Can you provide a bit of background about yourself and what led you to serve on the Planning Commission?
I grew up in the Central Valley and attended high school and college in Southern California. My maternal family lived in Petaluma, so every year we would migrate there for the holidays. Petaluma was very different in the 1960s, but has always seemed to maintain its character and sense of community. I attended Cal Poly Pomona, earning a degree in Landscape Architecture in 1978, and worked in the profession for several years while attending college. I saw, first hand, how communities are impacted from unchecked development. After graduate school on the east coast, I returned to Petaluma to start a family and become part of the community.
Is the Planning Commission your first position of service to the community?
Moving to Petaluma in 1984, I returned to the home that my great grandfather built in 1912. My great-great grandfather came to Petaluma in 1852, and served on the Board of Trustees for the City of Petaluma and, at times, its President. My family participated in the public debate and I always felt that it was important for me to participate in building and supporting the local community. I first served on the Central Petaluma Specific Plan Committee, and eventually, joined the Site Plan and Architectural Review Committee (SPARC), overseeing the implementation of the Theater Square and Warehouse District.
Can you name a few highlights of your time on the Commission?
As a commissioner, you are just a one member, of five, representing your community. It has been wonderful to serve with others members of the Commission, each representing the nuance of their respective part of Sonoma County. Each District is unique and I have enjoyed debating, discussing and learning more about the County. As a landscape architect, I am interested in the ways that the environment and agriculture coexist. We have seen a lot of impacts from the shift to wine grapes and I have enjoyed discussing the impacts of a changing landscape. The new cannabis ordinance will also have an impact on agriculture and I look forward to creative ways to keep our County competitive, while maintaining that sense of who we are.
20 years from now, how do you envision Sonoma County?
My hope is that each community can adapt to the changes and grow, without losing sight of who we are. We live in a very desirable place. We have productive land, we have great access to the Coast and some of the most diverse landscape in the world. With careful planning, each community of Sonoma County will evolve its unique character to meet the demands of a growing population, without losing its individual character and community.
What is your favorite spot in Sonoma County?
It’s hard to beat the Sonoma Coast. As an avid swimmer and lover of the ocean, I enjoy the unique rugged character from Bodega Bay to Sea Ranch. Our daughter was married at Schoolhouse Beach and we have enjoyed vacation get-a-ways to Doran Beach and Salmon Creek.
Read Interviews with Other Planning Commissioners