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Petaluma council weighs in on asphalt plant

The council is expected to send a letter today to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors urging it to reject the 38-acre project by Dutra Materials of San Rafael at its Tuesday meeting.

"The current proposal is not designed appropriately for an important gateway to both Petaluma and Sonoma County," the council wrote. ". . . we respectfully request that (it) not be approved in its present form."

The council said it was concerned that fumes and noise would disrupt people and wildlife at Shollenberger Park, which sits across the river from the Dutra property. Also, the council said it was worried about navigation issues posed by the location and about having the plant at the city's southern gateway, visible from the freeway.

The letter states that if problems with the plant cannot be corrected, the council opposes it. Council members listed about a dozen major concerns to be included in the public record.

The letter was more strongly worded than a letter sent last fall to the county Planning Commission before it approved the project.

The council said it was moved to write again in part because of an outpouring of criticism about the asphalt plant, which would be capable of running day and night and produce more than 650,000 tons a year of new and recycled material.

"The response has been overwhelming in favor of protecting Shollenberger Park and Petaluma," Councilman Davis Glass said. "The only issue that I ever received more public communication on was when the City Council majority attempted to double our garbage rates."

The council will vote on a final version of the letter at Monday's 7 p.m. meeting. The county Board of Supervisors will consider Dutra's proposal at a 2 p.m. hearing Tuesday in Santa Rosa.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 762-7297 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.


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