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Business Beat: 03/15/2018

Business Beat March 15, 2018

Sonoma Country Inn Design Review appeal hearing

An appeal of design modifications made to the Sonoma Country Inn by its new owners is now scheduled for Tuesday, March 27, at 8:45 a.m. before the County Board of Supervisors. The Valley of the Moon Alliance (VOTMA) objected to the owners' moving of units, expanding and moving the restaurant operations and parking arrangements, contending that they amounted to significant new impacts not addressed in the project's original Environmental Impact Report done in 2004.

The long contested 186-acre hotel, restaurant, spa, winery and housing development sited under Mt. Hood languished for 13 years, during the economic recession, until purchased in 2014 for $41 million by Tohigh Investments, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Oceanwide Holdings.

At issue is siting of a 50-room inn with 17 separate cottages, the size of a 125-seat restaurant (50 outdoor seats), and locations for a spa, a large pool, and 102 parking spaces. VOTMA asserted that the long interval between EIR and current plan changes need a thorough re-examination due to increased traffic and denser winery build-outs in the area, as well as water tables and other conditions that have changed over the years.

The county prepared a revised addendum to the original EIR that did not satisfy the opponents. It did satisfy the Design Review Committee, however, which voted 2-1 to approve the modified designs on Oct. 16, 2016. It also satisfied the county's Planning Commissioners who approved it unanimously on Aug. 3, 2017. VOTMA appealed that decision soon after.

The hearing has been scheduled for 8:45 a.m. on March 27 at the Board of Supervisors Chambers, Room 102-A, Sonoma County Administration Building, 575 Administration Dr., Santa Rosa.

Project details and the environmental documents may be reviewed at Permit Sonoma located at 2550 Ventura Ave., Santa Rosa. Some of these documents are online at

a couple standing in a kitchen les pascales
Chef Pascal Merle (left) and his wife, Pascale, owners of Les Pascals, now open in Glen Ellen.

French patisserie opens in Glen Ellen

There's a delicious aroma wafting down Arnold Drive these days.

It's coming from the newly opened Les Pascals, Glen Ellen's authentic French patisserie, boulangerie and café, located in “The Yellow Building” at 13758 Arnold Dr. Les Pascals offers artisanal pastries, desserts, freshly baked bread and coffee.

Les Pascals is a family affair, led by the Pascals, Chef Pascal Merle and his wife, Pascale. The couple met in Lyon, France, and moved to California to bring their love of French pastries and desserts to the Bay Area's wine country. Chef Pascal has more than four decades of experience as a chef in France, specializing in pastry and chocolate. Joining Les Pascals will be bread baker Sean Perry.

Chef Pascal and bread baker Sean will be offering French favorites, from assorted French-style macaroons and galette des roisat, to tropezienes and pain au chocolat.

“With the opening of Les Pascals, we are sharing our love of French food and hospitality with an entirely new community, and we hope to become a favorite spot for our neighbors to enjoy fantastic food with friends and family in a relaxed atmosphere,” said Chef Pascal. “We invite customers to relax in our cozy cafe courtyard and savor the experience of our premier French baked goods.”

The café features a dining area that can seat up to 20 people and a garden courtyard. Les Pascals will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For a complete menu and other information about Les Pascals, visit

Upcycle pop-up shop at Deerfield

Deerfield Ranch Winery principal PJ Rex is working with Judy Mendel, Nancy Chimsky, Jennifer Michaels, and Ann Paolini, sponsoring a fundraiser for fire victims. These Kenwood residents are donating their time and expertise as a “way for us to make a difference in the lives of those who have lost so much.”

The event aims to provide a variety of new and lightly used clothing to help raise money and provide clothing for people who lost their homes and possessions in last October's firestorm.

“Sip, Shop and Support” will take place between 1 and 4 p.m. on April 8 at Deerfield's Kenwood winery, which will also supply their Clean Wines to the patrons.

The Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom Society, a nonprofit organization created to maintain and protect the Kenwood Wetlands, is accepting cash donations and clothing.

Eligible Kenwood and Glen Ellen residents will be given a $200 shopping certificate to buy clothing at the event.

“We appreciate your tax deductible donations and hope you join us for a little shopping on April 8,” PJ said. Donations will be accepted on Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. To schedule a drop off, email or call 833-5215, ext. 318.

Lion Heart Yoga offers spring special

For the month of April only, Lion Heart Yoga is offering is offering unlimited yoga for $99.

Instructor Nadra McCauliffe is also offering the Seva Student Program.

“As a yoga teacher,” said McAuliffe, “I want to give back to the community by giving those who want to experience yoga, but may have a difficult time financially, a chance to do so.”

The program gives one month of free unlimited classes at the start of each month to a new student. If you are interested in becoming a Seva Student for a month, email and put “Seva Student” in the subject line. This program will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Lion Heart Yoga's classes are held at the historic Kenwood Depot at 314 Warm Springs Road in Kenwood. Call 337-5127 for more information, or go to

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