A June 25 City of Sonoma Planning Commission meeting will star a proposal for a new 62-room hotel in downtown Sonoma. This has been long awaited for sometime, given the past hub-bub about a new hotel to be built by Darius Anderson and Bill Hooper under the name Kenwood Investments LLC. The meeting is free and open to the public and starts at 6:30 PM at the Community Meeting Room at 177 1st St. W., Sonoma.
The current proposal is different than the one proposed in 2012. The new proposal features a 3-story hotel with 62 rooms (2012: 59 rooms), one restaurant that will serve 80 people (2012: 2 restaurants, 126 people), and basement and ground parking for 115 vehicles (2012: 121). They scrapped the retail store concept. A swimming pool, spa and fitness center will be onsite.
Their proposal includes the following changes:
The design is described as using “Authentic Sonoma building materials would be used throughout the Project, including thick plaster, wood and stone clad walls, metal and tile roofs, and split faced cut stone (i.e. similar to Sonoma City Hall and Buena Vista Winery).” Guestrooms will have custom wrought iron balconies and fire places.
The property aims to be the most eco friendly in Sonoma Valley. Details for the eco-plans include:
Environmental impact review results
The proposal underwent an environmental impact review. Most things were of little concern, however, a few concerns were expressed by the committee and further research and investigation will take place.
The proposed changes were found to cause “potentially significant impact” on “substantially degrading (sic) existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings.” This was primarily due to the architecture of the current buildings, which were built in the mid-20th century, in addition to the historic buildings on the square. Reviewers expressed concern that the building of new structures would change the look and feel of the Square. Further discussion and investigation will take place.
Additional issues include air quality concerns, greenhouse gas emission increases, increase of pollutants, and many concerns about the cultural resources to be impacted. They also expressed concern about noise pollution increases and traffic increases.
The committee stated that the proposal could significantly impact the historical resources around it. For example, the committee wishes to investigate the historical significance of the Chateau Sonoma building and other adjoined historic buildings regarding their significance and how the proposal will impact the Square’s history.
They also express significant concern about negatively impacting archaeological, paleontological, geological, and human remains that may be interred onsite or near it. These concerns stem from the Coast Miwok Native Americans who resided in the area and that fossils may be found from prehistoric animals and plants during construction.
What happens next?
Next steps in the proposal process include a review by the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Committee, the development, drafting and finalization of the environmental impact review, a review of the permitting needed, a review of the demolition requests, and an architectural review.
Meeting schedule – public welcome
A meeting will review the proposal on June 25 and is open to the public. It will be at 6:30 PM at the Community Meeting Room at 177 1st St. W., Sonoma.
Read the detailed report here.