About 60 percent of those responding to this week’s online poll approved of the City Council’s decision to join a lawsuit seeking to gain public access to Lafferty Ranch, which the city owns and would like to open as a park. About 40 percent disapproved.
Here were some of the comments.
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“Absolutely! Evidently, many are still ignorant of the fact that Friends of Lafferty are footing the bill for this, so why not? It only enhances the value of what belongs to all of us. And if some of the Target settlement money goes to fight this battle (as some blogger complains), great! Good use of their money. If Chris Albertson thinks we should sell this rare jewel, will he recommend selling the rest of our public resources too? Hello, Chris, time to educate yourself! It seems there is still a segment of the community that can’t see the obvious, but time will show this is the right thing to do.”
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“Absolutely! One of the charms of Petaluma is the open space and the opportunity to visit that open space. I am thrilled that the council is taking this approach.”
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“Access to this property is not the reason this property is not open to the public. This is a huge waste of time and money. After access is perfected the property will still not be open. The EIR spells out the issues. If the city has the money for more lawsuits how about fixing some of the roads?”
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“Another costly lawsuit that could have been spent on fixing failing infrastructure (like our roads). We need a City Council that prioritizes.”
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“The city is not financially sound at this time. Wait untill revenues are improving before spending money litigating!”
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“Emphatically, yes!”
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“Few are giving credit to the pro bono attorneys who make this case possible against Pfendler’s millions.”
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“Forget Lafferty and use the money to build the Rainier underpass.”
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“Hasn’t the city wasted enough money on lawsuits in the past few years?”
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“I’ve never been concerned with Lafferty Ranch, nor do I ever see myself or my family using the park.”
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“It’s about time! This has been going on for years and it’s about time we have access to this beautiful piece of property. The property is owned by the city and a three foot piece of land prevents the city from accessing its own land. Nice neighbors up on the mountain.”
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“I know the city can do better things with money than a lawsuit! Really! Why does the open land have to be used? Why not just the view? Some things are better not touched, like land!”
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“It’s about time we had access to our land.”
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“It’s our land, and Lafferty Ranch has been designated as a future park since the 1972 General Plan. Only the selfish actions of one very wealthy neighbor and his widow who wanted the mountain for their own exclusive turf has prevented our access to the ranch. Why aren’t there any parks high up on this side of Sonoma Mountain? Why does every other ridge top around the Bay Area have unrestricted public access to public parks, but not here in Southern Sonoma County? Yes, City of Petaluma — and County of Sonoma — it’s time to get into court and get this straightened out. Let’s put our feet on our land, and enjoy its trails, creek, woods and views, and ultimately get to hike on a trail over the top connecting to Jack London State Park!
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“Lafferty belongs to Petaluma’s citizenry, and ought to be open to all people who wish to visit there.”
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“Sell the land to the county and let them open a park. The remote location makes it impractical to be a city park. Spend city money on recreational opportunities closer to town, folks.