Greg Colvin Letter about $4 Million

From:  Gregory L. Colvin 

Sent:    Monday, May 08, 2017 4:38 PM

Subject:  $4 Million Available toward Resolution of Davidon Land Use Issue


To:       Mayor David Glass, Petaluma City Councilmembers Chris Albertson, Teresa Barrett,                 Mike Healy, Gabe Kearney, Dave King, and Kathy Miller

 CC:     John Brown, City Manager, City of Petaluma

            Bert Whitaker, Director, Sonoma County Regional Parks
            David Rabbitt, Supervisor, Second District, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
            Bill Keene, General Manager, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open                     Space District

From:   Greg Colvin, Director, Kelly Creek Protection Project of Earth Island Institute

Date:    May 8, 2017

RE:      Additional Funds Raising Amount Available to Acquire Some or All of Scott                       Ranch (Davidon) Land to Expand Putnam Park, to Four Million Dollars

At the May 1 meeting of the City Council, I announced during public comment that the amount of money offered to help resolve the Scott Ranch development issues had been raised from $1 million to $4 million. 

Councilmember Kathy Miller expressed interest in seeing verification that, in addition to the $1 million currently held by Sonoma Land Trust (SLT), $3 million had been made available for the same purpose -- to acquire some portion of the Davidon land at Windsor and D Streets for an extension of Helen Putnam County Regional Park with a new trailhead closer to town. 

The $1 million in a restricted fund at Sonoma Land Trust is dedicated to the following purpose:

The cost of acquisition and/or maintenance by the City of Petaluma, Sonoma County, some other governmental entity or public charity, or a combination thereof, of some or all of the Scott ranch land, … including its historic structures, for public park use, including a walking trail connection to Helen Putnam Park and which may include related agricultural and/or open space elements.

This fund was established first at The Bay Institute in 2006 and later conveyed to Sonoma Land Trust, with a 10-year deadline.  If not used for its intended purpose, the grant would be returned to its anonymous source.  The grant expired in 2016 but was extended to 2019.

The additional $3 million has been set aside in a charitable 501(c)(3) donor-advised fund at a major investment institution in San Francisco.  It is in a money market pool so that it is not subject to market risk and is liquid and available on short notice as soon as a compromise is reached with the public and private parties involved with this property.  The $3 million could be granted to a 501(c)(3) public charity such as the Sonoma Land Trust or the Sonoma County Parks Foundation, or to an agency of city or county government.  Terms and conditions could be exactly the same as the $1 million at SLT or could be adapted to the circumstances of the compromise.  For instance, if the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (SCAPOSD) can make matching funds available, the grant could be contingent on the SCAPOSD match.  The assets in the donor-advised fund can be released on my recommendation and my signature.  There is no expiration date.

The Kelly Creek Protection Project stands ready to meet and confer with all interested parties to put this funding to use for the benefit of the public, and to finally resolve this long-standing land use controversy in Petaluma and Sonoma County. We urge the City Council to help facilitate this resolution.

If you have further questions about this total of $4 million in private philanthropic funds, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Argus Courier, May 27, 2017

Petaluma group sets aside $4M for open space