Editor's note: This letter is something of a mytery. We discovered it in the files of the Sonoma County Open Space District in February of 2004. The letter is undated, but a stamp says it was received by the OSD on 3-19-95. It is addressed to the Petaluma City Council, but we have never seen it in Petaluma's archives, nor is it included in the Lafferty Park EIR.
The letter is typed on plain paper, and very simply formatted. It was obviously not produced by a lawyer or other professional.
Petaluma City Council Members-
I am writing this letter on behalf of all of the ranchers with surrounding property of either the Spaletta or Moon Ranch.
These ranches are hay fields, cattle ranches, or a Replacement Holstein heifer ranch. This is how we make our living.
The cattle that Ralph Spaletta buys come right off of the range. These are not tame animals and they will charge and hook people on bikes or walking. We do not need people near these cattle and we don't even let our children around them..
Spaletta's other income comes from the sale of gravel. On a busy day, over 200 trucks go down the mountain:loaded with rock. The truck drivers do not need cars, bikes, and hikers in their way, as their employers are paying the truck company by the hour. Time means money. Can you imagine the commotion this would be on the Spaletta's, since this is their income? The Moon Ranch is not the place for a park, as we have 2 income from the property.
The right of way (or access) dated in 1892, to the Moon Ranch is for a 1 house dwelling with limited access to the ranch. Ralph Spaletta did not sue Reno Pronzin (prev:ous owner) over this access, but for some stipulations entering and traveling to the Moon Ranch. Ralph Spaletta was not seeking any money, but all the stipulations were granted in Ralphs favor. I don't understand where some people get their information as to unlimited usage of the road.
We too are isolated from fire and ambulance service. Manor Lane is open range for holstein heifers, and Spaletta's have cattle grazing on their entire ranch. Can you picture a fire truck or ambulance trying to respond to an emergency at the Moon Ranch? Remember, Lafferty Ranch has a paved county road to the property and is fenced on both sides.
The city owns Lafferty Ranch and this is where the park should be. There is paved roads to the site, views of surrounding towns, and fenced land.
Remember, the right of way goes directly in front of Spaletta's bedroom windows. We cannot even go out to work in the yard, without having people view us as they drive to the Moon Ranch.
As you view the Moon Ranch, you must travel. 9/10ths of a mile over private property, dust blowing at our house, just to get to the other ranch. Lafferty has a paved road to its front gate.
Here is a list of all of the neighbors and how long they have lived on their property. Remember, all surround the Moon and Spaletta Ranches.
Alice Lanzi 68 yrs.
Triangle G Ranch 40 yrs.
Gambonini 58 yrs.
Iococca - 10 yrs.
Mossi - 62 yhrs.
Pronzini 39 yrs.
Beebe 39 yrs.
Spaletta 93 yrs.
What is the City of Petaluma going to do? All of the above must be considered. Just because a gentleman makes a proposal to the city to exchange one ranch for another, the Lafferty Ranch has beautiful views, paved roads to the ranch, and the entire area is fenced. Remember, access to the Moon Ranch has 9/10ths of a mile through private property over a dirt road, and past the owner home.
Traveling up or down Manor Lane, one will note all of the trash, broken bottles, brush trimmings, paper, beer cans, cement chunks, and often a large refrigerator, table, char, or couch laying along the road. What will happen with more people using the road? This is bound to get worse, not better.
Please consider why we do not want the park next to us. We like our privacy.