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Congrats to Council for upholding affordable housing

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

To the Sonoma City Council:

Thank you for your unanimous vote on Monday regarding the Altamira development on Broadway, which demonstrated the City’s  commitment to its goal of increasing affordable housing in Sonoma.  With even more affordable housing needed, please keep up the good work.

Hopefully, however, you will not forget that neighbors of the Altamira site raised valid, long-standing complaints about traffic-related problems in the immediate vicinity  — particularly the Lodge’s Clay Street loading dock operations, as well as Train Town and fleets of tourist buses that use residential Clay Street as a parking lot/staging area for their commercial businesses.  Whether these pre-existing conditions would be substantially (if at all) worsened by the Altamira development, they should be remedied ASAP.  If the Altamira development provides the impetus for a fix, upset neighbors might see it as proof of the adage, “ ‘Tis an ill wind that blows no good.”
Council member Edwards suggested he might be willing to lead an effort in that regard; if so, please take him up on his offer.  At a minimum, it might be within the City’s power to alleviate some of the Lodge/TrainTown/tour bus complaints with copious applications of bright red paint on select neighbor-designated portions of Clay Street curbs; signage restricting parking might also be considered.  Coupled with a (profitable) blizzard of ticket-writing for parking and traffic-blocking offenses, the Lodge and tour bus companies might be persuaded to remedy the unconscionable impact of their operations on Clay Street residents.
If ticketing its illegally parked clientele did not persuade Train Town (which advertises ‘free parking’ on its website) to devote more of its own immense 10-acre site to customer parking, LAFCO annexation discussions should be commenced.  Once inside City limits, Train Town  might be made more amenable to reason.  If not, eminent domain could be commenced to eventually convert those 10 acres to housing – affordable or otherwise – which is far more important to 21st century Sonoma than miniature train rides primarily for the amusement of out-of-town tourists and their kids.
Again, thank you for Monday’s vote; keep up the good work for affordable housing.


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