Argus Courier Poll, June 14, 2018


Question: Are you in favor of a proposal to protect some open space and build some Davidon homes? Here are the results:

No = 81.1% (284 people)

Yes = 18.9% (66 people)

Poll: Davidon deal doesn’t protect enough space

A majority of respondents to an online Argus-Courier poll said they are against a proposal that would preserve at least 44 acres of open space near Helen Putnam Regional Park and allow up to 28 luxury homes.

Here are some comments:

· "Adding these luxury homes will do nothing to help with the problem of low income housing in Petaluma while trampling on one of the few viable open spaces in the Petaluma area. Helen Putnam is a unique treasure and this park should be expanded to include this entire area, rather than adding more unattractive, monster homes."

· "I am a real estate professional, and I am opposed to this development. Not only will it destroy the natural beauty and the habitat of this beautiful parcel, but it will definitely add to the congestion and traffic on our tired streets. D Street is already turning into a freeway for commuters. Where will this traffic go? Traffic is an issue in Petaluma and is getting worse instead of better because there is no a plan in place to resolve."

· "I am not in favor of any development on that property. If it is already decided that there will be some development, then I want the least amount possible."

· "I am not typically in favor of "luxury" development but I believe these 28 homes are a fair compromise and have provided some avenue for open space preservation. So, in the interest of the ultimate goal I think this is reasonable. It is great to hear that preservation is part of the plan. There are two other high density plans going forward near Corona and on Sonoma Parkway, so that has to be enough until they build the infrastructure to support more homes."

· "I am only in favor of leaving the land as it is now with no development. Once this land is developed, the open space will be gone forever."

Letters to the Editor

Argus Courier, June 14, 2018

Not a done deal

EDITOR: We are concerned by the recent statements appearing in the Argus-Courier ("Deal reached in Davidon development," June 7), "A controversial luxury home project in the hills of west Petaluma is set to move forward after the developer and an environmental group opposed to the project struck a deal that could scale back the size of the development and preserve sensitive habitat as parkland."

While the agreement has some merit, especially with respect to protection of the endangered California red legged frog, our concerns of particular interest were never addressed within said article nor was there any mention of any newly revised DEIR as directed by the Petaluma City Council.

This statement appears to imply that the Petaluma City Council and Planning Commission voted to approve this project. This in fact has not occurred to our knowledge. In June 2017 over 200 concerned citizens descended on the Petaluma City Council meeting to provide public comment on the agenda item to discuss the proposed Davidon Project.

Public comments were heard until after midnight. Upon completion, the City Council rejected the DEIR and directed Davidon to revise the DEIR by analyzing the 28-home environmentally superior plan, include updated studies w/particular emphasis on traffic and biology during and after construction in addition to other concerns, recirculate the revised DEIR for public comment given the very significant changes, and submit the revised DEIR to the Planning Commission and City Council for further action.

The Petaluma community has the right to provide public comment on the "proposed deal" and directives imposed by the City Council. This forum should be scheduled at a City Council meeting as an agenda item with 10 days noticing to the public per the California Bagley- Keene Open Public Meeting Act.

Dallas and Judy Cooper


Argus Courier, June 21, 2018

Extend open space

EDITOR: I am 100 percent in favor of extending Helen Putnam Park. I am (and will always be) against luxury homes at this location. My opinion is that we need more access to open space everywhere, in Petaluma and throughout Sonoma County.

This location borders Helen Putnam and is not only ideal/prime for expansion of it, but may actually be our only chance to do so. How many open undeveloped parcels border this park? Very few.

If luxury homes are a priority (and in my attendance of regional planning meetings and casual perusal of Nextdoor, social media, etc. it is affordable housing that I hear is the greater need, within the context of development, not luxury homes)! Are there other locations where housing development (luxury or affordable) can be accomplished? Yes, many opportunities exist.

This site is at the urban boundary of Petaluma and it is important to define the city-open space/agricultural boundaries with permanent open space/ agriculture that preserves the character and charm of the area. Luxury homes (even with some open space protected) would forever be the source of ire and complaints from residents and visitors, whereas open space will forever be the gratitude and appreciation of everyone and people yet to come.

Too often we think in the short term about planning and development, we let the economic forces that be play out and have to deal with the end results. I want the Petaluma 100 years from now to have more wildlife habitat and access to nature than it currently does, I want agriculture to be as vital as it is today and I want our development to be intelligent and in good relationship to each other and our surroundings.

Looking back at the 1960s Marin County, when have you heard someone say, "darn, I wish that Marincello development happened. It would’ve made the place better"? Seriously.

Brian Lamoreaux


Argus Courier, August 9, 2018

Davidon ‘deal’

EDITOR: Davidon Homes is proposing to develop the 58 acres on Windsor and D Street. Greg Colvin and Peter Cohn of Kelly Creek Protection Project (KCPP) are publicizing a "deal" that they struck with Davidon of Walnut Creek.

KCPP decided it was OK to negotiate behind closed doors with Davidon, the Planning Division, the city attorneys, and KCPP and their attorneys. These discussions and decisions had no public involvement. How can this be OK? Why such secrecy? Makes me think that something is being hidden.

On June 19, 2017, the City Council unanimously decided that the 2017 Draft Environmental Report (DEIR) for the Davidon development was not adequate and requires a new DEIR with numerous changes including traffic studies and important environmental issues. The new DEIR would then be recirculated for public comment and returned to the Planning Commission and City Council for further action. Why not let the City Council’s! decision take its due course before making a deal?

I support letting the public process play out before supporting any deal. The road to zero.

Sharon Risedorph


Argus Courier, August 30, 2018

Rejects Davidon deal

EDITOR: This letter is in response to the editorial "Davidon deal good for all" on Aug. 23. Is "everyone a winner" when 28 homes are built on the "pristine hillside acres" on Windsor and D? Is it a "win for the environment" to have a "beautiful hiking trail" dissecting the middle of a documented wildlife corridor? How can "all of the frog habitat" be preserved when the public only has access to frog studies from 2003 and 2005?

What are the prices of "mid-level" homes when Petaluma is "in need of affordable housing?" The 2017 environmental report states that traffic cannot be mitigated at 28 homes. How will traffic be lessened by paying into a fund?

Petalumans for Responsible Planning has "rightly fought" the Davidon proposals since 2004. We do not support a "deal" for the community with no input from the community.

We support keeping this land as open space and becoming an extension of Helen Putnam Park. We stand by our city government public process. The Planning Commission and City Council will review the updated environmental report and listen to public comments. These officials (with input from the public) will be making decisions about this land.

Susan Jaderstrom