dozen concerned citizens, this appeal was asking our locally elected officials who have broad, comprehensive powers regarding Land Use matters, to review an approval made by their appointed Planning Commission in a 4:2 vote with one abstention, the Planning Commissioner who is the builder/contractor of the project. The appeal was denied by the City Council: 5:0. The Citizen’s Appeal was an effort to “Save Our Plaza” from an intense use project. How would this building, created for a 318 seat, three- story restaurant with a rooftop bar, a 100 wine wall, and two luxury penthouse condos impact our already problematic downtown parking, the traffic congestion, our small retail businesses on the Plaza, an already-crisis-level shortage of restaurant workers and affordable worker housing, and, even more unmeasurable, our historic Plaza Park area? To be clear, the City Council “may affirm, reverse or modify, in whole or part, the project approval. The Council may also make or substitute additional decisions or determinations as it finds warranted.” (Land Use Code, 20.28.085 E.2)
|2019-03-02Mar 2, 2019
The County of Sonoma will host a community meeting on Sunday, March 3, to discuss the impacts of recent storms and share information on how to get started with the recovery process. The meeting will be 2 to 4 p.m. at El Molino High School, 7050 Covey Road, Forestville.
|2019-02-27Feb 27, 2019
Tensions in the Burg over small town balance become especially acute when our Plaza feels threatened. This month we shine light on “small scale” in our land use code. On February 12, the Planning Commission heard (and approved 4-1-1) the Ramsey/Valette 106 Matheson, mixed-use proposal, on the Plaza. Community members packed City Hall. Many expressed enthusiastic support for a vibrant new venue with chef Valette; others, however, requested a seat reduction of the proposed 231-seat “too-big-on-the-Plaza” restaurant.
|2018-12-28Dec 28, 2018
I don’t think that many of us in Sonoma Countyy question the reality of climate change. Its disastrous effects were made too painfully evident by the unprecedented size, speed, and destructiveness of our recent wildfires. Although the current administration refuses to acknowledge and confront the issue, we understand that we are in a race against time to develop renewable energy sources and drastically reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. Many of us, as individuals, work conscientiously to reduce our emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). But each municipality has a much bigger carbon footprint than any individual resident or family. Since being elected to the Healdsburg City Council, I’ve made reducing our city’s GHG emissions a high priority. Happily, the Council has stepped up to the plate and taken many measures to reduce GHG.
|2018-11-30Nov 30, 2018
What does this final month of serving as Healdsburg’s mayor and my last of four years on city council invite? My town struggles with balance. “Nothing in excess.” My heartfelt experience as an elected official reveals the ancient Greek inscription’s truth: Excess causes lasting harm.
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