Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette
Healdsburg by Healdsburg Coalition

Reflections from the
Sustainable Design Assessment Team

Aug 30, 2018


BRIGETTE MANSELL, MAYOR: Healdsburg Citizens do not disappoint! On two separate nights, hundreds of our neighbors poured into our public school high school gym, to provide ideas, share their dreams, and pose their questions for the SDAT process. As a proud mayor and citizen, we participated, fully, providing our visiting team with rich, specific in-put and a diversity of thinking in our stakeholder meetings. Because of this visit from the Sustainable Design Assessment Team from the AIA, American Institute of Architects, the city of Healdsburg has begun the process of restructuring our planning process and reflecting on what makes more sense, more sustainability, for our eco-system.

This is our precious place we know we love to share, and, at the same time, recognize our role as stewards. Stay tuned to our news as the AIA will be sending us a written report in the next two months, and, as an elected, I remain committed to the grassroots momentum and this gift of an outside lens. Eyes wide open, we remain engaged, curious, civil, and willing to adjust for our town’s best future.

TIM MEINKEN: Over 800 people gathered over two nights to witness something that has not happened in a generation—the ENTIRE community showing up to affect the outcome of our small City over the next 20+ years! It was exhilarating and meaningful for so many who were there. Young, old, long-time residents and newcomers, our Latino neighbors, and everyone in between. The recommendations from the AIA were also bold; connect our neighborhoods and our River, focus on the arts and there contribution to livability, create a master plan that turns upside-down how we develop our community, and so much more.

While the AIA may have been taken aback by the size of the crowd on Monday night, they did a great job of gathering our input, even putting up an online survey overnight in both English & Spanish! The work they did in coming up with recommendations on Wednesday night was nothing less than brilliant! The test is now for us to carry on this effort, immediately and when the final report is issued in a couple of months. I know we are up to the task.

ARIEL KELLEY: The SDAT events gave me great hope for our community to be proactive and engaged in the future of Healdsburg. When the Healdsburg High School gymnasium was overflowing with over 500 attendees at Monday’s input session, I was blown away with the sense of presence and passion in the room. Moreover, the childcare room had over 30 young kids playing and doing craft projects. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment after seeing all of those kids and looking forward to gathering with our community again as we advance the recommendations we received from the AIA.

JULIAN COHEN: Since the SDAT team came to Healdsburg there is a resulting momentum towards a community engagement that encapsulates a myriad of perspectives towards a co-imagined future. The process is one of building openness, trust and discovery. Like a river nourishing a watershed, the momentum needs to nourish in multiple ways as it develops relationships which become the deep roots of a sustainable Healdsburg. It is the quality of the momentum that is lasting.

MERRILYN JOYCE: Healdsburg’s December 2017 application to the AIA for an SDAT grant stated:“Our community is seeking direction on how to find balance. With our success at becoming a renowned food, wine, and lifestyle destination come concerns that our friendly and connected social fabric is tenuous. We want to preserve our small-town character which appeals to visitors and locals alike…”

Before saying goodbye on August 15th, SDAT team members shared their observations, “Healdsburg has incredible local talent and resources but what really stands out as unique is that you are a compassionate community; you really care about each other.”

Will we successfully weave the more equitable, inclusive and diverse community we desire? With compassion on our side I can imagine by strengthening our connections and nurturing the ability to work through future challenges together that we will. That’s a big step toward sustainability.

View the SDAT Team’s power point presentation: SDAT Healdsburg, August 15th on YouTube & Presentation slides at


Login to Make a Comment

Please support our sponsors:

Local Guide for takeout food

Sonoma County Restaurants who offer Take-Out Food during the Corona Virus Shelter-in-Place.
NOT on our LIST & MAP? Get LISTED:

Shelter-in-Place Sonoma County Business Directory - Coronavirus-COVID-19 Mandate.

Shelter-in-Place Sonoma County Business Directory - Coronavirus-COVID-19 Mandate. This is a work-in-process. PLEASE HELP US by sending missing info to

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Visit Fine Tree Care WEBSITE for a List of our SERVICES - Testimonials and to request a FREE Estimate

Flip through the pages of the print edition of the 2020 Sonoma County Gardeners Resource Guide

Your 2020 GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.All dispensaries have verified their information.