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Sonoma County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter


By Janet Orchard

Candidate for Council Member; City of Cotati

This information is provided by the candidate
Among the accomplishments that Janet is most proud is the recent $3+ Million acquisition of the Falletti-Veronda Ranch by the Sonoma County Open Space District. This treasure, recognized years ago by citizens as an important property, will forever be preserved from development.
Land Use/Green Building:

Janet has been actively involved in the development and adoption of Cotati's new "form based" land use code which contains green building and resource protection elements. It is an environmentally progressive building guideline of energy efficiency, alternative and sustainable materials and resources, water efficient landscaping, and design which promotes a healthy indoor environment and, through the use of education and incentives, to encourage private development to incorporate these elements.

Janet has consistently advocated for green building and use of alternative sustainable materials and maintain a strong belief that government shall set the example for private sector in the building of environmentally friendly.


Janet has served as Cotati's representative on the Water Advisory Committee to the Sonoma County Water Agency. She is currently the alternate In this role, Janet is working to negotiate a new master water supply agreement with the Water Agency and other water contractors.

During Janet's tenure, the City Council implemented a new aggressive water conservation program, including a water survey, public education, toilet retrofit, replacement of inefficient washing machines and, first in the county, a change of service toilet retrofit requirement. The water conservation programs are available to both residential and commercial occupancies.

Janet approved funding for a low-water use demonstration garden (work to begin construction on this project begins in Fall 2008) and added a toilet rebate of $150 to the City's already popular retrofit program.

Open Space:

Janet has long been a strong supporter of open space preservation. She campaigned for reauthorization of Measure F, and was appointed by the Mayors and Councilmembers Association as one of their representatives on the Citizens Advisory Committee. She currently serve as Vice-Chair. In her commitment to open space, Janet led the process in the recent $3+ million acquisition of the historic Falletti-Veronda Ranch across the street from City Hall. This is Cotati's first open space acquisition. The Falletti-Veronda Ranch will someday hopefully house a Cotati Museum, and provide opportunities for citizens to learn about Cotati's agricultural past, as well as provide passive park space for all to enjoy.

Affordable Housing:

Janet served on the council subcommittee for the commercial housing linkage fee and the regional working group. The ordinance that resulted was brought forward and ultimately adopted by the council in 2005.

She has been a consistent vocal supporter of affordable housing, including the Wilford Lane Burbank Housing project that has special units for physically disabled residents and women transitioning out of abusive relationships.

Janet has been a strong supporter of tough rent control in Cotati mobile home parks, an important source of affordable housing for seniors. She has advocated for mobilehome protection at the statewide level, among elected officials and stakeholders.

She approved the new housing element to the general plan which increases affordable housing requirement from 15% to 20% and requires that the affordable housing must be built in developments over a specific size (over 10 units). It also ensures that affordable units will be spread throughout the city.

Janet was appointed by the President of the League of California Cities to serve on the League's statewide Housing, Community & Economic Development policy committee.

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