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URGENT ALERT: Help Defend Community Separators! Act by July 6

Urgent Eco Alert for Sonoma County
We are sharing this urgent message from one of our environmental allies and hope you will take action as this could be a dangerous precedent setting project for our County.
  URGENT ALERT: Help Defend Community Separators!

A DEVELOPER IS PROPOSING A LUXURY RESORT AND EVENT CENTER IN A VOTER-PROTECTED GREENBELT!  

The “Solstice” is a proposed new luxury resort and major event center in a Community Separator between Santa Rosa and Windsor at 3890 Old Redwood Highway. 
 


This is, essentially, a 24-room hotel and major event center (100 events per year, 10,000 people). Approval of the project would set a dangerous precedent for allowing intense hospitality development, including third-party rentals for weddings, on Resources and Rural Development (RRD) land. Such an expansive interpretation of RRD zoning would be especially egregious in a Community Separator and should be rejected. Please tell the County that you object to this intense, inappropriate development. 
 
DEADLINE July 6 for Public Comment; Public Hearing July 9. 
 
DETAILS are in SCCA’s comment letter, linked here .
 
Additional comments: The project violates MEASURE K. In 2016, voters passed the measure by 81%, voting to protect community separator greenbelts, the rural lands between our towns and cities, from more sprawl and intensified development. Now unelected county planners are ready to compromise our open space legacy for the benefit of one luxury developer.   Project approval would induce more hospitality centers outside urban areas. Thousands of rural RRD parcels are at risk.    NOT NOW! We face the COVID crisis, a dangerous wildfire season, economic uncertainly and political unrest when most voters are not able to participate in the public process. Just one Zoom meeting! Don’t move forward now on a totally non-essential luxury resort and event center in the protected greenbelt.    The project is the middle of the Tubb’s burn zone and will put more people and property at wildfire risk.  TAKE ACTION!  Thursday, July 9 Make your voice heard at the Public Hearing, Board of Zoning Adjustments, 1 pm via Zoom. Agenda will be posted here DRAFT A LETTER!  Dear Sonoma County Supervisors, BZA Commissioners and Permit Sonoma,
Please vote to deny or delay any action on the proposed luxury resort and event center at “Sonoma Solstice” in a community separator protected with 81 percent of the vote. 
 
Sincerely Yours,
 
Name, Title, Organization

  SEND BY July 6, 2020 TO: Board of Zoning Adjustments

Todd Tamura, Chair – District 2 – Todd.Tamura@gmail.com
Richard Fogg, District 1 – sonomafogg@aol.com
John Lowry, District 5 – JohnLowryCA@gmail.com
Cameron Mauritson – District 4 (the project is in District 4)- cameron@mauritsonfarms.com
Paula Cook – District 3 – pcook@ch-sc.org
Permit Sonoma Deputy Director Scott Orr scott.orr@sonoma-county.org
Planner Tricia Stevens  tstevens@migcom.com
Permit Sonoma permitsonoma@sonomacounty.org
CC Supervisor James Gore James Gore District4@sonoma-county.org
CC:  Matt Callaway matt@conservationaction.org 

  Our community benefits when we act together as citizens with a common goal to protect this amazing county. Forward To A Friend Through education and grassroots organizing, Conservation Action engages with the public on environmental issues and policies that affect Sonoma County, influencing the way our area will be shaped for years to come.

The price of living in paradise is continuous vigilant defense.

Sonoma Coast in the cross hairs.

The forces who would sacrifice our heritage for commercial gain are insidious. Please write to the BOS regarding the concerns below.

Timely, excellent letter to the PD today!
Coastal Plan Hearings

EDITOR: Thanks for covering the creation of the local coastal plan update, which was created behind closed doors at the county (“Hearings set to revise Sonoma coastal plan,” Thursday).

At the recent public meeting, Permit Sonoma’s planner acknowledged that numerous coastal and nonprofit stakeholders were never consulted about the plan. Thus, the department missed the opportunity for expert input from other knowledgeable sources.

Most worrisome, the new draft frequently uses loophole phraseology — “principally permitted use” — that allows ultimate discretion of the planners about what permits might be issued and what level of review is required. This language embeds a permanent opening for the planning department to do whatever it wants or is pressured to do by development interests. This is unacceptable.

All of us should be alarmed that the current concept of a principally permitted use, as specified on Permit Sonoma’s website, says that zoning designations won’t be appealable to the California Coastal Commission once approved at the county level. So the public will have no appeal to higher authorities.

This flawed document needs to go back to the drawing board with the goal of protection rather than development.

Public input is needed now. The county is hosting public workshops, and your voice is needed to protect our coast.
Please see Localcoastalplan.org for upcoming dates and places.

Reuben Weinzveg Treasurer, Preserve Rural Sonoma County

Warning: County is accelerating Coastal Plan Update

Please read the following and take actions to slow down the Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan Update.

“Know the coast as the geographic soul of California. You can’t take our relationship with the [California] coast for granted because it took a lot of sweat, blood and tears to preserve it so we have what we have today. These things didn’t just happen. The coast is what it is because of a lot of people worked really hard and sacrificed to protect it. And if we want it to be there for our children, we have to keep fighting to protect it. In that way, the coast is never saved, it’s always being saved.” Peter Douglas, past Executive Director, California Coastal Commission.

It’s a long document that will have effects for years to come. So far we have found that the endangered species areas have been drastically cut, and threatened and potentially endangered species have been removed. This will allow for development and commercialization of the coast.

Please take action. The public needs time to review.

Local Coastal Plan Update 

It has been over 4 years since the release of the ‘Preliminary Draft Local Coastal Plan (2015)”. Due to the massive public response raised in public comment and during LCP workshops Permit Sonoma (PRMD) pulled the Preliminary Draft LCP. On September 26, 2019 PRMD posted the current 2019 Local Coastal Plan (LCP) Update. It is substantially revised and merits rounds of public workshops similar to last go around (there were 7 in 2015) and opportunity for the public to review this massive and critical land use document to provide meaningful comment. The timeline proposed for public comment prior to the revised draft being heard before the Planning Commission has not been clearly defined. The suggested timeline is not sufficient. It is important that adequate time be provided to ensure “meaningful public participation” which is mandated in the Coastal Act.

The LCP is a large document and a critical one for the Sonoma Coast as it is THE document that controls all future development for 55 miles of the Sonoma Coastal Zone and ensures equitable public access to the coast and protection of critical coastal resources (including environmentally sensitive habitat areas). It is the controlling document for the Coast going forward and we will have to live with/by this document for the foreseeable future.

We deserve to be allotted the time and the public participation process commensurate with the document’s critical importance to the future of the Coast.

Please get involved — protection of the California and Sonoma Coast is our legacy. It was the citizens of Sonoma County who fought for these protections and ensured passage of the Coastal Act. Let’s make sure that the legacy of coastal preservation continues.

Get Involved – Please Take the Following 6 Initial Steps: 

1.      Take the PRMD LCP Survey https://lcpupdate.metroquest.com/ to request that workshops and written comment period is provided for. Get on the mailing list for LCP updates such as schedule of workshops or hearings by going to https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Long-Range-Plans/Local-Coastal-Program/Proposed/ and in the right column there is a “Follow Us” link where you can submit your email address

2.      Email   PRMD-LCP-Update@sonoma-county.org   cc Lynda Hopkins: Lynda.Hopkins@sonoma-county.org    and   Coastal Commission Stephanie Rexing: stephanie.rexing@coastal.ca.gov   Begin by stating why protection of the Sonoma Coast matters to you and then request that there be meaningful public participation in the LCP update process as required by the Coastal Act by ensuring that:

§  Adequate time is provided to the public to review the Updated Local Coastal Plan prior to public workshops are scheduled (minimum of 4 weeks from date of release – September 26th, 2019)

§  That the County schedule a minimum of 5 public workshops – 3 on Coast in Bodega Bay, Timber Cove, & Sea Ranch and 2 inland

§  That the County make printed copies of the Updated LCP available to check out from all coastal post offices and Sonoma County Libraries as well as reasonably priced printed copies for purchase from PRMD.

§  That the County form an Advisory Committee to the Coastal MAC made up of a variety of citizens from thoroughout the County who have expertise in land use, ocean policy, conservation, affordable housing, fire safety, and water quality. (For the original draft of our Local Coastal Plan there were at least 5 Technical Advisory Committees formed each made up of 8-12 citizens with expertise in the above listed areas. No such committees have been formed for this current updated LCP)

3.      Begin by reading the “Introduction to the LCP” (26 pages). You can either download the entire document as a PDF by linking to the “Public Review Draft Local Coastal Plan – All Sections & Appendices” or open and download it section by section here:

https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Long-Range-Plans/Local-Coastal-Program/Public-Review-Draft/#separateSections

Reading the introduction will help you understand the history and background plus explain the purpose and content of each section or “element”. The introduction also has a chart which shows where existing LCP chapters and policies have been moved to in this new draft.

4.      Next-Read the Introduction to each Element by opening that link. These are usually just 1-2 paragraphs and explain the purpose of that element.

5.      Check out the “Policy Comparison Tables” at the bottom of the Update page https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Long-Range-Plans/Local-Coastal-Program/Public-Review-Draft/ which identify the policies that have been either “Removed, Replaced, or Revised” for each section.

6.      Decide which element you have the most background or experience with and start reading and comparing…take notes and share your concerns.

We can do this!

RP Council to Discuss new Northeast Development at meeting on Tuesday 9/10/19

Say hello to 14340 new road trips per day feeding Petaluma Hill Road and other arteries.

Rohnert Park City Council to act on proposed changes to allow more units and less buffer to Snyder Lane and to G Section and move forward with development of their signature sardine can development model over a beautiful oak meadow along a scenic corridor.

4 packs, Small lot homes, Zero lot lines, Apartments, Townhouses…
Rohnert Park’s tagline should be “Building the ghettos of tomorrow, today”.

If you have had enough with the traffic and congestion and are fed up with corrupt officials trying to bring the South Bay to the North Bay – show up and get your opposition on the record. Make sure to include water, traffic, scenic corridors, CEQA, Tiger Salamanders, Aquifer…

Why is it always about packing in more units, reducing parks, reducing buffers and reducing separation between homes in Rohnert Park?

Here is the agenda:
https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/423677/7A_NESP.pdf

Staff recommends that the City Council specifically discuss and provide recommendations regarding the following project components:
• A request for increased maximum density within the Specific Plan Area from 1,085 units to 1,434 units.
• A reduced buffer width along Snyder Lane from 200 foot wide buffer to 32 foot wide buffer.
• A reduction of the buffer between G Section and the project from 100 foot wide buffer to the minimum width necessary to achieve a visual corridor.
• Modify the park and open space configurations in the general plan which provides for an 8 acre park and linear trails to a proposed 5.8 acre park with three smaller parks (for a total of 10.8 acres of active parks) and linear trails.

Rohnert Park already has 4 major development projects in the pipeline with 5000 units in the works. Time for a moratorium and let’s see how those play out before we add any more.

Tell RP to give their development agency, that you pay for to help developers get these massive build-outs approved, a sabbatical.

Since the fires the traffic in Sonoma County has become unbearable and the quality of life that we came here for is going to be gone forever if we don’t put the brakes on this mindless development juggernaut.

When: Tuesday September 10 6:30 PM

We doen need no stinkink mega gas stations in rural sonoma

Following posting is from No More Gasoline group fighting the introduction of large, mega gas stations / chains / marts in rural Sonoma County.

I have lived all over the United States and I have seen the patterns of suburban sprawl. It starts with a single chain store or gas station and when they get established they multiply like rats. Then come the cookie cutter strip malls, mini marts CVS, Walgreens, Target, McDonalds, Taco Bell… Then Costco. You have to fight to keep them out. If you let your guard down, they get in and once you have an infestation, you can’t get rid of it.

Don’t let your guard down, protect and preserve what you have and what is good and unique and special about the place you live – rural Sonoma County – for your children and theirs. Don’t leave it to the boards and councils and Supervisors, that’s like letting the foxes run the hen house. Those forces are mostly corrupt and paid for by interests that don’t share your values – Editor

Please follow No More Gasoline them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreGasoline/

Below are some important dates in September to get on your calendar, a note on what we need at this time, and a few updates on where things are at with the proposal for a gas station, mini-mart, carwash, and RV storage yard at 5300 Sebastopol Road…

Here’s what we need…

Letters-to-the-Editor – Press Democrat

Send in a letter to the Press Democrat! Email: letters@pressdemocrat.com See attached “LTE Help” sheet for details. Let’s get a buzz going!

For your email/letter, please customize and individualize it as much as possible. Include only the talking points that resonate most for you, or better yet, come up with your own points! But remember to keep it below 200 words!

Letters from organizations: We now have over 10 letters in the case file from Sonoma County-based organizations. If you are a member of a Sonoma County-based organization, see if they can send a letter if they haven’t already.

Letters/emails from individuals to the County decision-makers. Keep them coming, they re being noticed! If you have not yet written a personal letter, please do. Use the attached handout if you need a few talking points. It also has the info on where to send your email/letter. The main staff person is Daniel Hoffman dhoffman@migcom.com If you send to him, he is required to include it in the file where it is seen by all the decision-makers.

Posting Fliers: We need people who would like to have some fun going around town (Sebastopol? Santa Rosa? Somewhere in between?) posting fliers at places where you can post fliers (community centers, markets, cafés, etc.). The flier/flyer (whatever) is attached! Go for it! ☺

Petitions: We currently have about 400 petition signatures. The more the better so if you can help gather signatures and need blank petitions, a blank is attached to this message.

Facebook Page: Please “like” it, share it, add to it! https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreGasoline/

Calendar:

September 8, 1pm to 7pm, Sonoma Mountain Village- Daily Acts Climate Action Concert. We will be sharing an info table with the No Gas Here! folks from Petaluma. We will be gathering petition signatures. If you would like to help at the table, please let me know. 

September 20, Noon to 2pm, Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa – Solidarity with the Youth Climate Strike. We will have an info/petition table. Let me know if you can help.

October 10, 6:30pm – This is a proposed date for a first meeting of our group. Any reason why this is not a good day?

As a reminder, the next step for the proposal is a decision by the County’s Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA) to approve or deny a use permit. BZA meetings are generally on 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 1pm. However, the meeting will also include a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) hearing for which there is a 30 day public review process, and as we have not yet received the requisite 30 days’ notice, we’re assuming the meeting will not come up during September. 

For more info see the Board of Zoning Adjustments website: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Zoning-Adjustments/

OK, that is all for today! Chime in if you have any relevant news, updates, or ideas! Email: no-gas@googlegroups.com

Cheers,
-Woody (and Jenny)

Community Meeting regarding ARCO Convenience Store, Fuel Station and Car Wash

For those of you following the proposed plan to put in a 16 pump gas station, car wash and convenience store on Stonypoint near Hwy 116, there will be a community meeting on

Tuesday, June 25th at 6:30 pm

The purpose of the meeting is to meet the development team, review the plans, hear what studies have been undertaken, talk about the proposed business and answer questions. The meeting will be held at Cotati Veterans Memorial Building 8505 Park Avenue, Cotati If you have any questions you can call Brian Holloway at 916-996-2019 or email him at brian@holloway.com

Local officials fighting over the right to a board seat on an organization that wants to subvert their rights. Your rights.

Recent article in Press Democrat mentioned Rohnert Park Councilman’s participation in the CASA compact.

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9203254-181/longtime-sonoma-county-transportation-official?ref=mosthome

CASA is your elected city and county officials losing control over zoning, permitting, development planning in your town. It will now be directed by globalists at the UN through policy frameworks from “regional planning commissions”.

Members of these commissions include “social justice” groups, tech executives (Facebook, Google), tenant advocates, developers. Are you represented? Do you see yourself there? Who knows! Their plans go to Sacramento to become bills over-riding local policies. It’s brilliant. If you’re a globalist.

Glen Ellen, Kenwood – You are about to become a “High Opportunity” development area

East and West Petaluma – You too! You like that 40 minute drive across town? Get ready for 60.

Rural Sonoma – Zoning changes to change density and allow a mish mash of backyard housing units poc marking the county will now be dictated by the UN, it’s Regional associations and their fellows in the state, over-riding local control of the people you elected. And here’s a twist – some of those people you elected are serving on these regional boards, to attempt to give them legitimacy, and working to give up their control.

CASA is a spin-off of Plan Bay Area 2040, which is driven by UN 2030: Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is the globalists at the UN attempting to implement their agenda on where you should live and what type of housing should be built by circumventing federal approval and going directly to their comrades in local areas.

It’s the European Union for regional planning. Unelected bureaucrats calling the shots in  local governance. The character of your neighborhood changed under control of an unelected regional board.

It’s estimated CASA policies would cost $2.5 billion annually. The Compact proposes raising $1.5 billion through a smorgasbord of taxes and general obligation bonds, including taxes on vacant homes and large employers, development fees, sales taxes, and revived Redevelopment Agencies.

CASA members also want to create an agency with taxing authority to shepherd the policies. – That’s called getting you to pay for UN initiatives to come in and control land use in your area.

The CASA Compact contains elements of rent control, eviction protections, and union labor programs along with transit-oriented development and permitting reforms, policies long sought after by competing political players that seldom see eye-to-eye. Moreover, the MTC is attempting to coordinate between cities that otherwise may have widely varying development fees and other building standards that muddle regional planning efforts. And for the first time, the region as a whole could be raising taxes for a nine-county Regional Housing Enterprise (RHE) to fund affordable housing construction. The proposal is as ambitious as it is embattled.

These plans will lead to:

  • Restriction of individual mobility
  • Control of and limitations on single family housing
  • A gigantic commitment to a high concentration of stack and pack housing

What is missing in the CASA Compact?”

  • Voter input.
  • Any type of mandate.
  • Vetting of advocacy ‘stakeholders’ on committee.
  • Authority to do anything other than issue reports.

“The MTC cabal, otherwise known as The Committee to House the Bay Area or CASA, would have us believe that the region’s housing crisis necessitates:

  • Creating a public-private agency that would standardize zoning across the region
  • imposing as much as a billion dollars of new taxes on the Bay Area
  • rolling back environmental review
  • lowering housing affordability standards
  • re-zoning “high opportunity” single-family neighborhoods for higher-density market-rate housing development, regardless of transit accessibility
  • accepting the assumption that building market-rate housing lowers the price of all housing enhancing private developers’ profit margins
  • ensuring continuous, explosive job growth while ignoring services and infrastructure to support that growth

These fatuous propositions inform the “CASA Compact: A 15-Year Emergency Policy Package to Confront the Housing Crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area,” a 31-page manifesto and plan of action finalized on December 12. Now MTC/CASA is lobbying the state Legislature to pass laws, including SB 50, State Senator Scott Wiener’s do-over of his failed SB 827, that implement the Compact’s recommendations.”

“Elements in the plan include state-imposed rental caps, tenant evictions that require just cause and measures that could remove some local controls over land use and zoning, among other provisions.”

It is structured around a Steering Committee and Technical Committee composed of elected officials, thought leaders and policy experts from across the region. The CASA effort is supported and staffed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and a team of consultants.

http://www.2040.planbayarea.org/

http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2019-01-04/article/47282

https://www.thebaycitybeacon.com/politics/can-regional-governance-solve-the-bay-s-housing-crisis-we/article_ef5119a0-03f8-11e9-a935-eb64e0d733aa.html

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Ambitious-plan-to-ease-Bay-Area-housing-crunch-13479525.php

 

Cannabis inflicts long-term damage on teenage brains

Those who use the drug as teens struggle with reasoning, memory, and inhibitions in later life

  • Teenagers were asked to rate their cannabis use on a zero to five scale, zero meaning ‘never’ and five being ‘every day’
  • They were then tested in four cognitive domains: recall memory, working memory, perceptual reasoning and inhibition
  • Adolescents who used cannabis the most performed the worst on these tests 
  • Pot use in any given year was linked to impaired inhibitory control and working memory one year later

Teenagers who use cannabis are inflicting long-term damage on their brains, a new study has warned.

Researchers tracked nearly 4,000 teenagers over fours years and found clear evidence of marijuana use being linked to struggles with reasoning, memory and inhibitions later in life.

Previous studies have shown that cannabis misuse has been linked to impairments in learning, attention, and decision-making, as well as lower academic performance.

But the team, led by the University of Montreal in Canada, says its findings are the first to show the causal and lasting effects of teen pot use on cognitive development.

Researchers say marijuana use in teenagers was linked to struggles with reasoning, memory and inhibitions later on life (file image)

Researchers say marijuana use in teenagers was linked to struggles with reasoning, memory and inhibitions later on life (file image)

For the study, the team followed more than 3,800 Canadian adolescents between seventh and 10th grade for a period of four years.

Once a year, the participants rated how much they used cannabis on a zero to five scale – zero meaning ‘never’ and five being ‘every day’.

For alcohol specifically, the teens were asked to provide the typical number of drinks they have in a day.

Researchers also looked at year-over-year changes in four cognitive areas: recall memory, working memory, perceptual reasoning and inhibitions.

Tasks included being able to find a phone among a group of images, learning a pattern and being able to reproduce it 30 minutes later, and completing a sequence of puzzles with increasing difficulty.

The number of students who reported never using cannabis fell from 95.4 percent in the first year of the study to 71 percent in the last year.

Meanwhile, teens who reported using marijuana every day increased five-fold from 0.37 percent in year one to two percent in year four.

Using an advanced analytical model, the study found that teens who used cannabis more frequently performed the worst on the cognitive domain tests.

‘We were surprised that the effects of cannabis were more pronounced than the effects of alcohol,’ senior author and investigator Dr Patricia Conrod, of the department of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, told Daily Mail Online.

‘And we were surprised of the lasting effects. Even if a young person reduced their use, you could still see effects from the previous year. It was more than we expected.’

There is also a concern of teens vaping cannabis after a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report revealed last month e-cigarettes were being used to concel marijuana.

The report found one-third of high school students and a quarter of middle school students that had used e-cigarettes for cannabis in 2016.

A 2017 study also from the University of Montreal found that teens who smoked pot as early as 14 performed worse by age 20 on cognitive tests and dropped out of school at a much higher rate than non-smokers.

Another study from Concordia University, also located in Montreal, found that adolescents who smoked pot at age 15 or younger suffered from cognitive development and even respiratory diseases.

Dr Conrod said that there are many questions that she and her team would like to answer in future research.

‘In the context of recreational cannabis use in adults, when the brain not undergoing maturation, we want to see if they are just as vulnerable to the effects of cannabis,’ she said.

‘We also want to see if there’s a difference in sensitivity between males and females and what brain mechanisms are underlying this effect.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6233059/Those-use-pot-teens-struggle-reasoning-memory-inhibitions-later-life.html