Sonora, CA — Despite some recent opposition from neighbors, the developer of a planned Sonora beer garden is optimistic there will be a resolution allowing the project to move forward.
It was the hot topic at this morning’s downtown merchants town hall meeting at Sonora City Hall. Around 50 community members were on hand. At a recent planning commission meeting held earlier this month, a decision on the beer garden was postponed after some nearby residents brought up concerns, ranging from noise to clientele. It left many proponents concerned that the project might not happen.
The developer is Trado Corporation, and the project would be situated at 198 South Green Street. The company owns the nearby Bourbon Barrel, and along with the adjacent Stage Three Theater, it could serve as a destination for music and entertainment.
Merchants on hand this morning voiced mostly overwhelming support for the project, arguing that it would be an “anchor” that could draw visitors to local hotels and ignite renewed vibrancy in downtown. Arguments were made that the city needs to attract millennials and celebrate creativity and uniqueness. The success of the nearby community of Murphys over the past decade was referenced several times, and not wanting Sonora to be an “extension of the valley.”
After the meeting, developer Doug Kennedy of Trado Corporation told Clarke Broadcasting that he will be getting together with city staff about the possibility of having the project placed on the Planning Commission’s upcoming April 11th meeting. In response to the outpouring of support witnessed, he said, “I am very pleased. This is one of the reasons I moved to Sonora; It is a great community and people get together and rally when they want to see something happen.”
Kennedy quickly added, “I’m also respectful of the folks in opposition of the project and we just want make sure we come to a fair resolution, and a remedy that everyone is happy with. I do think that we are going to find some resolution to figure out how to do this downtown.”
Kennedy acknowledged that he was considering shelving the project, at least over the short-term.
City staff and council members leading today’s meeting urged those in attendance to write letters, and attend the upcoming April 11th meeting, regardless of which side they fall. Leading today’s meeting were councilmembers George Segarini, Connie Williams and City Administrator Tim Miller.