Editor: One year ago I moved to Sonoma. I could have made my new home in any part of the world. I chose Sonoma, drawn by factors such as its size, charm, beauty, clean air, locally-owned shops and restaurants with unique quality and flavors, and much more–factors now threatened by growth pressures that we see forever altering the character of neighboring communities such as Napa and Healdsburg, among others.
Regarding Measure B, both sides claim the same goal–preservation and protection of our distinctive community. Unlimited growth, however, may easily defeat the goal. SMALL HOTELS that conform with the scale and charm of Sonoma, will help to maintain the charm, ease, and appeal that brings tourists, homebuyers, shoppers, and new business, to our valley. BIG HOTELS undoubtedly will burden us with even greater traffic congestion, increased air pollution as, with engines idling, we try to inch our way into an endless stream of vehicles; a threatened supply of groundwater; and jeopardy to charming B&B’s, mom and pop shops, restaurants and bars, Sonoma’s appeal as a tourist destination easily could diminish. YES on MEASURE B ensures that as we grow, we will grow in proportion to the Sonoma we cherish.
Linda Wolcott-Moore is an environmental attorney with particular experience in issues of California groundwater, land-use and city planning