The Planning Commission voted 4-3 last month not to certify the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Mission Square development, a result that effectively halts the project at 213 East Spain St. unless the decision is overturned on appeal by the Sonoma City Council.
The council will hear the matter on September 1.
Project architect Bill Willers said the project, a mix of 16 apartments and 3,500 sq. ft. of office space, has been scaled down from earlier versions in deference to the concerns of neighbors and The Sonoma League for Historic Preservation.
Susan Brandt-Hawley, the Glen Ellen attorney who specializes in historical preservation cases, was hired by the league to contest the EIR. She told the planning commission that the EIR document was incomplete, inadequate and difficult to understand.
While not an approval of the project design, the EIR is the keystone document; without it, the project can’t proceed. If the appeal is denied, site owners will have to come up with another plan – the fourth in ten years.