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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 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 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 and in the right column there is a “Follow Us” link where you can submit your email address

2.      Email   cc Lynda Hopkins:    and   Coastal Commission Stephanie Rexing:   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:

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 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!

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:

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: 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 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!


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:

OK, that is all for today! Chime in if you have any relevant news, updates, or ideas! Email:

-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