Woody Hastings, SIERRA CLUB SONOMA GROUP
The Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) has stepped up. On July 12, the RCPA board, consisting of representatives from each city council within Sonoma County and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, agreed unanimously to direct RCPA staff to draft a resolution urging each of its member jurisdictions to adopt its own ordinance prohibiting the permitting or construction of new gasoline stations.
The resolution, to include a model ordinance, guidance, and options for each city to consider, will be presented at the next RCPA board meeting on Sept. 13.
View the July 12 meeting recording HERE. (passcode: BOARD-scta07.12.21). The gas station item 4.6 begins at the 1:49:30 mark, about two-thirds of the way through the meeting. The powerpoint and other materials can be found HERE.
Here is the update on Sonoma County local governments taking up the issue:
Santa Rosa: A draft ordinance is in the works and will be reviewed in August at the Santa Rosa Climate Action Subcommittee before going to the Planning Commission and then full city council, probably some time in September or October.
Cotati: In response to citizen action, city staff is working on a draft ordinance to be brought to city council later this summer, early fall.
Sebastopol: On July 14 the Sebastopol Climate Action Committee held its first discussion of an ordinance prohibiting new gasoline stations to be placed on the city council’s agenda. The SCAC runs all its proposals through an equity assessment. The assessment will accompany the recommendation to the city council. The city’s planning director is drafting an ordinance to be reviewed by the SCAC prior to going to the planning commission and then city council. The plan is to wait until after the RCPA issues its guidance and adopt an ordinance that is consistent with the RCPA guidance.
How about your city? If you live in Rohnert Park, Windsor, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, or Sonoma, get the ball rolling! Contact us to see how you can help.
Sonoma County. Although each supervisor states that they support a prohibition, they have taken no action. This is despite the fact that the Coalition Against New Gas Stations (CONGAS) delivered a presentation to the board of supervisors in a Climate Action Town Hall meeting on April 6, leading to a May 11 Board Climate Action Workshop where all the supervisors continued to express support for a new gasoline station prohibition. But to date, the board has not acted. Please contact your supervisor and urge them to stop talking about it and start doing something about it.
Current active gasoline station proposals in Sonoma County:
43 Middle Rincon Road, Santa Rosa (7-Eleven): staff still reviewing: CEQA documents to review No hearing scheduled.
874 N. Wright Rd, Santa Rosa (File#20-001SD): “On hold,” no hearing scheduled.
Petaluma Gas Club (south of Petaluma in unincorporated Sonoma County) No new updates. No hearing scheduled.
20293 Highway 116, Monte Rio (unincorporated Sonoma County) (PLP21-0003). CONGAS sent a letter to the developer on July 16 urging them to reconsider and withdraw their application. No hearing scheduled.
Petaluma Safeway Gas – In February, the City of Petaluma attracted international attention when it became the first in the nation to pass an ordinance prohibiting the construction of new gas stations. Then in late April, Safeway was reported as “walking away from its embattled Petaluma gas station project after years of resident-led pushback” and this statement was confirmed by city officials and Safeway. The court case is not closed so representatives of No Gas Here are still not able to speak freely, but multiple sources have confirmed that the battle is won.
Sierra Club Redwood Chapter is working on advancing a “No More Gas Stations” resolution to the Sierra Club CA Conservation Committee for adoption at the state level in September.
For more info visit the Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations at www.con-gas.org