Proposed Sonoma County Water Coalition letter on the out of area, strip mall real estate developers who have proposed this on the site. Also disturbing…..local business owners who will loose their businesses and the FACT that fossil fuels are in decline, electric cars gaining in popularity. This operation will be open 24/7 and includes a minimart. This is clearly a step backwards. Planners, once again will you accept this out of date study done during drought years to justify another bad project?
Attn: Daniel Hoffman
The Sonoma County Water Coalition (SCWC) comprises 31 Sonoma County environmental groups, representing more than 24,000 concerned citizens, including farmers, native plant experts, and watershed protection groups. SCWC is especially concerned about preserving healthy ecosystems, watershed restoration and protection, and careful oversight of all public trust resources, including Laguna de Santa Rosa wetlands, which are critical for maintaining surface and groundwater quality and quantity.
The Coalition opposes siting a gas station with 16 pumps plus car wash on CA Highway 116 at Stony Point Road, in the southern Laguna de Santa Rosa. Four of the pumps would dispense diesel fuels. The development will require wastewater treatment and treated water disposal.
County Design Review recognizes that this rural area is unsuitable to urban style development. SCWC members find that this proposed gas station, having multiple pumps, plus restrooms and a car wash, is an urban-style development and NOT suitable for this rural setting. Although the intersection has a traffic light, the proposed site currently supports only a small convenience store, a garden and pond supply store, and a store selling tie-dyed clothing and bedspreads—all of which fit with the rural setting.
The site lies within a priority greenbelt area, next to a dedicated Community Separator, confirmed by popular vote. The open agricultural landscape provides few options for “blending” such an industrial-scale diesel-pumping station into this area, to “preserve its … character.” In addition, CA 116 has been listed as a scenic resource because it lacks urban-like development from Cotati-Rohnert Park to southern Sebastopol. It is incumbent upon the County of Sonoma to protect these areas from further urbanization and groundwater contamination.
Studies for past development proposals in the area found farmland areas on Stony Point Road north of CA 116 suitable for California Tiger Salamander (CTS) habitat, and required accommodation for CTS migration from nearby uplands to pond-dotted fields. The proposed site for this urban-style mega-gas station project has closely similar characteristics. CTS are difficult to find, especially during dry years that characterized the period when studies for this project were carried out.
Finally, nobody can argue that an industrial-scale gas station is needed at the proposed site— barely a mile from the town of Cotati, where 5 gas stations cluster at the CA 116 – US 101 intersection. The town of Cotati also contains 2 Chevron and a Mobile station within a quarter mile of the freeway; southern Rohnert Park also offers Chevron and Flying-A gas stations near 101. Another Valero station is only a few miles northwest of Stony Point Road on CA 116.
For all these reasons, Sonoma County Water Coalition members urge PS to find this project unsuitable for the proposed site.