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Letter: New Patten Street Development a 'Overbuilt, Under-Parked Strip Mall'

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Open letter to the Sonoma Planning Commission , at Patten St. and Broadway.

By Ned Forrest and Leslie Whitelaw, 

I am sorry to write you about this project at this point in the process, but in my opinion the strip mall proposed on Broadway at Patten is an unacceptable method of making money for our City. The project is placeless, overbuilt and under-parked. It is without local character and is damaging to the historic district.

Citizens may need to participate earlier and more thoroughly in the development process of our town, but I believe that the burden should be on the suitors to court our highly desirable town with extraordinary benefits, and upon us to demand it by default rather than by reaction.

One simple future test would be to determine whether or not a project would feel at home at any freeway exit in California. If the answer is yes, it would be a favor to developers to let them know that there may be objections to a project as citizens realize that our local processes have not yielded more ambitious results.

Whether or not good environmental design can be coaxed out of any person or community, we actually appear to be bending over backwards to accommodate this unsuitable project.

Respectfully,

Ned Forrest and Leslie Whitelaw, 

Katie Dusak August 11, 2011 at 10:35 PM
Again, what possibly could our city officials be thinking? We don't reuse the property that the city owns right now for city projects and there are lots of empty store fronts...So the question is???Why build/convert/remodel to make more? Use what we have first.

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