News from Friends of Lafferty Park
April 26, 2002 For Immediate Release
City Councils Vote to Support Lafferty Park
A majority of Sonoma County's City Councils have now passed resolutions supporting the City of Petaluma's effort to gain County Open Space District support for opening Lafferty Park. Over the past months, the Councils of Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Windsor, and Rohnert Park have joined the Petaluma City Council in asking the County Supervisors and OSD to approve Petaluma's application to purchase Lafferty's development rights.
"The beauty of Lafferty ranch and the views would be of tremendous joy to all the residents of Rohnert Park and to the residents of Sonoma County," said Rohnert Park Mayor Armando Flores, just prior to the Rohnert Park Council's unanimous approval of the resolution (see text on next page.) The Councils' votes, three of which were unanimous, demonstrate the growing, county-wide support for Lafferty Park from across the political spectrum. Together, these Councils represent over 130,000 Sonoma county citizens.
The resolutions, modeled after a resolution passed by the Petaluma City Council last year, call on "the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and the OSD to proceed with the purchase of the development rights on the Lafferty Ranch property to benefit all residents of Sonoma County." In justification of this request, the resolutions point out that "the current (1989) County General Plan and previous county plans since 1964 have proposed a nature park at or near the site of Lafferty Ranch on the upper western slope of Sonoma Mountain."
"These cities recognize that Petaluma is trying to make a gift, to all of Sonoma County, of magnificent public open space," said Larry Modell of Friends of Lafferty Park (FLP). "They enthusiastically agree that this park should have the full support of our Open Space District."
Assemblywoman Pat Wiggins has also expressed support for Lafferty in an April 3rd letter to the Supervisors. "Even though Lafferty Park is not inside my district," she wrote, "it will be a great asset to my constituents, as well as all of Sonoma County."
Petaluma's application is scheduled for a preliminary approval vote by the County Supervisors in closed session at their May 14th meeting. It faces an uncertain fate, but Modell is hopeful the Supervisors and the District will be responsive to these City Council resolutions. "The momentum of public opinion is clearly with us," he said.