Earth Advocates has been asked to support two current Sonoma initiatives, which the Earth Care Committee proposes to do in the name of Earth Care Advocates unless you write back in opposition. Information about these initiatives and how you might individually become more involved follows below. Thanks for your interest and caring for our environment and our Mother!
Elizabeth Griego, co-chair, FCCS Earth Care Committee
#1: FROM THE CITIZENS TO RENEW THE CITY OF SONOMA’S URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARY:
Support the Renewal of the City of Sonoma’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) for 20 years with a Ballot Measure in November 2020
On Monday, January 27th, the Sonoma City Council and Planning Commission will host a joint meeting regarding the City of Sonoma’s General Plan Update and the UGB Renewal. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM at the Vintage House, 264 First Street East.
The Citizens to Renew the City of Sonoma’s Urban Growth Boundary would like your interest and support in requesting the City of Sonoma to prepare a ballet measure for the renewal of the city’s existing Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) to be placed on the November 2020 ballot.
The current UGB was put in place by an overwhelming majority of voters in 2000 and it expires in December 2020. When approved by voters, the UGB can only be changed by voters.
A 20-year renewal of the existing UGB provides the city and the community with flexibility, certainty and cost-efficient action to:
- Protect open space and agricultural lands;
- Promote a walkable and bicycle able community reducing traffic;
- Promote city-centered growth where public services already exist;
- Preserve Sonoma’s rural and small-scale character;
- Encourage a diverse and climate healthy community;
- Promote inclusionary affordable housing within the city-centered core;
- Promote efficient use of existing infrastructure and avoid costly new infrastructure such as roads, sewer and water extensions and new schools and shopping centers;
- Prevent short-term land speculation on the outlying lands around the UGB that a shorter renewal would trigger.
A 20-year UGB renewal provides the city flexibility by allowing ample time to conduct long-term planning, General Plan updates, and Development Code amendments as appropriate and thoughtful with comprehensive and judicious use of existing city lands. The UGB can always be revised by the voters, if needed.
The Citizens to Renew City of Sonoma’s Urban Growth Boundary is advocating for renewal of the City of Sonoma’s existing Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) with a vote of the people before it expires in December 2020. Without voter approval the UGB can be changed with a simple majority vote of the City Council.
We are grateful to live and work here in Sonoma. We honor the small-town character and the strength of our community. We must continue to cultivate Sonoma’s legacy to ensure that, when we pass on our city to the next generation, it will be beautiful, healthy and strong, both structurally and economically.
Since we set-up the campaign committee, we have received over-whelming support, encouragement and donations for renewal of the existing UGB. It is the reason that we urge the City of Sonoma to develop a ballot measure to renew its existing Urban Growth Boundary for the next 20 years.
Please direct emails and letters to:
Mayor Logan Harvey and Chair Felder
Sonoma City Council and Planning Commission
No. 1 The Plaza
Sonoma, CA 95476
Please join us to learn more at the joint Sonoma City Council and Planning Commission meeting on Monday, January 27, 2020 at the Vintage House.
For additional information:
#2 FROM GREENBELT ALLIANCE:
Greenbelt Alliance asks support by our signing the attached letter drafted by a group of environmental and equity allies, urging the Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) board to prioritize climate change and equity when it goes back to the ballot (likely November 2020) to renew Measure M, a 1⁄4 cent sales tax that has funded transportation projects in Sonoma County since 2004. Measure M generates $22-25 million per year, or over $450 million when you add up twenty years. The old version of Measure M sends 80% of the money to road paving/projects and freeway widening. This year is our chance to modernize the transportation measure with a 60/40 percent split in favor of next-century travel to help us create a more climate-healthy county for all.
We are building a coalition of Sonoma County residents and organizations to advocate for:
- 60% of Measure M funds dedicated to alternative transportation (transit, bike, pedestrians);
- Free county-wide transit system;
- Transit frequency that makes public transit feasible for workers, students, seniors, disabled and other vulnerable users;
- Fund for “quick-build” projects that support safe and efficient bicycle and pedestrian routes.
Why you might care:
- Climate change – We can better steward the Earth and leave a livable planet for our children, avoiding more catastrophic wildfires and floods.
- Fairness – By investing in better public transit, we can help our families, friends, and neighbors who cannot afford to own a car, or share one car between two working adults, and are struggling to make ends meet.
- Health – Supporting more active transportation options (walking, biking) supports a more healthy population and lower health care costs.
- Community – cultures around the country and world that prioritize walking, biking and transit often have lively, vibrant streets that support rich community.
- Economy – walkable, bikeable streets are good for our local businesses as they struggle to compete with online retail, and strong public transit helps workers commute efficiently and affordably.