Petaluma citizens and neighbors have banded together to stop the Sid Commons development by initiating a lawsuit

Flooding the Payran neighborhood cost taxpayers $28 million in 1982, which, adjusted for inflation, is $75 million in today’s dollars. Should taxpayers really be taking on this risk for an out-of-town developer? Petaluma is 816% over quota for market rate housing, and Sid Commons offers zero permanent affordable housing units.

On Feb 3, the Petaluma City Council rejected the advice of our Planning Commission and overturned long-standing protections of the Petaluma River’s ecosystem and wetlands north of the Payran flood wall and dam. The City Council approved the development right where the Army Corps of Engineers told us DO NOT BUILD because the flood protections will be compromised. If this project gets built, the River will become a wide artificial trench with many heritage oaks cut down, vegetation stripped and wildlife killed or displaced.

The lawsuit challenges the outdated and faulty EIR presented for this development. Their EIR is based on obsolete information, not taking into account recent flooding in that area as well as future projections from leading scientists and State produced sea-level rise modeling.

In addition, the lawsuit highlights the statement made by the Army Corps of Engineers that building upstream of the Weir dam would negate any flood protection that their $100 million project was built for. 

Flooding

Housing

Risk

Outdated Environmental Impact Reports lack Climate Change modeling.  More water could be in the river than the EIR anticipates.

In 2008 re-zoning put that whole parcel in the floodplain.

Portions of the project site lie within the Petaluma River floodway and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) designated 100-year floodplain.

Proposed terracing will increase peak river flows and raise water levels, risking destructive flooding.

Most of Petaluma is NOT behind a flood wall.

The culverts are currently blocked by sediment and Petaluma does not have money to maintain them.

Our River is a sensitive interconnected environment.

Only 18 of the 180 units are designated as “low-income” housing — but they expire, there are no permanent affordable units. The other 162 units are unaffordable to most Petalumans who live and work here

Access is very constrained with only one point of access, which will dramatically increase traffic on that road and could be cut off in a flood.

The additional housing will require more emergency services, which Petaluma doesn’t have a plan or money to provide.

A livable street has at most 2,000 cars per day. This project would increase neighborhood traffic to 2,500 vehicles per day.

The Cumulative Impacts Analysis (under CEQA) could lead to a class action lawsuit by neighbors and downtown merchants.

Tax Payers will be shouldering any risk, and not the greedy developers.