In a letter, Cloverdale Mayor Joseph Palla urged the Board of Supervisors to heed the Petaluma City Council?s opposition to the project proposed by San Rafael-based Dutra Materials.

Palla said he worried about the possibility of environmental damage to nearby wetlands as well as industrial blight that could occur along a future passenger rail line to be used by tourists.

?Development along the corridor should take place in a way that attracts ridership and displays Sonoma County in a positive light,? Palla wrote. ?I urge you to carefully consider the city of Petaluma?s position on the current project.?

It was the third letter from leaders of other cities since supervisors in February cast a 4-1 straw vote in favor of the plant. A final vote is set for May 12.

The project lies within the city?s voter-approved urban growth boundary. All of the letters ask supervisors to respect the growth boundary, which sets a limit for urban development and often signals areas for future annexation.

The letters also urge supervisors to consider the position of the Petaluma City Council, which is unanimously opposed to the project.

Sebastopol Mayor Sarah Glade Gurney said the county shouldn?t try to force the project if locals don?t want it. She wondered if Sebastopol should expect similar treatment in future dealings.

?Such an action would destabilize years of city and county cooperation,? Gurney wrote.

Supervisor Mike Kerns, who represents the south county and has supported the plant, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dutra is proposing an asphalt mixing and aggregate recycling plant on 38 acres south of the city limits, across the Petaluma River from Shollenberger Park.

The state-of-the-art facility is expected to trap asphalt emissions in a sealed chamber and keep noise and other pollution to a minimum by using barges to transport material along the river.

Dutra officials say the project is the relocation of another plant in Petaluma in the same general area. They?ve touted the new facility as a way to save tax dollars by having a ready supply of materials near county roads.

But opponents say the project is a bad fit for the area. Fumes and noise will waft to the park, which is popular among birdwatchers. Others said it will become an eyesore at the city?s southern entrance.

More than 300 people crowded the supervisors? February meeting. Many more are expected at a county planning commission meeting on noise standards next month.

Opponents of the project said these letters are evidence that concerns about its impacts have spread far beyond Petaluma.

Mayor Pam Torliatt, a leading critic of the plant, said she was disappointed supervisors were not swayed.

Torliatt said other cities have cause to be concerned when the county imposes its will on major developments near city limits.

?The county should be including us in the process and working with us to have mutual agreement,? Torliatt said. ?As opposed to the county exerting its jurisdiction over our urban growth boundary.?

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 762-7297 or