UPDATE: For the third time, the Sebastopol City Council has rejected the project unanimously Tuesday evening.
June 18, 2020
Woody Hastings, CONGAS Co-coordinator
Sonoma County, California ㅡ Today, 7:30am to 9am, the Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations (CONGAS), made up of concerned local Sonoma County residents, is holding this peaceful, covid-safe demonstration at 5300 Sebastopol Rd. (Highway 12 & Llano Rd.) to oppose the construction of a new gas station, carwash, RV storage area and minimart at this location in the heart of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, a designated “wetland of international significance.”
“CONGAS’s motivation to oppose new gas stations includes the fact that in every drop of gas that comes out of a gasoline dispenser, there is a trail of devastation imposed on low-income communities of color around the world,” said Woody Hastings, one of the demonstration organizers. “The devastation includes human rights abuses, health impacts, and death all the way back to the point of extraction of crude oil from the ground. We stand In solidarity with the millions protesting systemic racism and police brutality.”
“There are a lot of reasons why this gas station should never be built,” Hastings continued. “The applicant shouldn’t waste another penny on this project. We are in discussions with attorneys and planning multiple legal challenges if the County makes the error of approving this permit.”
Other reasons why we oppose this new gas station
This proposal runs against the General Plan and a gas station, a commercial retail use, is not a permitted use in the M3 “Limited Rural Industrial” zone.
There is no need for a new gas station at this particular location as there are about seven operational gas stations within a five-mile radius.
There are many significant concerns regarding this project including traffic congestion, risk of contamination of surface and groundwater, risks associated with three above ground fuel storage tanks, intensification of uses in unincorporated Sonoma County between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, proximity to the Joe Rodota Trail, and more.
Building new fossil fuel infrastructure during a climate crisis is inappropriate and contrary to the County’s and the State’s policies on climate change, including the County’sClimate Emergency Resolution approved in September 2019 and the State’s policy trajectory toward a fossil fuel free economy by 2045.