Hagen's Statement for SCAPOSD Authority
I am Bruce Hagen, a resident of Petaluma for 15 years and a member of the Steering Committee for Citizens for Lafferty Ranch and a Regional Park. Because of my prior work commitment in San Francisco and the short notice for this meeting, I have asked Jerry Price to read my preliminary statement. I request that this issue be held over until the next meeting, when I can present my testimony in greater detail.
Since our formation in August last year, Citizens for Lafferty has said "Petaluma can keep Lafferty Ranch and have a regional park." We believe that the Lafferty for Moon swap was engineered for the benefit of a few individuals, and that no effort was given to developing what we call the "Lafferty Plus" option: an alternative that would:
This alternative meets all of the critical tests:
Lafferty Ranch is no longer available as a piece of this deal. Its three secrets have been discovered:
We recognize that our recommendation will require a greater expenditure of your funds. Some will argue that Petaluma has received its fair share of OSD acquisitions, and from there imply there will never be way for a fee simple purchase of Moon Ranch (or an alternative site) for a regional park.
But this ignores the most important criteria: the people who voted to create the OSD and who supply the money should benefit most from the purchases. If the people of Petaluma, or of Sonoma County for that matter, were allowed to pick their priorities, I have little doubt that they would choose to keep Lafferty Ranch and buy Moon Ranch outright, rather than using Lafferty for the down payment on Moon Ranch, even if meant delaying other OSD acquisitions in their area.
We believe this Lafferty Plus option is the only win-win alternative for the people of Sonoma county. Our support in the south county is broad and deep. I ask you to consider it carefully before taking any further action on this issue.
Summary of Additional
Remarks by Bruce Hagen's for SCAPOSD
You are poised to make a very bad decision, one that violates the California Environmental Quality Act, your public mandate, and the confidence of the citizens of this county. By doing so, you jeopardize the future of your very worthwhile endeavor.
Purchasing development rights on Moon Ranch for $1.4 million was justified as part of a three way transaction to acquire a regional park and secure development rights on Lafferty Ranch. Separating the Moon Ranch transaction from the three-way deal requires a new evaluation by the SCAPOSD.
Here's a simple and foolproof test: If you want to know if the Moon deal is truly not attached to Lafferty, ask the owner if he will forget about trading it for Lafferty, and sell it fee simple.
Why should you buy Moon Ranch?
A County Regional Park at Moon ranch is a goal shared by virtually everyone, including a majority of the Petaluma City Council and the County Regional Parks District.
Lafferty Ranch is not available as part of the payment to Peter Pfendler
The people of Petaluma will not let it go. CLRRP will take it to the voters, and win, if the City Council approves the swap. Why?