Feb 27, 2020
by Thomas Martin
Local hotelier Norman Krug under the title of Springs Investors Group (SIG) has submitted plans to the County for building a 120-room hotel and 71 rental units on the 5.79 acres formerly planned as a swim recreation area by the Sonoma Health and Recreation Association. Mr. Krug owns the Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn and is an El Verano resident.
The location is now the site of the Sonoma Little League stadium. The Little League is scheduled to move to Maxwell Park under a Master Plan for redevelopment. Mr. Krug is contributing $100,000 to that effort.
the affordable housing specialists at MidPen Housing in construction of 71 units plus a manager’s dwelling. There will be a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments in a three-story walkup structure. The proposal calls for 33 one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedroom apartments, and 18 three-bedroom apartments. There will be 97 parking spaces.
According to the SIG proposal all units will be “affordable housing,” but 15% of the housing will be “very low income units.” How low will depend on a final determination by SIG with the County. It will be interesting to follow citizen response to this proposal. A boon or a boondoggle? This will be the first new hotel in the valley in the Springs in ninety years. It will produce transient taxes for the County and hopefully jobs for local people. The Verano Hotel is being billed as a moderately priced destination that may limit the move toward vacation rentals.
The proposed development was recently presented to the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission. Results of that meeting were not available at press time. Surely there will be major questions about traffic congestion at an already busy intersection. Apparently the VOMWD has approved water hookups as well as access to sewer hookups. Surely there is going to be additional opportunity to report on this project in coming months. We’ll Keep you informed….
In late January the SCA announced the election of new leadership. Former Chair, Rich Lee, and Vice Chair Ellen Conlon stepped down after years of super service to the Springs community. Conlon has assumed additional duties with the Public Advisory Team working on recommendations for redevelopment at the Sonoma Development Center.
The new officers are Ann Marie Miller, Treasurer, Jennifer Gray Thompson as Vice Chair, Chair Veronica Napoles, a local artist, and Bill Hoban, Secretary. Chairperson Napoles serves on the Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts Commission. Thompson is Executive Director of the Rebuild Northbay Foundation. Treasurer Miller is General Manager of Herb Lamb Vineyards. Bill Hoban is a retired photographer and managing editor of the Sonoma IT.
The new Board has an agenda that will focus on organizing local citizens to rejuvenate the Springs and remove blight and unsafe conditions. This will come by working with and pressuring local political leadership to bring changes to our community.
Welcome Springs residents! Join us! The next SCA meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at La Luz’ Booker Hall, 17560 Greger Street. The SCA website is springscommunityalliance.org.
Beginning last month (2/28) with a showing of “Ice and Fire,” the Springs Hall in partnership with “Transition Sonoma Valley” will present a series of film nights focusing on environmental issues and their impact on our community. Speakers will be present from time to time to discuss the movie.
The doors will open at 6 p.m. (Fridays). There is a suggested donation of $10. Light snacks and drinks will be available. For more information contact
Seth Dolinsky, Executive Director, Springs Community Hall, 18627 Sonoma Highway,springshall.com.
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