Sonoma County Residents

Development interests are constantly looking for locations to insert the vanguards of urban sprawl in our rural communities. Constant vigilance is required.

Currently there is a proposal to build a mega gas station at Highway 12 and Llano Road in unincorporated Sebastopol. These commercial monstrosities are the norm in cookie cutter subdivisions across the USA and having them introduced in rural Sonoma County will lead to conversion of our unique area into another tiki taki suburban drive thru tract, so if that is your objective click here, you’re good. Others please continue on.

Letter-writing instructions for letters to the Press Democrat, and sample letter.

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!

To email a letter to the editor:

Email letters of no more than 200 words to  

Include your full name and home city for publication. Letters must be original and written exclusively for The Press Democrat. Letters that do not include a home address and daytime phone number will not be considered for publication. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. (Keep it below 200 words!)

To send a hard copy in the postal mail send to:

Letters to the Editor
The Press Democrat
427 Mendocino Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Sample Letter:

Dear Editor:

Recently, gas station proposals have come to my attention. One in Petaluma for a 16-pump station close to schools, playgrounds and a childcare center that is in the courts. Another one was proposed in a rural, unincorporated area of Sonoma County west of Cotati at Hwy 116/Stony Point Road that was withdrawn following a storm of protest. Currently, opposition is mounting for yet another proposal for a gas station, car wash, RV storage and minimart, in a rural area surrounded by agricultural lands and open space, between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, at Hwy 12/Llano Road. Here is why I am against it:

·      The proposal runs counter to many elements of the Sonoma County General Plan;

·      A new gas station here is unnecessary – there is one a mile away and several others within a few miles;

·      The site is along a scenic corridor that serves as a rural greenbelt between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa;

·      The site is in the Laguna de Santa Rosa, one of the County’s most important wildlife areas and a Wetlands of International Significance;

·      The proposed location is adjacent to the well-used Joe Rodota trail;

·      The proposed above ground fuel storage tanks pose a risk of fire as well as of water contamination;

·      We are in the midst of a climate crisis. Sonoma County has made many positive policy statements about reducing greenhouse gases, and new gas stations run counter to these policies. We need to say No to new gas stations now!

 [Name, full mailing address and daytime telephone number of sender]