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County: Sonoma hotel measure has enough signatures for ballot

Proponents of an initiative to limit hotel development in Sonoma gathered sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for a special election, a city official said Wednesday.

County elections officials determined that 1,312 of 1,673 signatures submitted by the measure's backers were valid. The number needed to qualify for the ballot was 1,017.

The measure would cap any new hotel or expansion of an existing one to 25 rooms unless Sonoma's hotel occupancy rate over the previous calendar year exceeds 80 percent. In 2012, the rate was just under 65 percent. The city has never had an annualized occupancy rate of 80 percent, according to city officials.

The City Council will take up the issue at its meeting Monday night, City Clerk Gay Johann said.

The council has the options of ordering a report analyzing the proposed ballot measure, adopting the ordinance as written or calling for a special election.

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