Maintain Sonoma’s city-centered core: Vote yes on W

Posted on October 7, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Voting YES  on Measure W will renew the existing 2000 voter-approved Urban Growth Boundary (similar to the City Limit boundaries) for another 20 years. Supporting the renewal of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), which is a land-use planning tool, will focus new and rehabilitated urban development, including affordable housing, inside the UGB.

It is critical to maintain the City’s urban development within the city-centered core in order to create a walking and bicycling community, preserve the small-town character, reduce expansive and expensive infrastructure and services, prevent development sprawl, and provide a more equitable environment for all. Renewal of the existing UGB provides an opportunity for inclusionary housing for all near the amenities of the town, including businesses, shops, restaurants, the Plaza, schools, jobs, services, and the library. 

When we create a more diverse and integrated community, we ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live near the town core, not pushing affordable housing to the edge. Anti-displacement strategies and growth patterns must be utilized in a critical way to stabilize the City of Sonoma while building an equitable and inclusive city.  Furthermore, strengthening the town core creates a more climate healthy environment where people walk and bike more and drive less.   

Plagued by under-investment in many of the commercial areas, the challenge is to design through policies and criteria contained in the City’s General Plan and Housing Element a sustainable, just, and attainable community while living within the City’s limited financial resources. In addition, with a robust, inter-community public transportation system, we can embrace people and diverse community activities, instead of cars and segregation. This challenge provides us with an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-build the City of Sonoma when it needs to stay small, as there is limited access and egress as proved by the recent mandatory evacuations when it took some folks three to four hours to evacuate the Valley during the recent fires.

Join us in supporting Measure W with a YES vote, thereby renewing the existing Urban Growth Boundaries for another 20 years on which we can build a healthy, more resilient, just and joyous, and prosperous urban community. 

— Johanna M. Patri, AICP, Sonoma


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