After hitting a brief speed bump over a possible left-turn lane on West Napa Street, the Hotel Project Sonoma will proceed to a public meeting of the Planning Commission on April 13.
That hearing – to certify the Environmental Impact Report and consider the Use Permit – was to have taken place in January. It was postponed when city staff confirmed that the left-turn analysis was flawed: the city-commissioned report had only accounted for left-turns generated by the hotel, not traffic associated with the existing seven apartment units in the adjacent Lynch building or the employee parking associated with the Lynch Building and the Index-Tribune building.
The resulting report was an error on the part of the traffic engineer who prepared the analysis, according to Planning Director David Goodison. “It is fortunate that the issue was raised through the public comment process prior to the Planning Commission’s consideration,” he said.
Taking all the related structures on West Napa Street into account, a new report was prepared, Goodison said, but the results are the same. “The corrected analysis still indicates that a left-turn lane will not be warranted as a result of the project.”
Additional steps were taken to verify the updated analysis, he said. It was peer-reviewed by the CHS Consulting Group and also Caltrans. Both agreed with the findings of the corrected report.
The result is that the city has essentially signed off on the project, which now awaits approval by the Planning Commission. That could come as early as the April 13 meeting,
Through Goodison acknowledged that more time may needed for public input. Therefore a follow-up meeting date will be held April 27 if a continuance is required.