Sonoma Valley Sun


The wrong spot for new housing

Posted on September 8, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Magical Thinking! The Arnold Drive corridor and unincorporated Sonoma County lack infrastructure, resources and opportunities to support the addition of 2,300+ new residences. In Susan Gorin’s June 2023 email update, she stated that services “are not sufficiently accessible to vulnerable residents in the Sonoma Valley . . . due to its geographic isolation and lack of public transportation . . . .” So why on earth would we build 2,300+ new residences where there is a lack of services, a lack of public transportation and geographic isolation?

Every think-tank and government entity in this country advocates for in-fill construction, and building housing near EXISTING services. It is magical thinking to suggest that any of the proposed developments are going to provide adequate affordable housing for essential workers who live and work in the community.

First and foremost, affordable housing units are assigned by lottery: teachers, nurses, firefighters, local workers, etc. get no preferential treatment. Their names go into a hat just like everyone else. Second, “Low Income” in Unincorporated Sonoma County means an annual income of $104,000 for a family of four. Perhaps most importantly, only a small fraction of the proposed units will be so-called “affordable” housing.

And please don’t forget that the Hanna proposal includes 130 hotel rooms, 150 units for sale at market-rate, and 201,250 square feet of commercial space. The developers who are proposing these projects are not looking-out for the interests of Sonoma Valley residents. They are trying to make as much money as possible. (That’s what capitalism is, and that’s fine. Just don’t be fooled by their philanthropic marketing.)

–Sean Navarro-Dominguez, West Agua Caliente

One thought on “The wrong spot for new housing

  1. This Hanna proposal is not for LOW income ($100K yr) as stated but it is $$$$$$$ that is the focus. The approved SDC developers plan that just broadsided residents by adding 50% more housing – none of the increase if for low income – Both of these projects will need Arnold drive to exit a serious fire like 2017. Those of us who tried to leave when evacuated in 2017 sat on Arnold without moving for a long time due to the congestion TODAY! Imagine Hanna’s 2300 new homes and SDC new homes plus their 50 sneaky increase. Developers are morally bankrupt for greed. Cannot we try-really try to create a good plan for all the increasingly homeless families?? Arnold is a two land road as is Hwy 12 people. We must stand up and raise our voices to do better.

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