July 28th – Healdsburg Growth Management Ordinance Community Forum

On Thursday, July 28th, a community forum will be held to explore Healdsburg’s November ballot measure to amend the city’s existing growth management ordinance. The forum will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Villa Chanticleer Annex, 1248 N. Fitch Mountain Road, in Healdsburg. The event is sponsored by the Windsor/North County Democratic Club, and is free and open to the public.

The current ordinance has been in place since 2000. It caps market rate units at 30 per year. The November ballot question seeks to expand the annual number of units allowable in a combination of multi-family and single family housing.

The forum will feature a panel of four Healdsburg residents with deep roots in the community. The panel will provide information as to what the revised ordinance contains and will offer two differing perspectives on how the proposed change will affect the city.

Speaking in support of the ballot measure will be Tom Chambers, currently serving his third term on the Healdsburg City Council and his third term as mayor. Also speaking in support of the measure will be Jim Brush, now retired from his public accounting firm in Healdsburg. He was recently named President and CEO of Summit State Bank.

Jim Winston, who drafted the existing Growth Management Ordinance which was passed by voters in 2000, will present in favor of maintaining the current ordinance. Gail Jonas, a retired attorney and former member of the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights, will also speak; she favors keeping the current GMO in place while other solutions are sought to provide more affordable housing.

As Healdsburg has moved from a quiet agricultural community to a high-end tourist destination, the complexities of growth regulation have increased. The discussion at the forum should help those attending to make better-informed votes.

— Barry Hirsch, President, Windsor/North County Democratic Club

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