SANTA ROSA -- Updated, 5 p.m. -- The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today is making final decisions on high-profile proposals, such as the Dutra Materials asphalt plant in south Petaluma, Roblar Road gravel quarry west of Cotati and the Vineyard and Orchard Frost Protection Ordinance. The frost ordinance was approved in a 5-0 vote. The quarry was approved on a 3-2 vote, as was the Dutra asphlat plant in Petaluma.
Roblar Road quarry
After a hearing Oct. 19, the board tentatively voted 3-2 in favor of certifying the final environmental impact report, adopting a statement of overriding concerns for doing so and a mitigation program and approving an alternative to the project with 182 conditions.
The 70-acre quarry is at 7601 and 7175 Roblar Road.
As modified, the quarry would be allowed to produce 570,000 cubic yards of rock aggregate for 20 years. Modifications included changing how trucks would access the property from Roblar Road.
Vineyard and Orchard Frost Protection Ordinance
The board voted 5-0 to approve an ordinance that would require vineyard and orchard owners that tap wells or streams connected to the Russian River for water to use in protecting against frost damage to register and become part of a water-flow monitoring and reporting program.
The board called for the ordinance to be developed in June. It was introduced Nov. 9 and had the backing of all five supervisors in a straw poll after a hearing Dec. 7. Most conservation groups whose representatives spoke in November and December opposed it and called for more time to consider the language.
The ordinance would require growers to register with the county Agricultural Commissioner's Office by March 1 how they use water for frost, including equipment used as well as source and location of the water diversions . Starting next year through 2013, a network of 70 to 100 gauges would be installed on 22 key fish habitat creeks to monitor stream flow.
In January, the Board of Supervisors are set to consider a schedule of registration and monitoring fees.
The county would contract with a grower nonprofit to administer the program. An independent science review panel led by Matt Kondolf of U.C. Berkeley would analyze the stream data and send it to resource regulators for comment before forwarding the information to the state each December.
The goal of the ordinance is to prevent leaving protected fish, particularly endangered Coho salmon and threatened Chinook salmon, without enough water during frosty nights. The National Marine Fisheries Services petitioned the State Water Resources Control Board in spring 2008 to take action on Russian River Basin frost-water use following a few reports of fish found dead during a historic monthlong stretch of frosty nights.
The water board started environmental review of possible frost-water rules. The county is touting the ordinance as a pilot of the forthcoming state rules on frost-water in the next two to three years as well as use of groundwater.
Dutra Materials asphalt plant and aggregate distribution center
The Dutra Materials' asphalt plant proposal is in the Haystack Landing area on the west side of the Petaluma River. The supervisors took a 3-2 straw vote on Oct. 12 in favor of approving the project, with modified conditions.