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The State | IN BRIEF / COTATI

Residents to Vote on Fate of 'Big-Box' Stores

October 15, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

The politics of commercial development are heating up in Cotati as residents prepare to vote on a ballot measure that would allow construction of large retail buildings.

On Nov. 4, Cotati voters will decide whether to approve an initiative that would exempt a 52-acre lot from a 1997 ban on large commercial structures.

A group called Cotati Residents Against B has sent out three glossy mailers that say the measure's approval would bring a "big-box regional super mall" and "massive new regional traffic" that would damage Cotati's economy and charm.

The group is preparing to file a lawsuit to invalidate the election because of what it claims is prejudicial ballot language.

Proponents of the measure -- including all five City Council members, the Cotati Chamber of Commerce and the Sonoma County Taxpayers Assn. -- say the city needs a steady source of sales-tax income to avoid budget crises.

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