South Sonoma Neighborhood Project



The Lodge blows off City Government

Like children in kindergarten, when Lodge managers don't want to keep their promises or don't like the rules, they simply pretend they don't exist and never have. The City has allowed this behavior. Perhaps it's been dazzled by the transient occupancy tax the hotel adds to City coffers. Perhaps it's been a matter of not wanting to invest resources to clean up a mess it helped create: City Planner David Goodison, circa 1996-1998, recommended that the Planning Commission approve the Lodge, but he did this without comprehending there was no loading dock on the hotel's property.

Although the Lodge would have to rely on deliveries of everything from fish to lounge chairs to massage tables, the developer's plans did not include an onsite loading dock. Somehow, the Clay Street access driveway near Broadway became the fallback location to accept deliveries and a place to store dumpsters, garbage cans, and recycling containers.


Everyone involved in the City's approval and appeal processes failed to take into account the cumulative negative effects heavy truck traffic would impose on residential streets. The results were mitigation measures were not developed and put in place. (Goodison Memo) In the absence of enforceable mitigations for predictable noise, filthy conditions, parking shortages for trucks, and no plan for traffic and circulation, Planning Director David Goodison met with the hotel's general managers to gain some agreements, which were intended to ameliorate some of the negative conditions. The Lodge has not honored many of those agreements. Here is a partial list of agreements scuttled by the Lodge:

  1. Relocate the bottle containers to an interior area

  2. Relocate recycling containers and dumpsters further away from Clay Street

  3. Relocate the bottle containers to an interior area (2)

  4. No amplified music on outdoor north patio

  5. Inform its vendors U Turns are prohibited at Clay and Bragg Streets

  6. Use Lodge security to direct drivers to respect the no U Turn sign

  7. Prohibit employees from parking on Clay Street

  8. Implement an employee parking program

  9. Adequate employee parking must be provided on site

  10. Employees should use designated associate parking when picking up paychecks (Thursdays)

  11. Prohibit construction workers and landscapers from parking on Clay

  12. Prohibit construction workers and landscapers from parking on Clay (2)

  13. Limit noisy activities on the so-called loading dock over night and mornings; the posted hours for recycling are 8 AM to 7 PM

  14. Eliminate the use of refrigerated trucks for supplemental storage *

  15. Screen the service area with a masonry wall

  16. Keep the slatted gate to the service area closed unless a delivery is in progress

  17. Keep the slatted gate to the service area closed unless a delivery is in progress (2)

  18. Provide an area on its Broadway frontage for neighborhood residents

  19. Arrange for use of Friedman's parking lot during big events when onsite parking will be insufficient

  20. The wall along Clay Street to be raised by four feet with a tile roof added **

  21. Garbage cans must be screened from view

  22. Recycling bins must be screened from view

  23. Containers must be covered

  24. Direct employees to keep dumpster lids closed

 * Refrigerated trucks run at noise levels between 96 and 104 dBA. Sonoma's Noise Ordinance prohibit noise greater than 65 dBA intermittent or 55 dBA constant on commercial property. The GM displays the arrogance typical of the Lodge in her letter to David Goodison and describes the hotel's needs to be more important than a Noise Ordinance.

 ** There is no tile roof to match existing tile roof.

Conditions of Use violations

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