WatchSonoma Watch
Fisherman’s Sonoma Valley pond at center of airport dispute

At Leland Fly Fishing Ranch south of Sonoma, owner Josh Frazier sat on a deck overlooking a pond that he built and stocked with trout, but one that he is barred from casting a line in.

Concerns that the pond could attract birds and pose a threat to pilots taking off and landing at Sonoma Valley Airport, which is adjacent to the Arnold Drive ranch, are at the center of Frazier’s long-running land-use dispute with county officials and the airport owners.

Santa Rosa shop with self-serve wine tasting clears Planning Commission

A Santa Rosa wine and beer shop allowing customers to try before they buy won approval Thursday from the Santa Rosa Planning Commission. Rincon Valley Wine and Craft Beer would be the first shop in Sonoma County to feature automated self-serve wine dispensers that let customers sample wines on tap before they decide to buy a bottle.

Santa Rosa says it has a jobs plan, too

President Barack Obama laid out plenty of ideas for creating jobs Thursday night, but here’s one you didn’t hear him pitch — tweaking zoning rules to boost economic development. While it may not be on the president’s radar, that’s precisely the approach the Santa Rosa City Council is taking to generate jobs locally. And much like Obama’s plan, it is not without its skeptics.

Santa Rosa streamlines permit process for solar arrays

Since the beginning of the year, the Santa Rosa Fire Department has required a separate review of building plans for residential solar arrays and inspection of them once installed. On Monday, it announced it would turn over that role to the city’s building department. Critics said the additional bureaucracy was time consuming, expensive and unnecessary.

Ruling keeps pot dispensary shut

A tentative ruling from a Sonoma County judge will keep a Larkfield medical marijuana dispensary closed while it goes through the county permitting process. Judge Mark Tansil ruled that Sonoma County has an interest in enforcing zoning laws, deterring violations from other marijuana clubs and protecting the public.

Santa Rosa opens the door for businesses

Santa Rosa’s effort to streamline its permit process appears to be paying off. The number of new businesses in the city is up and the time it takes businesses to pull permits for certain projects is down. “I think the actions taken by the last council are bearing fruit,” Councilman Gary Wysocky says. “The city is in a much better position than our neighboring communities.”

Supes postpone vote on building fees

Under stiff pressure from building industry representatives, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Tuesday agreed to postpone a vote on proposed increases in hundreds of building, planning and engineering fees.

Supes to vote on $1.5 million hike in building fees today

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will vote today on proposed increases to hundreds of building, planning and engineering fees and the addition of a dozen new land-use and inspection fees.

Pot clubs spread in wake of court ruling

A Sonoma County judge’s ruling invalidating the county’s medical marijuana dispensary ordinance has given rise to a bumper crop of new pot clubs, renewing debate about public safety and health risks.