Editor: Limiting hotels in Sonoma Proper would facilitate the building of large hotels just outside of the city. Imagine the traffic and parking situation if visitors must drive to the town square, rather than having lodging within walking distance. According to Measure B, the Inn at Sonoma is classified as “big” at 27 rooms. If Measure B passes, future hotels of the same scale or the expansion of existing ones would be indefinitely prohibited. MacArthur Place is a 64 room establishment with a spa, restaurant and event space. I live nearby and frequent Saddles, yet I have never seen a traffic jam there.
During last month’s Measure B debate, one of the panel members reported counting over 100 cars drive into the Whole Foods parking lot, during that time, only one car drove into the Inn of Sonoma. When the supporters of B were asked why retail growth wasn’t addressed in their measure, they replied that “our city has provisions to control this.” When asked why we could trust the local government to control retail growth, yet had to have their powers over hotels stripped, they failed to provide a satisfactory answer.
The supporters of Measure B have placed several videos on YouTube explaining their position. I would encourage all Sonoma residents to watch these videos and see if any concise, clear and compelling arguments for B can be found. Supporters of B may sound well-intentioned, but their arguments are rooted in fear of change.
I applaud the work of our dedicated officials who have protected our town charm and history with integrity and dedication, their willingness to hear all voices before deciding any measure. I oppose any change in the city’s plan that would limit the relevancy of our government that has served the citizens so well.
I urge all Sonoma Citizens to review this measure, consider the consequences, and vote NO on Measure B.
Jeffrey S. Montague
Owner, Wine Country Cyclery and Resident