September 17, 2021
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Sebastopol approves change to dangerous road and a use of initiative funds

By: Albert Gregory
July 30, 2021

The Sebastopol City Council approved a significant road change to correct a hazardous turn on Petaluma Avenue and authorized the use of initiative funds Wednesday morning over Zoom.  

With all five members of the city council in attendance, they held a special meeting on July 28 to approve pertinent items moved from the July 21 regular session.

After the Sebastopol Police Department and city hall received several complaints involving traffic collisions turning northbound on Petaluma Ave. from Palm Ave. the city council unanimously approved to turn Palm Ave. from a two-way street into a one-way between Petaluma Ave. and South Main S.

The project will require removing pavement arrows and striping. In addition, they will add one-way signs and no-turn signs at critical points of the roadway. It is expected to cost $8,000.

The council asked staff to return with plans for the design of a completed sidewalk on Palm Ave. and additional parking, as well as the cost of those two items.

The city council also unanimously approved the use of the remaining council initiative funds, which allocate funding to specific initiatives or projects. Each council member is allocated one-fifth of the council initiative budget of $2,500.

Council member Neysa Hinton previously requested her funds be disbursed to the Sebastopol Firefighter Association. Former council member Michael Carnacchi previously asked to distribute their funds to the Sebastopol Downtown Association.  

Mayor Una Glass, Vice Mayor Sarah Gurney and Council member Patrick Slayter each had $500 remaining available for consideration.

Glass chose to give her funds equally to the Sebastopol Community Center, the Western Sonoma County Historical Society, the Main Street Theatre and the Sebastopol Area Senior Center.

Gurney requested their funds to be split up and directed to Lantern, a community group looking to improve the library, and to the Public Arts Committee for a citizen-initiated art project.  

Slayter asked to allocate his funds to the liability reserve fund.

Additionally, the council unanimously approved amending the Stage-2 mandatory water conservation measure, which limits water use among residents, to include commercial and industrial services as well. This includes limiting restaurants only to serve water upon request and to optimize dishwashing. It also prohibits pressure washing unless approved by the public works department.

Lastly, the council approved in a 5-0 vote to eliminate the lottery policy process for the annual fireworks show at West County High School and permanently assigned it to the Sebastopol Kiwanis Club, a community service club that emphasizes supporting local youth.