Measure B also promotes urban sprawl. Banning hotels of 25 rooms or more inside the city limits simply creates pressure to build these hotels outside the city. That in turn creates additional demand for well water from our limited aquifers and increases traffic outside of urban boundaries. Measure B undercuts our efforts to create the city-centered growth that allows our rural areas to remain pristine and attractive to locals and visitors alike.
Measure B would put a financial strain on city services as well. Hotel taxes are the largest source of revenue for the city of Sonoma's general fund. Measure B would deprive Sonoma of much-needed revenue, which in turn would lead to further diminishment of traditional government services such as roads, parks, police, fire, affordable housing, environmental programs and so on. Depriving ourselves of the revenue generated from these hotel taxes only creates additional need to develop other sources of revenue such as sales and parcel taxes.
We have in the city of Sonoma a general plan and zoning regulations that ensure hotel development is planned and tasteful. Measure B is not only unnecessary, it threatens the tourism industry and all of us so reliant upon it. Please, vote no on Measure B.
<i>Ken Brown is mayor of Sonoma and Joanne Sanders is a former mayor. This piece was also signed by Sonoma City Council members Tom Rouse, mayor pro tem, and David Cook.</i>