Sebastopol City Council Preview

By Zoë Strickland, Managing Editor, SoCoNews, August 3, 2021

city council preview

The Sebastopol City Council is holding its regular city council meeting this week, on Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. Right before the regular meeting, the council will also be holding a series of interviews in public session at 4:30 p.m. for various committee vacancies. To view the agenda, go here.

Ministerial developments and Woodmark

The council will be receiving an informational presentation about the development application process for the proposed 84-unit Woodmark Apartment project on Bodega Avenue. The presentation will include information about Senate Bill 35, which creates a ministerial process for some affordable housing developments. The Woodmark Apartments is working its way through the SB35 process.

According to the council agenda, “Staff is currently reviewing the qualifying information provided by the project proponent and is conducting a tribal consultation with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR). While the Tribal process is confidential, FIGR Tribal representatives have expressed concern with the project considering its proximity to known tribal cultural resources. The Tribal representatives have requested that additional site survey work be conducted to verify if tribal cultural resources are present.”

Per the agenda item, the project itself won’t be discussed and the council can’t respond to comments or questions about the project.

The council will also receive an informational presentation from the Climate Action Committee, which began meeting in January, about its recent work and potential future projects.

On the regular agenda

As part of its regular agenda item list, the council will be amending committee lists to help clarify if a committee is “standing” or if it’s an “ad hoc,” considering reaffirming the city’s code of conduct policy, discussing appointing someone a city liaison to the SCTA Climate Action Advisory Committee, discussing who to assign as a voting delegate and alternate for the 2021 League of California Cities conference, and directing staff on how to fill the vacancies on the local task force on integrated waste, among other items.

No more new gas stations?

The council will be discussing whether it wants to explore a potential ban on new gas stations within city limits. At its meeting on July 12, the Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) Board of Directors passed a motion directing its staff to return to the board with a resolution prohibiting new gas stations and expanding fueling infrastructure and existing gas stations — included in the anticipated resolution for RCPA is a request for all jurisdictions to consider discussing a similar ban.

As such, the Sebastopol council will be discussing whether it wants to pursue a potential moratorium on new gas stations and, if so, it will direct either the planning commission and climate action committee to look into it further, or have it come back to the council.

Stage 2 of the city’s traffic study

Following up from Stage 1 of a traffic study done on intersections along Route 116 in March 2020, the council is scheduled to review the findings of Stage 2 of the study, which focused on concept designs and cost estimates for locations that need traffic improvements.

Locations in the study include South Main Street and Burnett Street, Petaluma Avenue and McKinley Street, Petaluma Avenue and Depot Street, as well as adding enhanced crosswalks at Gravenstein Highway and Fellers Lane and Gravenstein Highway and Fircrest Avenue.

The study also outlines additional traffic measures to explore, like ways to implement intersection control — a traffic signal or a roundabout — at the intersection of Healdsburg Avenue and Covert Lane.

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