Office space needed; hinky hotel poll; and Safeway gas

Posted on May 8, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Rumors are swirling as to the fate of the downtown property at 158-162 W. Napa St. Now wholly owned by Westamerica Bank after foreclosure proceedings, the prime property will soon go up for sale. Who might buy the parcel, which is located across the street from a proposed hotel, is anybody’s guess, but one thing is certain: The Sun, a rental tenant, will continue on — in a new location. The paper must soon move out, and is looking for new office space. Any ideas? Let’s talk: [email protected]… Meanwhile, show your support for this employee-owned newspaper by buying an ad, getting home delivery, writing a letter or sending a story idea. Put the community in community newspaper at [email protected].

Complaints noted about a telephone survey on the Hotel Limitation Measure that sounds a lot like a “push poll” – a campaign to influence potential voters through subjective questions. Those taking the poll are read statements and then asked whether they agree or disagree. Folks getting calls say the survey questions misrepresent the intent of the initiative. One yes-or-no question: “Do you think a small group of people should make land-use decisions for the entire community?” Fact: it will take 1,110 signatures to get on the ballot, and then a majority of the city voters to pass it. Larry Barnett, chair of the Preserving Sonoma Committee, the group behind the initiative, contested another survey question, which asked participants to agree or disagree that the intention of the proposed initiative is to prevent any new hotels from being built in Sonoma. “We would never, nor does the proposed initiative, suggest imposing a ban or prohibition on hotels in Sonoma,” he said. “To the contrary, the measure sets no limitations on new hotels of 25 rooms and under. Any statement indicating that the initiative bans hotels in Sonoma is an outright lie.”… The survey is being done by a polling company named J. Moore Methods. Funny, for a company that asks a lot of questions, it won’t answer any – like who it’s working for.

Speaking of rumors, developments and public opinion, word is Safeway is looking to expand into the adjacent lot – and add a gas station. How do you like your land-use arguments, regular or supreme?