Sonoma Valley Sun


Time for ‘due diligence’ on Springs annexation issue

Posted on January 23, 2024 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Over the past few years, the idea of Sonoma possibly annexing the Springs has made it onto the Valley’s political agenda. The Sonoma Valley Housing Group is urging the City Council to now put studying the question on its priority list and add it to the upcoming General Plan.

According to CEO Mark Bramfitt, Sonoma County’s independent Local Agency Formation Committee (LAFCO) has “somewhat committed to doing the financials.” And he reports that Supervisor Susan Gorin has secured funding to assess the sentiment in both the city and the Springs.

Whether or not Sonoma should annex the surrounding urban area will ultimately be decided by the voters. But now is the time for the city to do its “due diligence” on the issue. Valley residents can speak up for that at the Council’s goal-setting session, beginning at 9:00 a.m. next Tuesday, February 2, at The Lodge, 1325 Broadway.

— Dave Ransom, Sonoma Valley Housing Group

4 thoughts on “Time for ‘due diligence’ on Springs annexation issue

  1. Springs residents need to be able to vote on whether they are annexed or not. Not just Sonoma. As I recall this was not the case when Sonoma annexed Maxwell Farm so a shopping center could be built.

  2. The voters of Sonoma made it perfectly clear in 2020 that nearly 80% of them oppose expansion of the City of Sonoma. LAFCO can study the economic impacts all it wants, but I sincerely doubt voter sentiment has changed in the city and suspect most Springs residents prefer to not come under jurisdiction of the city.

  3. First the city of Sonoma residents must vote to expand the urban growth boundary to include the area being annexed. And Larry is correct, if they vote no it stops there. If it were to pass, then the residents of the Springs would have to vote. Both Larry and I wrote pieces about this back in 2022. If you go to: you can read mine. At the bottom is a link to Larry’s. There are pros and cons to this. But, I think a study should be done and I think that real, unbiased and carefully created surveys should be conducted. Only after that will we really know if this is feasible and if there is any chance city and Springs voters will go for it.

  4. All that’s at stake now is a current fresh look; step one is that the Council, at the 2/2//24 Goals meeting make a priority goal to do an initial study on the topic. The staff will thereby be directed to bring an item back on the topic relatively quickly. We know some stakeholders will be for and some against, and that there will be a lot to say, but we can’t have the full discussion until this first gets to be a priority goal and then later brought to the Council as a public item. There would then need to be three votes to advance the process to an outreach and education stage. The County will need due diligence as well. One step at a time and this will all unfold; hopefully the Council and old naysayers will not veto up front a solid community discussion of the pros and cons. Upon education and outreach, hearts and minds may be changed as issues are seen in new lights. It’s my own opinion that morally and ethically this is the right thing to do, like many other similar situations like Soweto and Johannesburg, or East and West Germany; once that rubicon is crossed, to bridge the gap between the haves and have nots, then we make the numbers work.

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