South Sonoma Neighborhood Project
In December 2015, neighbors formed a working group to share ideas and study the developers’ proposals that were submitted to the Sonoma County Community Development Commission. Our group expanded to 100 people and is now called the South Sonoma Group. We have supported having affordable housing built on the lot at 20269 Broadway since first learning about it, but we have always been concerned about the size and density of the SAHA project, which is near two big businesses. The Lodge and Train Town dominate Clay Street and we worked for two years to try to get SAHA to scale back its plans.
Backed by current research and stats about housing and housing needs in Sonoma and Sonoma County, our Website was a comprehensive reservoir of accurate, relevant, and important information. The housing project was approved 3-2 by a depleted, in flux Planning Commission and construction will begin November 2019. Our Website has broadened its range to include more information and ideas about how to improve Clay Street, which gets trampled by the Lodge at Sonoma and Train Town.
In February 2018, the City Council directed the Planning Department to work with the Traffic Safety Committee "to review the operation of the dock and work with the Lodge to identify options for improvement. David Goodison, the Planning Director at that time, wrote: "The City intends to begin this process within the next 60-90 days. As of mid July 2019, 500 days have passed.
This is unacceptable.
The Lodge at Sonoma has always been a point of friction in the neighborhood because of the truck traffic it draws to Clay Street. Built without an actual loading dock, the hotel uses Clay as its back alley and loading dock and Bragg Street as its turn-around area. Additionally, the Lodge does not comply with the Conditions of Use attached to its permit and does not follow City Municipal Code. It is crucial for the City to reign in the Lodge, enforce Code, and insist it adheres to its agreements to improve the safety and aesthetics of the St. Francis Place and Fryer Creek neighborhoods and retain what's left of the semi-rural nature of Sonoma.