Montini Transfer Won't Be on Council Agenda Tonight

Legal documents aren't ready yet. Dog owners are hoping their pets will be allowed on the trails.

The Montini Preserve transfer item will not be heard at the City Council meeting tonight. Instead, it will heard at the March 4 meeting.

Dog owners had planned to attend tonight's meeting to hear whether the council and Open Space District would negotiate to allow dogs to use the preserve if it is transferred into city of Sonoma jurisdiction.

The historic former land of General Vallejo sits to the north of the State Park’s Vallejo Home. Sonoma County Agricultural Preserve purchased the parcel for $13.9 million in 2005, which included a $1.15 million contribution from the City of Sonoma. Due to cuts to State Parks programs, the group decided the property—formerly owned by the Montini family—would be better maintained by the City of Sonoma.

This delay is due to the fact that certain legal documents associated with the transfer are still under development and will not be ready in time for the item to be heard," Sonoma Planning Director David Goodison told Patch.

Bob Edwards, board member of Sonoma Valley Dog Owners and Guardians, told Patch, "It is difficult to speculate on negotiations between the city of Sonoma and the county Open Space District regarding the terms of the transfer of the property to the City. That's because negotiations are being held behind closed doors. The last thing we heard was that the current Open Space District management plan for the property would ban dogs.

"Public open space use policy should not be drafted or accepted if it treats Sonoma dogs and dog-owners like environmental criminals. It is, frankly, more than insulting and we and our dogs deserve better than that. I think our City Council wants to do the right thing by Sonoma's dog owners and I remain hopeful that we will not have to wait long to learn what that will be." 

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