A complete ban on new drive-thru services in Sebastopol was recommended by the Planning Commission after two hours of debate Tuesday night. The commission also voted to apply the ban to current projects that have not reached the stage of having a building permit and beginning construction, which would affect the controversial CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank branch project.
Wal-Mart is resuming efforts to expand its Rohnert Park store into a superstore, reviving a controversial plan that was halted in court after one of the more divisive arguments in recent city history. The city Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday to review the project and new studies evaluating its effect on the community.
Land use consultants Scot Stegeman and Russ Pinto were appointed to the Sebastopol Planning Commission on Tuesday. The two were praised by the council for their long experience in land use planning, which are beneficial attributes as the city gets ready to update the General Plan for the first time in 20 years.
Following an election in which the controversial CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank project played a pivotal role, Sebastopol’s newly constituted City Council on Tuesday will name two new Planning Commission members. It is seen as a chance by at least one new council member to appoint someone who shares his vision of what downtown Sebastopol should look like.
Sonoma County planners are considering whether to relax zoning rules, increase housing densities and reduce parking requirements as ways to encourage more renewable energy generation, such as solar and wind projects. The options were outlined during a public hearing by the Sonoma County Planning Commission on Thursday, the first of two to be held.
Healdsburg doesn’t see a ‘psychic palm and card reading’ business in its future. The Planning Commission on a 6-0 vote Tuesday night rejected an application by self-described psychic Mike Stevens to set up shop in a former insurance office downtown, just 1½ blocks north of the Plaza.
Healdsburg officials Tuesday decided not to change a policy of approving wine-tasting rooms on a case-by-case basis. ‘It’s always been my position to a large extent that retail takes care of itself,’ said Mayor Gary Plass.
In a first test of Sonoma’s new rules governing so-called formula stores, the city planning commission has narrowly rejected a use permit for Berkeley-based Peet’s Coffee and Tea to open an outlet near the historic city plaza.
A 59-room luxury hotel proposed near Sonoma’s historic Plaza would pump an estimated $14 million a year into the town’s economy and add to future congestion at a critical intersection on the Plaza’s south side. Traffic is among the major considerations as town planning commissioners take their first official look Thursday at developer Darius Anderson’s plans for the Chateau Sonoma Hotel & Spa on West Napa Street a half-block from the Plaza.
It is in Sonoma County’s interest to have all of its workers fairly compensated. Income inequality is on its way to becoming a national scandal. Higher wages mean more money circulating through the local economy. More people with health insurance means fewer uninsured patients who become a financial burden on health care providers and the community-at-large. But saying it doesn’t make it so. The best of intentions alone cannot create wealth or repeal the basic laws of market economics.