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Greed and ego atop Shocken Hill

Posted on July 27, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Greed and ego unbound seems to be the order of the day here in the time of Trump. Sonoma’s mini version of that is Bill Jasper’s demand that the City Council bend to his wishes to change the City’s zoning and building code to suit his needs. These ‘needs’ include: a 20,000 sq ft house, a 10,000 sq ft house and a 7,000 sq ft one on the three properties he bought on Schocken Hill, all of which are limited to 5,000 sq ft by Sonoma’s Hillside Ordinance.

When the City Council turned down Jasper’s proposal after a number of contentious hearings, he and his lawyers threatened to sue the city and that’s precisely what he’s done. Don’t like the rules, write your own.

Here’s the gist of Jasper’s lawsuit. His crack legal team has come up with the brilliant plan to base their suit against the City on the Housing Accountability Act (HAA). Of course the HAA was enacted to address the state’s recognized housing crisis and was aimed in particular to increase affordable housing for moderate and low-income households. How many of those folks do you think will qualify for a 20,000 sq ft house on Sonoma’s backdrop hillside?

Whatever the outcome of Jasper’s lawsuit it’ll be great fun to watch his lawyers try to work the language of the HAA to convince a judge he’s building three houses totaling 37,000 sq ft for Sonoma’s workforce.

You can’t feed the hungry ghost of avarice. A bigger house, a newer car, a younger mate…it’s never enough. Jasper wants the hilltop, and he wants you looking up in admiration for what he’s got while he’s looking down on you from his privileged perch.

Will Shonbrun, Boyes Springs



One thought on “Greed and ego atop Shocken Hill

  1. Based on the above numbers, these should house about 60 people. I once owned a redevelopment condo in the Los Angeles area of 650 square feet. My cat and I were very comfortable there. Buyers received special financing and the condos were priced to be affordable. I have a similar idea for Mr. Jasper to sell them to me at an affordable price, so I can rent them out, but he has not taken me up on it yet. I am asking again, and then Mr. Jasper you will be doing as HAA is intended.

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