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Hotel Sonoma project should include housing

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Our thriving economy depend on workers. It is a tragedy that there is not affordable housing for the workers who staff our tourist businesses. This is why I urge the Sonoma City Council not to approve the big new hotel project adjacent to the Plaza unless it includes some affordable housing. This hotel and restaurant will need to hire many new workers, but where are they supposed to live? There already is not nearly enough local housing for the many service workers at our tourist businesses. In all fairness we cannot expect the newly hired employees at this hotel/restaurant to commute from Fairfield, Windsor, or even further.
In the EIR the developers say that housing is in the development pipeline “on sites that are better suited to support a residential component.” I believe that being walking distance to shopping and the plaza makes the proposed hotel site the perfect site for housing for local workers. It boggles the mind to try to understand how the EIR for this project could come to the conclusion that it would have “negligible” impact on housing. How could such a large project not hire lots of new workers?  How could it not consider the acute shortage of housing for the workers who will be hired to do the new jobs that will be created? In Sonoma there is already a lot of lodging and vacation homes for high-net worth individuals, and more always seems to be getting built. It is time to Sonoma to provide housing for those who work in our tourist economy.

Matt Metzer, Sonoma

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