Measure Q would create an Urban Growth Boundary around the city of Cloverdale, the lone city in Sonoma County without a UGB. If approved by a majority of voters, it would restrict development outside the UGB for 20 years and prohibit extension of city water and sewer services outside the boundary.
The limits on development would not apply to several areas outside the boundary, including an industrial zone and an area around the historic Asti Winery identified in the proposed ordinance.
Here are the official ballot arguments for and against Measure Q. What do you think? Is this the right plan for Cloverdale?
Watch Sonoma County
The argument for Measure Q
The Cloverdale City Council strongly supports an Urban Growth Boundary, and is asking voters to consider adopting a 20-year UGB. Developed with extensive public input, this UGB closely follows current City limits, but includes two exception areas. These areas are a critical part of Cloverdale’s future ability to acquire additional resources and grow employment opportunities while preserving our natural surroundings.
The Industrial exception area lies between the Cloverdale Airport and Highway 101. The Asti exception area is south of the Industrial exception. Land between and around the two areas would remain as a conservation designation.
The UGB preserves current agricultural and winery-related land uses in the Asti exception area. The only improvements allowed would be to expand those same uses, consistent with the historic Asti Winery, including wine tasting, sales, and events.
Any request to extend services to either exception area would require public input and environmental review before a decision was made. All costs would be paid by the applicant.
The proposed UGB includes the Rains Creek Water District, which helps ensure an adequate supply for the future in the face of California’s volatile water situation. City service would only be provided to land uses and buildings in existence as of the date of annexation, not to new development.
The UGB carefully preserves Cloverdale’s western hillsides. Development would only be allowed if it is not visible from the valley floor, and if the community receives in exchange permanently dedicated, publicly accessible open space covering a significant portion of the property. Public input would be required before approval.
The UGB defines how Cloverdale wants to evolve over the next 20 years. It reflects a compact growth pattern that provides employment opportunities while preserving our beautiful surroundings.
Joseph J. Palla, City Council member
Michael Nixon, Business Owner
Augustine A. Wolter, City Council member
Susan L. Bennett, Chair Planning Commission
The argument against Measure Q
Cloverdale needs a UGB, but not this one. The Asti Exception Area (AEA) is our point of contention. We are asking you to vote “No!” on Measure Q.
The proposed AEA consists of a vineyard south of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and Asti Winery facilities. Traditionally, Exception Areas are created for uses that directly benefit the community such as parks so they can have city services, e.g., water and sewer. They can also be used, as in Cloverdale’s General Plan, for affordable housing and where provisions are given for the Citrus Fair, if and when it moves outside city limits. These are appropriate, sound uses for Exception Areas.
However, Cloverdale’s attempt to make a single corporate entity the beneficiary of an exception area is unprecedented and unwise. The Cloverdale City Council repeatedly argues that the potential to provide services will keep Asti Winery from moving and possibly allow them to expand. Move where? Expand how? Asti Winery has at no time presented a business plan showing exactly how these services would be utilized. The only thing the AEA does is increase the value of a property owned by Foster’s Wine Estates, an Australian corporation, currently divesting itself of some of its winery properties worldwide.
Consultants working with Cloverdale on economic development and the Station Area Plan specifically warned against additional annexation that would result in a drain of resources and attention from the vital asset with the most potential – our downtown. Cloverdale citizens have repeatedly called on the City Council to drop the AEA and commit to the completion of downtown redevelopment and a sustainable local economy. Their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Cloverdale deserves a UGB that makes sense. Say “No!” to the Asti Exception Area. Vote “No!” on Measure Q.
CLOVERDALE LAND USE COALITION
Reece S. Foxen
Jeff Bagby, Business Owner
Measure Q supporters’ rebuttal
Cloverdale needs an UGB that serves the best interests of Cloverdale residents. The UGB proposed in Measure Q allows for future economic growth, which is desperately needed, while providing control over areas currently outside the City’s boundaries.
Exception Areas are a critical part of Cloverdale’s future ability to acquire additional resources and maintain and grow employment opportunities, while preserving the Western Hillside.
Extensive public hearings where held to create the UGB, including input from the Greenbelt Alliance and Sonoma County Conservation Action. Both have requested that the inclusion of the Asti Exception Area limit the type of growth permitted. The proposed UGB provides those limits. Only winery-related uses can be in the Asti Exception Area, limited to maintenance of the historic Asti Winery site. It would only allow us to consider expansion of the winery operation for production and storage of wine and wine products; expansion of visitor uses consistent with uses historically held at the Asti site, including wine tasting, wine sales, and wine-related events.
We live in a globally competitive environment; there are other cities, counties and countries willing to take our employers. We need to have the ability to support businesses in order to keep them in Cloverdale and maintain jobs.
Any request to extend services to the Asti site would require a thorough environmental review and significant public input before any decision is made. The applicant would pay all associated costs.
Thank you for supporting Measure Q.
Gus Wolter, Council member
Joseph J. Palla, Council member
Susan Lee Bennett, Chair Planning Commission
Measure Q opponents’ rebuttal
Don’t be fooled by the proposed UGB — it’s not a tight border. The inclusion of the AEA potentially doubles the size of Cloverdale. While new developments pay fees for water and sewer hookups, the Council has failed to take into account the impact on our water treatment facilities and additional required infrastructure/capital projects we can’t afford. New development is subject to Council and Planning Commission review, but what kind of real review will there be when services to exception areas are already part of the General Plan and the $6.3 million water plan facilitates southerly expansion?
The Council received multiple letters, a petition with 91 signatures, over 400 postcards, and “extensive public input” stating opposition to the AEA. The Urban Land Institute conducted a study on Cloverdale’s Station Area Plan and worked with economic advisory consultants, Freedman, Tung, and Sasaki, who were employed by the City. Their reports stated, “the key is development not growth…and a focus on downtown as a catalyst.” “The City should discourage any annexation or development outside the downtown core.” The Council is ignoring expert advice and their own constituents.
Will our future be defined by bad planning and giving away our resources or will we build a vibrant local economy through wise land use decisions and living within our means? This is the time for the Cloverdale City Council to lead us into a rational, well-planned future. Begin by creating a UGB for Cloverdale that makes sense.
Vote No on Measure Q!
Reece Foxen, Cloverdale Land Use Coalition
Diane Bartleson, Business owner
Jeff Bagby, Business Owner/Environmentalist
Alan Bartleson, Business owner
Richard Cowart, Cloverdale Land Use Coalition