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Asphalt company’s Santa Rosa silo plan rejected

Review board turns down proposal; Bodean vows to appeal to Santa Rosa City Council

By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A Santa Rosa asphalt plant’s controversial plan to add three new 82-foot high silos was rejected Thursday night by the city’s Design Review Board.

On a 3-3 vote, the board denied the Bodean Company’s request for an exemption from the city’s typical height limit of 55 feet.

The company will appeal the decision to the City Council, general manager Bill Williams said.

Bodean Company plant operator Anthony Boyle runs the batch plant from the control room on Monday, April 23, 2012. (Christopher Chung / PD)

In June, the council rejected an appeal by neighbors seeking to block the project over fears it would increase production levels, something that the plant strongly denied.

Bodean claims the $1.5 million project won’t increase the production capacity, but would help it operate more efficiently and sharply lower energy use, dust and odors.

Board members who voted in favor of the project said the energy savings and improved air quality predicted by the project outweighed the visual impact of towers that would be 27 feet higher than normally allowed.

“It’s not a library we’re looking at today, it’s an industrial use,” board member Warren Hedgpeth said.

Opponents called the new towers inappropriate for the neighborhood and not in keeping with the city’s zoning policy that envisions the area one day transitioning from its current industrial zoning to a more residential use.

Board member Kris Sunderlage stressed that the city would soon have a Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit station serving rail passengers not far from the Maxwell Drive site.

“This is how people coming to our town will see us,” Sunderlage said.

She also said the visual impact of the project wouldn’t just be for the West End neighborhood, but for the whole city.

The motion failed despite a proposed requirement that the plant add landscaping to shield the new silos from view from surrounding residences.

A group calling itself Citizens for Safe Neighborhoods is suing the city in Sonoma County Superior Court over the City Council’s approval of a permit for the project, claiming it failed to conduct sufficient environmental review.

Williams has said the company plans to move ahead with the project despite the lawsuit.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com.





6 Responses to “Asphalt company’s Santa Rosa silo plan rejected”

  1. John says:

    Simply amazing how those elected / appointed mindless trolls are too stupid to understand basic principles of life. I often wonder if it’s a requirement to be stupid after taking a job for the government or is it that they were stupid before they took the job.

    Denying the plant silo’s in counterproductive to the overall plan of reducing emissions and helping the environment yet they are concerned about height, simply amazing. They need to be fired and let’s get competent personal working for us.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  2. Joseph says:

    Absurd.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  3. James Bennett says:

    Jobs, more affordable roads and construction, supporting local business, more free market choice, respecting long time local business…

    nah.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

  4. Steveguy says:

    The County has already decided that no asphalt is needed. They need a few big road grinders to turn 85% of all County roads to gravel.

    Some think that the site is better suited for a day care center, yogurt shops and apartments with everyone riding bicycles !

    True….. alas

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6

  5. Terry says:

    “Board member Kris Sunderlage stressed that the city would soon have a Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit station serving rail passengers not far from the Maxwell Drive site.” Hello! The plant is already there! There is already a silo of the same size there! This is not a new plant. If the company wants to make improvements that will reduce the odor which I understand this project will do, then let them.

    I have personally sat through Design Review Board meetings in the past. Several of these members clearly micro-manage projects to the point of thousands of wasted redesign dollars and wasted time over the smallest of details (including modest shade color changes).

    This project was already approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council, and now 6 questionable volunteers force more money and time to be wasted by having to go before the council again over what should be a simple design review? Unbelievable!

    Thumb up 22 Thumb down 9

  6. J.R. Wirth says:

    “Opponents called the new towers inappropriate for the neighborhood and not in keeping with the city’s zoning policy that ENVISIONS the area one day transitioning from its current industrial zoning to a more residential use.”

    Envisioned by whom???? By another polit bureau?

    How many polit bureaus do we have in this county??? That’s a rhetorical question of course. Oh how the politicians here love their visions.

    All I have to say is that no one who likes this decision should EVER utter a PEEP about the lack of jobs in this county. Decisions like this are death by a thousand cuts for our economy, local and national.

    God forbid we “increase production levels.” This county may be the most provincial place on earth.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 8

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