Actual E-mails to Planning Commissioners

The following e-mails from your neighbors have already been sent to the Planning Commissioners.

Subject: Davidon DEIR

The draft EIR for Davidon's proposed development at D Street and Windsor Street contains two environmental impacts that are not able to be brought below the level of significance through mitigation measures. The most important of these is greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). The state mandated level of significance is 1100 CO2e/year. The project as planned, even with mitigation measures in place, will generate 1637 CO2e/yr. In order to come down to a level below significance, the project will need to scale back to Alternative C, 48 homes. The city should ask itself whether it can justify allowing a development which generates an objectively significant level of greenhouse gases, when other more environmentally sound options are being proposed, which have GHGs that are below a level of significance.

Thanks and regards,

Subject: Comments on Davidon Homes draft EIR-Aesthetics

As a local artist I treasure the red barn at D and Windsor - where it is - along with the trees, the meadow in front of it, and the creek and trees behind it AND THE LONG VIEWS INTO THE HILLS BEYOND.

This is a Petaluma gem. Moving the barn would affect its standing as a National Historic Site and it would not be the same for me and other artists.

Artists provide free publicity for our town. If this beautiful gateway view is at risk, then does that say to all others they are too? This is about as lovely as it gets here.

Also, the developer should abide by the new City Plan 2025 [not the old one they applied under] - they had representation at the meetings for the new one. Don't grant a zoning variance to them for small lots.

Thank you for all you do.

Subject: Proposed Davidon Development at D and Windsor Streets

The draft EIR for Davidon’s proposed development at D Street and Windsor Street is for a 93-home development. Last year, Davidon representatives met with community members and outlined a 66-unit development, which was framed as the chosen plan. As a result, there is great confusion within the community as to what is being proposed, and against this background of confusion it is impossible for the community to effectively determine the impact. As a result, the city should request that Davidon re-submit the EIR with the chosen number of 66 homes. It should be noted that this resubmittal will make the project subject to the guidelines of the 2008-2025 general plan, not the 1987-2004 general plan. There is a great amount of concern within the community not only surrounding the proposed development itself, but also regarding the whole community process.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter which has the potential to irrevocably alter the character of Petaluma and its environment for both current residents and protected wildlife species.

Best regards,

Subject: Davidon DEIR

Dear Planning Division,

Section 2. Summary

The project lists mitigation Measure Trans-7 to install an asphalt concrete path along the east side of D Street for pedestrian travel. Pedestrians will need to cross over D Street via a roundabout crosswalk to access a safe sidewalk for travel. D Street is a main artery of travel, a very busy street, with cars and trucks speeding into Petaluma. A pedestrian roundabout crosswalk across D Street onto the only pedestrian sidewalk is just a fatal accident waiting to happen. People who don’t walk so fast, people pushing strollers, older pets crossing with owners, etc will be at risk crossing over D Street.

We are requesting another asphalt concrete path be installed along the west side of D Street to provide a five foot wide pedestrian travel path where it will connect to the existing concrete sidewalk.

Thank you,

Subject Davidon DEIR

The physical & spiritual benefits derived from experiencing the beauty of nature have been well documented. Thousands of people, residents and visitors alike, are nourished by the red barn and eucalyptus grove yearly. Visitors come to our area to enjoy the rural beauty and escape the asphalt jungles of their everyday existence. How many of these sites will we continue to destroy for the sake of more “luxury” homes?

The developer should abide by the new City Plan 2025 [not the old one they applied under] - they had representation at the meetings for the new one. Don't grant a zoning variance for small lots.

Subject Davidon DEIR

Dear Planning Division,

Section 4. Traffic

There are no studies which show the traffic coming in from HWY 101 via D Street extension. Recent Highway 101 construction at the Novato narrows has dramatically changed the flow of northbound traffic at the Novato narrows. Four lanes quickly merging into two lanes have significantly changed traffic patterns. Traffic entering Petaluma from D Street extension has significantly increased since the Novato narrows has changed.

Traffic studies reflecting the change of traffic pattern of incoming cars from D Street extension needs to be included in the EIR. D Street extension is a main corridor into Petaluma.

Thank you,

Dear Planning Division,

Section 3. Related projects

This section considers the significant environmental effects of the project on a short term and long term basis as well as cumulative impacts. Cumulative impacts may be analyzed by considering a list of past, present, and future projects.

The EIR analysis did not include the Victoria subdivision. This is a glaring omission.

The Victoria subdivision has many of the same characteristic of the proposed development because we are located on the same land, side by side. The Victoria subdivision has a history of landslides – I can count (5) since I have lived in Victoria for the past 20 years. We now know, because of the Victoria subdivision development, downstream Kelly Creek has become polluted. I understand our storm drains empty into the creek. Kelly Creek runs through many people’s backyards before it reaches the Petaluma River. The creek actually has an easement on private property which makes the homeowners liable for erosion repair, which determines if the creek even runs through.

The Victoria subdivision has to be included in the study of related projects. We have experienced many of the significant impacts the developer says he can mitigate. I’m sure the developer of the Victoria subdivision also said he could mitigate the impacts, otherwise the city would not have allowed him to build. We have history of facts to counter the mitigations.

Thank you,

Dear Planning Division,

The draft EIR for the Davidon proposed development at D Street and Windsor contains traffic studies that are not current. They are out of date. The transportation and traffic analysis data was originally obtained in 2003, almost 10 years ago! and verified against counts from 2011. The 2003 traffic volumes serve as the baseline for this study. The 2011 counts are not current. There are many factors that will influence these counts. One factor would be the economic recession. That would have brought down the figures substantially. There are many current signs that we are coming out of the recession, which will increase the traffic counts. Another factor would be the increase of cars due to the highway construction at the Novato narrows. The change in traffic pattern has significantly increased traffic coming into Petaluma from D Street extension.

To establish measures of effectiveness for the performance of the circulation system, current traffic data must be used. The DEIR indicates the proposed development will add 890 daily car trips onto D Street. There are areas on D Street that show a LOS “D” rating. The increase of the traffic patterns could result in substantial safety risks. Petaluma’s 2025 General Plan identifies a deterioration from LOS “D” unacceptable.

Thank you,

Subject: Davidon Home Proposal

Dear Petaluma Planning Commission,

I am writing to express my concern about the Davidon development as a

Petaluma and Sonoma County Citizen who lives in Victoria Development.

As I understand, Davidon wants to return to the original 2005 EIR which was

written for 93 homes. In my opinion, that is way too many homes for this

land area. It will negatively impact the water runoff eventually impacting

D Street which already has a problem with minor flooding due to a lack of

sewer capacity.

This proposed development needs to be under the more recent EIR which

allowed for 63 homes. That number seems to be too high as well and I hope

that the Planning Committee and the City Council will debate this issues and

approve a more reasonable proposal of the number of homes.

Having lived in Victoria since 1994, I have watched the traffic impact

Windsor Drive as this development has been completed along with the large

homes on the hills at the west end of Windsor Dr.


To Planning Commissioners

As a Sonoma County-based landscape painter, I have come to know well our natural splendor. I have explored countless nooks and crannies, the less-traveled paths and parcels of land around Sonoma. The red barn property on D Street and Windsor stands out with particular vividness.

From time spent painting near the red barn, I have discovered a complete, balanced ecosystem-- myriad plants and migrating fauna co-existing. This property should not only be preserved, but restored; I believe it would serve aptly as an educational center for our youth. Certainly, it and the surrounding views and landscape should not be destroyed in the name of development.

Any idea to simply move the barn is wrongheaded; the time and energy spent in dismantling, then reassembling, the structure would cause irreparable harm to the region. And the new development and resulting runoff would foul the creek. That's to say nothing of the removal of treasured, century-old oak and eucalyptus trees. California is a wonder for its natural diversity, and we need to do what we can do preserve it.

It would be a great loss to Petaluma to allow this development to pass. Please consider this treasure, and ultimately re-consider the proposal to develop this precious property.