Friday’s Letters to the Editor
EDITOR: I was disappointed to find that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors envisions expanding areas of dense housing outside of the well-defined, voter-approved urban growth boundaries in the county (“County works to clear hurdles for homes,” Saturday).
Even using areas adjacent to existing urban boundaries that have access to facilities usurps the desire of the electorate of communities that committed to stopping urban sprawl.
While the county cannot force infill within the urban growth boundaries, there should be some inducement that could be used to allow appropriate development within existing boundaries. The supervisors have already demonstrated their inability to successfully develop affordable housing with the twice-failed plans for the Chanate Road site of the old county hospital.
Moving forward as suggested would be penny wise and pound foolish — providing only minor housing relief while benefiting landowners and developers and potentially irrevocably altering the areas of agriculture and open space surrounding the cities and towns of Sonoma County.
Yes, creating affordable housing and maintaining a sustainable workforce are important to the well-being of the county, but the values of non-urban sprawl benefit everyone now and in the future.
EDITOR: In his Sept. 26 column, Paul Krugman noted how the right-wing media drowns out our state’s successes in their sea of anti-socialist hysteria (“The backdrop for Trump’s war on California”). While this is true, Krugman also points out our gravest problem: the “runaway NIMBYism” that prevents us from becoming a greater state.
It’s a rampant problem that shows how many of us are, at our cores, driven by fear rather than reason. Got a good proposal for senior housing on a vacant lot on Farmers Lane? Someone will scream “fire” on social media because the proposal is multi-story.
Got a good plan for moderate-income housing on open land at the end of Highway 12 in Bennett Valley? Out come the cries of “too dense for our area” and “the traffic, the traffic.”
Now we read about a proposal to (finally) bring municipal composting back to our county — saving us millions of dollars at a site that is already built for composting — and the local NIMBYs are, as usual, saying to put it somewhere else.
It’s time to give up the paranoia and understand that promoting the general welfare in a democracy means accepting change — even when the change is in our own backyards.
Save Ceres garden
EDITOR: I am writing in regards to the proposed development of the Ceres Project garden at the O’Reilly Center on Highway 116 in Sebastopol. I have worked in this garden for a number of years, mentoring youth volunteers and working the vegetable beds. Additionally, I am now a cancer patient and receive meals from Ceres, much of which comes from those beds I helped tend.
Ceres provides invaluable services to the community in several ways. Providing healthful, nutritious meals to people with health issues is at the top of the list. Equally important is the opportunity for high school students to volunteer their services, learn to work in a team environment and get a better understanding of what goes into healthful food production. Additionally, the importance of promoting organic growing practices cannot be understated.