There’s likely to be a large crowd filling the Community Meeting Room on the evening of June 22 when the appeal of the Environmental Impact Report of the 62-room, 80-seat restaurant Hotel Project Sonoma on West Napa Street takes place at the special meeting of the Sonoma City Council.
The contention behind the appeal is that the EIR is “incomplete and inaccurate” and that more study and work must be completed in order to bring the environmental review up to acceptable standards.
Six members of the community filed the appeal: Victor Conforti, Fred Allebach, Johanna Patri, Larry Barnett, David Eichar and Patty Daffurn. Allebach and Barnett are both members of this paper’s editorial board.
The appeal claims that the traffic studies used in the EIR are inadequate and that the report lacks the presentation of sufficient project alternatives, particularly when it comes to housing. The location in question is zoned “Commercial” but due to its size 50 percent of the built structures must be housing, unless that requirement is waived by the Planning Commission. To this date, no waiver has been granted, which would occur in the Use Permit phase of the approval process once the EIR certification has been finalized.
The developer, Kenwood Development, has indicated from the beginning that a waiver of the housing requirement is a condition of their proposal.
Land use and CEQA attorney Rose Zoia represents the appeal group, and contacted by The Sun said, “There are significant legal problems and analytical insufficiencies in this EIR that need correction. These will be presented in detail at the hearing and I expect the City Council will direct city staff and the EIR consultants to do that work and return to the council with a better report.”
The meeting begins at 6pm in the Community Meeting Room at 177 First Street West.