WatchSonoma Watch
Santa Rosa council OKs hike in building permit fees

The Santa Rosa City Council narrowly approved steep increases to permit and development fees Tuesday over the objections of industry leaders who warned doing so could jeopardize a fragile economic recovery.

County supervisors signal support for project labor agreements

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to advance a controversial policy that would establish union rules, benefits and oversight on large county construction projects.

Push for worker benefits on Sonoma County projects returns

A renewed bid by unions and their supporters to establish union rules, benefits and oversight for all workers on large county construction projects is coming back to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors next week.

Sonoma County planner ends often-tumultuous tenure

Pete Parkinson has a quick way to sum up the tough work his now former office, Sonoma County’s Permit and Resource Management Department, faces in overseeing land-use planning and regulation in the Bay Area’s largest county.

Sonoma County home energy upgrades to live on

Sonoma County intends to forge ahead with a government program that allows residents to pay for energy-saving home retrofits through property taxes despite the county’s having lost a prolonged court battle recently to protect the program.

$2 billion in projects along Highway 101 put Sonoma County to work

An unprecedented tsunami of development along Highway 101 in Sonoma County is putting thousands of people to work and pumping nearly $2 billion into the economy.

Up and down the spine of Sonoma County, more than a dozen big-budget projects are underway, creating or expanding centers for the arts, shopping opportunities, health care facilities, business offices, hotels, restaurants and a casino resort.

Annexing Roseland among items on Santa Rosa council’s to-do list

Santa Rosa’s City Council is planning to tackle some thorny issues in the next two years, including the annexation of Roseland, requiring labor agreements on public projects and relaxing the city’s medicinal marijuana ordinance.

Push to overhaul CEQA law divides Democrats

A major political battle is brewing in Sacramento over California’s landmark environmental law referred to mainly by its acronym, CEQA, with some powerful Democrats urging an overhaul of the regulations.

Bartley elected Santa Rosa mayor

Scott Bartley was elected mayor of Santa Rosa by his council colleagues Tuesday night in a split vote decided by newcomer Erin Carlstrom, who then cast the deciding vote for herself as vice mayor.

Longtime political foes Gorin, Sawyer now election rivals

Susan Gorin and John Sawyer long have been rivals on the Santa Rosa City Council, staking out contrasting positions on land use, fiscal issues and neighborhood involvement.
But the election to decide who takes over the 1st District seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, held for 10 years by Valerie Brown, marks the first time the political opposites have become opponents on the ballot.
The bruising runoff, now more than a year old, is being fought along familiar fronts for the candidates and their dueling political camps.

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