WatchSonoma Watch
Healdsburg studies plan to loosen growth limits

Healdsburg voters will get a chance to decide whether to ease growth restrictions put in place more than a dozen years ago, but it likely won’t be until 2014. The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a draft ordinance that proposes to loosen growth limits approved in 2000 by voters under so-called Measure M.

Healdsburg rethinks growth limits

Growth in Healdsburg has sputtered to the point where only a handful of residential building permits have been issued in the past few years. But that hasn’t prevented a vigorous debate on whether to relax a voter-approved ordinance that limits the number of new market-rate homes to 30 per year.

Petaluma OKs eminent domain for East Washington land

The Petaluma City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to proceed with eminent domain actions if purchase negotiations fall through for land surrounding the planned Highway 101 and East Washington Street interchange. The action allows the city to legally condemn the privately owned land and use it for the public interest if it can’t negotiate deals to buy the three properties.

Voters willing to hike taxes despite tough economy

Even in lean times, voters in Sonoma County were willing Tuesday to dig deeper into their own pockets to pay for school improvements and help bail out Santa Rosa’s budget. Six out of seven Sonoma County school bond measures won approval, and a quarter-cent sales tax increase in Santa Rosa also passed easily. Analysts said that local voters are willing to hike their taxes if they see a clear benefit.

School bonds: voters approve 5 of 7 measures

Five of seven school bond measures in Sonoma County easily won approval Tuesday, but the fate of measures sought by the Cloverdale and Piner-Olivet districts will hinge on the outcome of mail-in votes still to be counted.