To preserve and/or protect

Posted on May 16, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

A group calling itself “Protect Sonoma” has emerged – with a press release and web site, at least – to oppose the Hotel Limitation Measure. It states that Sonoma’s current growth plan is just fine and new projects should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis: “Sonoma does not have a hotel problem and nothing is broken.” Fair enough. It also stresses that Sonoma needs the hotel tax money to maintain city services, like police and fire. So wait — if tourists stay in a large hotel (25 rooms plus) residents are safe, but if visitors choose a small hotel, crime runs rampant and fires burn out of control? A room is a room is a room, it would seem… The contact name at is Nancy Simpson, a member of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation. Find out more, and keep the discussion civil.

And what to do about the proliferation of tasting rooms on and around the Plaza, other than pop in for a flight? The city council discussed it. Tom Rouse and David Cook questioned the need for regulations beyond those already imposed by the ABC. Steve Barbose and Lauie Gallian argued that because alcohol is served, additional rules are indeed called for. “Having 30 tasting rooms on the plaza is not family-friendly,” Barbose said. The council kicked it back to the Planning Commission to develop standards and policy… Silent so far: the actual wineries that surround the town. Are they being hurt by the downtown, retail tasting rooms? Or, because the city gets a cut of the sales tax, do we even care?

Dino DiGiulio of Body Best has another car to give away. Or more – last year it was three, all awarded to deserving community members. He finds the cars and makes them look like new, then Scott Andrews of Pacfic Rim Automotive gets them running perfectly. Then they find people who have distinguished themselves through school or public service, and really need a ride. In July, the cars are given away to the most deserving nominees. Send your recommendation to: [email protected]

Amusing sign in front of Valley of the Moon Veterinary Hospital: “Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.”

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