Council Joins Community To Appeal Dutra Approval

Council Joins Community To Appeal Dutra Approval

The Petaluma City Council voted tonight after a Closed Session  meeting, to appeal Judge Chouteau’s Dec. 23, 2011 decision (upholding Sonoma County’s approval of the Dutra asphalt factory at Haystack Landing. ) The Superior Court decision will  be challenged in Appellate Court in San Francisco by the City of Petaluma, holding together the  original coalition of plaintiffs, which includes Friends of Shollenberger Park, Moms for Clean Air, The Madrone Audubon Society, Petaluma Tomorrow, The Petaluma River Council and several individuals.  The vote was 6 in favor of appeal, and one, Council Member Albertson, against.

The Petaluma  Council heard citizens speak during Public Comment at 5:30 PM tonight at City Hall. People from all walks of life in Petaluma from Downtown Business Association Executive Director, Marie McCusker  to David Keller, Petaluma River Council, to former Mayor Pam Torliatt  made a forceful case for the economic  basis of funding an appeal citing  tourism and Shollenberger Park as crucial economic drivers for Petaluma’s future.

The citizen comment period culminated with Sheri Chlebowski , Moms for Clean Air and Joan Cooper, Friends of Shollenberger Park spokesperson making the City Council the offer of $10,000 to help defray  the City’s  legal costs of the appeal. With the estimate from the City Attorney of a maximum of $18,500, the community has generously ponied up more than 50 % of the City’s projected legal expenses.

Mayor Glass commented that the strong response of the citizenry urging the Council to appeal figured into his vote to appeal.  He noted that the Dutra issue had catapulted many into political action who had never participated in the process before. The anti Dutra movement  is a reflection of the strong commitment of  the  people of Petaluma to preserve and protect Shollenberger Park and the quality of life as we know it in Petaluma.

Thank you to one and all for signing the petition, writing to the council, donating money and taking the time to come to the council meeting and speak, as well as talking to friends and neighbors. This shows how a community can pull  together and make a difference.
 Now on to the appeal – more fundraising for our own legal expenses will ensue – AND that means more parties! Events! And community fun.



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