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November 25, 2020
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Mayors of So Co write angry letter

By: Joshua Farestveit-Moore
April 12, 2019

The associated mayors of Sonoma County voiced unanimous opposition to the CASA Compact at their April 1 meeting to protest the package’s one-size-fits-all approach to governing. The CASA Compact is an aggressive legislative package that hopes to solve California’s housing crisis. It’s a laudable goal, but the way the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), architects of the CASA Compact, have tried to institute the package has frustrated Sonoma County’s governments. Back in Dec. of 2018 while many were on vacation for the holidays, the MTC forced an up or down vote on the legislative package without giving time for its representatives to consult with their districts. 

The result was a CASA Compact which stripped Sonoma County’s cities of autonomy. 

It’s a complicated bit of legislation that includes a cap on rent, a tax on gross receipts and a complete overhaul to the housing-approval process. The main crux of the issue for Cotati and Rohnert Park, however, is the minimum zoning requirement around transportation hubs. That could mean Cotati and Rohnert Park would have no say in whether a seven-story apartment complex was built next to their SMART Stations. 

The Mayors and Councilmembers Association of Sonoma County voiced their opposition in letter, but that’s about the extent local municipalities can take the issue. The letter was addressed to the representatives in California’s government in hopes that it could influence their opinion before this package becomes law.