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November 8, 2019

Kids with Welcome-Back Sign

Thank You from the City of Healdsburg

Dear Healdsburg Community Members,

We have so much to be thankful for. The Kincade Fire tested our first responders, our City and our community members, and my heartfelt gratitude goes to everyone who helped to keep our community safe.

The City opened its evacuation center at the Healdsburg Community Center around midnight on Oct. 24 and served close to 200 people from throughout Sonoma County before it closed on Oct. 26 because of the citywide evacuation. Our emergency-operations center then kicked into high gear at 7 AM on Oct. 26 and remained active 24/7 for five days to quickly respond to any requests coming from our first responders on the front line and to support our neighboring communities and agencies. Various City departments rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Here’s a very small snapshot:
Providing food to firefighters

Community Services

A small team worked around the clock to provide food, showers, lavatories and other necessities to dozens of first responders, allied agencies such as the San Francisco Police Department and the National Guard, and City staff who worked at the City’s emergency-operations center. Before the fire, the Community Services Department ran an evacuation center that provided food, shelter and other resources to people and pets from throughout Sonoma County.

Law enforcement and National Guard

Fire & Police

Our Fire Department was on the front lines, fighting the Kincade Fire. Our Police Department patrolled the City, knocking on every single door in town to get people to evacuate. Working with allied agencies, they then provided security for Healdsburg for the duration of the evacuation.

Public Works

Staff closed down roads, operated the City’s traffic-light system, and helped to ensure that there was enough water pressure to help fire suppression.

Keeping the water system safe


Utility staff had to manually operate the water and wastewater systems due to PG&E's shutdown of the City’s electric transmission source. Even though community members evacuated Healdsburg, water was still being used by outdoor sprinklers. So, to maintain peak water storage levels, Utility staff manned several back-up diesel generators to produce, treat, and store drinking water. In addition, Utility staff manually monitored and operated the City’s wastewater system. The City’s wastewater treatment is based upon a delicate biological process which can easily be disrupted by the loss of power. Consequently, 24/7 monitoring was essential to maintain the system’s biology in preparation of our community’s return. 

Thank you for heeding our call to evacuate Healdsburg when the fire got too close; doing so allowed firefighters and other first responders to defend homes and businesses without having to worry about getting people out. You also stayed positive when you returned to a cold home with spoiled food and welcomed PG&E when their employees came to turn on your gas service.

Please know that the City of Healdsburg will continue this high level of support should other natural or man-made disasters threaten our community.


The City of Healdsburg

Planning & Building

626 Johnson Street Appeal: The property owner has filed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s determination regarding the applicant’s request to utilize flagstone material on the front porch of the property. At the Planning Commission meeting on October 22, the applicant was directed to remove the flagstone and comply with the Design Review condition of approval to use an alternate material consistent with the Citywide Design Guidelines. The appeal will be considered by the City Council on December 2.

Building Code Amendments: On November 4, the City Council approved the first reading of the 2019 Building Standards Codes Title 24, as mandated by the State Building Standards Commission, with amendments based on local conditions.

Mill District Update: The City is coordinating with Replay Resorts on the completion of the final map as well as the future design-review submittal for the park and market rate multi-family development.

North Village Master Conditional Use Permit The Planning Commission will hold a workshop on November 12 at 4 pm to discuss a mixed-use development concept by Comstock Healdsburg LLC. 

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