Fitch Mountain Projects

“The Healdsburg City Council allocated $2.77 million for the public access improvements in the 2022-23 budget.” (“Fitch Mountain Projects Underway,” Aug. 17.) So the City Council is spending almost $3 million for trail improvements on Fitch Mountain. What about fire prevention?

Last time I was up there, the place was full of Scotch broom undergrowth that burns like napalm. What about all the septic tanks on Fitch Mountain that leak their excrement in our town’s water supply on the Russian River? But no, let’s build a pretty trail and some parking lots. Good grief!

Tim McGraw 

Community Correspondence

I don’t find anything funny about Bruce Abramson’s plea for transparency and a partnership with builders before and during the plans submitted to the planning commission (Letters, Aug. 10). 

As of the last few years, the trend is to build, then negotiate later. The Ruse is a good example of this. The developer spent millions of dollars building a private club in a residential neighborhood.

How this happens is beyond me. With our mayor living next door and the general contractor being the chair of our planning commission running the show.

It’s clear that our government is looking the other way and is no longer our moral compass. We can’t just sit back and assume that the rules will be the guiding principles we have voted for. Money talks, and it appears our government is not immune to greed.

What we need to do is adopt a hypervigilant stance at all times. Neighborhoods have to form watchdog groups that prevent tourist-oriented building in neighborhoods. We are not just at the tipping point; we are well beyond that point. It’s more like a free-for-all. The highest bidder wins.

Briefly, another example is the modern monstrosity built at 728 University Ave. A multimillion dollar B&B that is totally out of character for the neighborhood. Take a long look at this house and decide if this kind of transient occupancy development, while it enriches the city coffers, is a kill shot to the families who live near. Rents will skyrocket.

Thank you, Bruce, for stating the obvious. Our city government has lost track of what’s important.

Speak up!

Anne Goebel

The Planning Commission’s review of Piazza’s hotel permit for 400 Healdsburg Ave., set to be heard at the Aug. 22 meeting, was delayed. Scott Duiven, planning and building director, told the ‘Tribune’ on that date, “As you are aware, we have received arguments regarding the completeness determination for this project and how its timing relates to the adoption of the ordinance limiting hotels within the Downtown Commercial and Plaza Retail zoning districts. The arguments are lengthy and require additional time to review. As such, the City pulled the item from tonight’s Planning Commission agenda in order to fully review the issues raised.”

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  1. Anne Goebel: The only way you change things is to run for City Council yourself and get two others who agree with your position and all three of you win seats on the City Council.
    That is the ONLY way you will change things.

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  2. Timmy, it goes way beyond that, The city seems to have lost their way. The planning commission is part of the problem they and the CC seem to be swayed by the guys with the money who have no qualms about building first asking later.
    Ever since the Matheson was approved anything goes. It’s outside the general plan. Brigette saw that but despite her heroic effort to stop it the big ole boys club overrode anyone who opposed.
    So Timmy right now nothing works.
    Anne Goebel

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  3. Anne: My wife and I and our circle of friends tried to stop the CC from selling the lot on the west side of the Plaza to Sehr. But we failed. That was back in 1999-2000. That was many years before the Matheson.
    When Sehr died (he lived in Healdsburg), Sehr said, “Sure I changed Healdsburg, but Healdsburg changed me.” What the hell does that mean?
    Oh, and BTW, the only reason Sehr had the money to build Hotel Healdsburg was because an investment in Georgia (bordering Russia) paid off. How is that for irony?

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  4. Anne: I spent 1975-2000 in Seattle and the Puget Sound area. I learned early on that Seattle was run by the Big Boys downtown. Their ancestors settled Seattle in the 1800s. All the Big Boys cared about was downtown and the business there. The BB didn’t give a damn about the my family or the neighborhoods.
    What is happening in Healdsburg is no surprise to me. Money talks and squawking walks.
    All the best,
    Tim McGraw
    Fitch Street

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