Results of the City Council
Monday, February 27, 2023
The birds are chirping, the deer are freely roaming along the wildlife corridor, and the red-legged frogs are resting on the land. The wildlife are unaware that their habitat and nesting patterns will change dramatically after last night’s City Council approval of the Davidon / Kelly Creek Protection Project development.
We organized in 2004. Many of you have been with us since the beginning of this almost two-decade journey. Thanks to you for analyzing complicated environmental reports, gathering signatures on petitions, leaving flyers on doorsteps, donating money, writing letters, speaking at meetings, and raising the awareness about the fragile ecosystem of this land. We are fortunate to live in an amazing community filled with caring and talented people who give the City Council input.
With your help, we successfully whittled the project down from 93 homes to the current 28 + 9 ADUs and an extension of Helen Putnam Park. We are not happy with the outcome of the City Council meeting, but we know that we tried our best to bring awareness to this flawed development on this fragile land. We represent the community. Thank you for writing emails and speaking at last night’s City Council meeting.
After the City Council decision, Petaluma will never be the same.
Before the verbal public comment session, staff commented that an overwhelming majority of the public comments were in favor of the project, with a number of comments opposing the project. This tells us that the staff did not review the 200+ survey comments that we submitted from you.
We submitted our thorough comments in writing and have heard from a few folks opposed to this project who didn’t attend the meeting or didn’t comment because they felt bullied and didn’t want to subject themselves to any more negativity.
What are the takeaways? If you try to bring intelligent criticism about development, you are labeled as opposing ALL development and, therefore, not a team player in this City. We know that nothing could be further from the truth. We appreciate all of the brave folks who spoke out, citing facts and advocating for the wildlife and environment.
It is worth watching the Council comments just before the vote at the end of the meeting.
Link to Video:
The Council members start discussing the project at: 4:41:29
The Mayor and five Council members unanimously support this project moving forward:
Kevin McDonnell, Mayor
Janice Cader Thompson
There is a mindset on the City Council right now that welcomes collaboration with developers and expects developments to pay for basic City services. While some might think that is a way to find creative funding sources, it’s a slippery slope. Is the City selling out Petaluma to the highest bidder?
Perhaps the development of 28 million-dollar + homes is a good trade-off for parking spaces and new trails leading to Helen Putnam Park. Perhaps the wildlife will be able to negotiate a path around the new homes, yards, and streets and still migrate through this land. Perhaps the red-legged frog will stay away from the construction and housing area. Perhaps the run-off from the new homes will not cause flooding. Perhaps the residents who buy these million-dollar + homes will add plenty of money to city coffers to fix our streets and help with other financial problems.
We know that the traffic cannot be mitigated. The City decided that building any homes in this development is OK even though the City knows that the traffic will get worse. The Council decided that the Davidon / Scott Ranch development provides economic, social, and other benefits to our community over the negative environmental impacts.
Thanks to all of you. Please keep your eyes on the future plans that the City Council has for our community. We don’t want Petaluma to lose its soul to out-of-town developers who tell us what our community needs.
In gratitude - Chris, Sue, Sherri, Susan