Sonoma County’s tentative approval of an expansion for Mark West Quarry east of Santa Rosa has bicycling advocates and some county supervisors asking whether enough is being done to protect cyclists and others who use the quarry’s busy east-west haul route.
Trucks entering and exiting the century-old quarry off Porter Creek Road traverse the hills between Sonoma and Napa counties on narrow and busy roads that also double as an approved bicycle and pedestrian corridor.
The fatal shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy has galvanized the Moorland Avenue neighborhood in which the teen lived and played, local residents and community leaders say. It also appears to have strengthened a sense in Sonoma County’s substantial Latino community — at least a quarter of the county’s population — that they have the numbers and power to command the attention of government officials, and even affect policy.
The ban on single-use plastic bags long sought by Sonoma County environmentalists is unlikely to materialize as a single countywide law but rather as a patchwork of similar, if not identical, local ordinances.
Mark West Quarry in the hills between Santa Rosa and Calistoga is asking Sonoma County supervisors for permission to expand to a neighboring property, but owners say it will not represent a major increase in the volume of rock being mined.
A move to add controversial limits on development and vineyard planting near streams into Sonoma County’s zoning code has been delayed and may not be decided until sometime next year.
A public workshop set for Wednesday on the proposed zoning amendment was cancelled and a Nov. 7 Planning Commission hearing on the matter was postponed indefinitely last week by the county’s Permit and Resource Management Department.
“There’s no real hurry,” said Jennifer Barrett, deputy director of the department, noting that the stream bank development limits are already included in the county’s General Plan.
Sonoma County’s pension system has hired as its new top administrator an official with the much larger and more politically embattled Orange County government retirement fund.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday endorsed a county bid to seek an additional $24 million from the state to build a 160-bed detention and probation facility, but not before asking probing questions about the center’s hefty operating costs and how it would fit in the county’s criminal justice strategy.
Sonoma County supervisors unanimously endorsed a new financial policy Tuesday that will allow broader use of county open space funds to speed the opening of new local parks.
Sonoma County intends to use $36 million recently allocated to it by the state and an additional $24 million it is seeking from Sacramento to build a new 160-bed detention and probation facility near the main county jail in Santa Rosa.