Information on Windsor West

The Windsor West Residents Group is a coalition of Sonoma County and Windsor citizens and businesses that are opposed to the non conforming development project of the Lytton Pomos proposed on 50-acres of oak forest on the south side Windsor River Road, approximately 300 feet west of the Windsor Town limits.   This web site is dedicated to providing concerned citizens with information regarding the proposed development and how to oppose this time sensitive issue.  The pictures on this page are of the oak forest, where the proposed project will be, in a summer scene and two of the forest after the first two rains.  The difference is obvious..

Last update October 26, 2009, 6:00 PM.  As of June, 2010, this web site is no longer maintained and it will not be updated. 

The time for watchful, waiting is over on the West Windsor "Reservation" property.  The Lytton Pomos have filed an application for their land to be taken into trust, and an Environmental Assessment has been filed.   Recently, there has been a lot of action in Sacramento and in Washington, DC regarding the San Pablo Casino, but as yet they do not have a compact with the governor.

The following are the current facts regarding the proposed non conforming development on Windsor River Rd. and the status of the surrounding facts that affect this situation:

October 26, 2009 - There is an excellent article in the Press Democrat today "State questions legitimacy of Lytton tribe, right to land"  by Clark Mason in which the Govenor's attorney s letter is quoted which sets forth the history of our problems with the Lyttons quite well.  The web site is  PD article 10-26-09 

The Board of Indian Affairs (BIA) has requested that we use the following address for all comments on the Environmental Assessment for the Lytton Pomos: 
By mail to:  Dale Morris, Regional Director, Pacific Region, United States Department of the Interior,
                  Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional Office
                  2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825
Fax (916) 978-6055;   e-mail:  patrick.o' 

August 23, 2009 - The Press Democrat, August 23, had an article written by Clark Mason, "Lytton Housing plan stirs unease" mentioning comments from Paul Kelley, Debora Fudge, Doug Elmets and Bill McCormick.  It is thorough and similar to Windsor Times article below.  See web site:  PD - Lytton housing plan stirs unease. 

August 20, 2009 - The Windsor Times, August 20, 2009, had a pertinent article on "WUSD to seek fees from Rancheria".  It is a very thorough article and again gives information necessary for filing comments.  Article by Matthew Hall, Times Editor.  See web site: The Windsor Times - WUSD to seek fees from Rancheria

August 6, 2009 - The Windsor Times, August 6, 2009, had an interesting article on "Pomo Rancheria files for trust".  Public comment on proposed 92 acre development closes August 31, by Matthew Hall, Times Editor.  See web site:   The Windsor Times - Pomo Rancheria Files for Trust.

August 6, 2009 - The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians are finally taking the next step toward developing the 100 acres in West Windsor.  Their Environmental advisors have filed an Environmental Assessment with the Board of Indian Affairs (BIA).  The entire document can be accessed and read or copies (700 pages in PDF) from the following web site: Environmental Assessment .  On that web site, if you click on Lytton Residential Development you will find the document.  The Town of Windsor and County of Sonoma will be beginning their official review shortly.  We have only thirty days to respond to the BIA.  So any comments may be sent to the Town, the Board of Supervisors or to Windsorwest.  If you would like to receive email information from Windsorwest please email

May 25, 2009 - We have received a notice from the Sacramento office of the BIA that on April 08, 2009, the Lytton Band of Pomos submitted an ‘incomplete’ 
application to have the Windsor Site taken into trust.  We have contacted the Sacramento office requesting a copy of the application, but this request has been refused, with the advice that if we want to see the application, we must come to the Sacramento office. We have been in touch with the offices of Mike Thompson and Senator Feinstein, so far without productive result.  We will keep you posted.

May 9, 2009 - There is an excellent Press Democrat article "Council Opposes tribe's building plans" regarding the May 6, 2009 council meeting.
See  Press Democrat 5/9/09 - Council opposes tribe's building plans .

February 26, 2009 - A group of WestWindsor residences met with Pomo Water Consultants and Pomo Lawyers.  The findings of this meeting refer to the development of the Pomo site in WestWindsor.  We did not talk about the Supreme Court decision listing below on February 24, 2009.  The Lytton tribe's water consultant said that their tests indicate there appears to be enough water from wells drilled on the Pomo West Windsor property to supply 150 dwelling units. The sewer issue at the moment is still the unknown factor. The Lytton lawyers said that they are planning at least 135 units on the land they presently own (subject to change and will go up if they buy more land, which they said they may do if more becomes available). The water consultants said that more studies must be made before they can guarantee water for more than the 50 units for which they contracted to find adequate water supply.

The lawyers indicated that the tribe intends to retain complete control of the property after it is developed and so is rejecting any HUD financing or federal assistance.  There will be additional meetings with the tribe's representatives as the environmental studies continue. 

February 24, 2009 - We recently received a communication regarding an opinion of the Supreme Court of the U.S. (555 U.S. ___ (2009)) that appears to say the Lytton tribe may not be allowed to have its property in WindsorWest taken into tribal status.  This applies to the present state of the law.  It does not mean the Federal Legislature could not adopt another Act that would allow the land to be taken into tribal status, but it may require such a New Federal Law. 
The Colombian [Clark County, Washington], reported that the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday (February 24, 2009) limited the federal government's authority to hold land in trust for Indian tribes, a victory for Rhode Island and other states seeking to impose local laws and control over development on Indian lands.  The court's ruling can be found at  Court's Ruling

February 13, 2009.  An excellent article in the Press Democrat  "Windsor wary of tribe's land purchases" by Clark Mason.  See PressDemo 2-13-09

January 30, 2009 - In email sent from Larry Stidham, lawyer for the Lytton Pomos, to Bill McCormick, representative for WindsorWest Residents, Mr. Stidham stated "The concept has not changed.  The Tribe is preparing a master plan for residential housing and Tribal government operations - exclusive of gaming."

January 28, 2009 - Senator Feinstein introduces legislation banning expansion of Casino San Pablo without Federal Oversight.  The bill is S.338 and the text is not yet available in Thomas, the Congressional database.  See Senator Feinstein's web site for updates and also see Diane Feinstein Press Release Jan. 29-2009.

January 26, 2009 - A group from WindsorWest meet with Paul Kelley, Sonoma County Supervisor.  It was a productive meeting and Mr. Kelley stated that
as soon as the Lytton's file for Land in Trust, the County of Sonoma will file a lawsuit, because the Lytton's concept is contrary to the County's General Plan. 

January, 2009  - A History and current activities - from Wikipedia.

January, 2009 - The Pomo Indians have recently bought four additional pieces of property in the adjacent area to the 50 acres of forest land.  They have almost  100 acres now.  They have bought two parcels and then are in escrow on the other two.  We do not know what they have planned.  They are doing an environmental study, but nothing has been sent to the Bureau of Indian Affairs as far as we know.  We are monitoring this.  A map will be available for you to see where the property is.  Please see the map for the details.

January, 2008 - Currently, Senate Bill S.1347 is being prepared for adoption by the House of Representatives and Senate to codify the agreement between the tribe and Feinstein.  We are trying to keep track of that bill.  If you want to you can find it on the Federal Web site 110th Congress, 1st session, S.1347.  It is described as "an act to amend the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act to modify the date as of which certain tribal land of the Lytton Rancheria of California is deemed to be held in trust and to provide for the conduct of certain activities on the land."

June 29, 2007 -  the Band of Indians and Sonoma Entertainment Investors (SEI), owners of the 50 acres of forest lands adjacent to the Town of Windsor agreed to complete the transfer of ownership.  SEI paid off Funtanellas, and transferred ownership on June 29, 2007.  The land is now owned (in fee as far as we know) by the Lytton Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians.  They are free to develop it.

May 10, 2007 Contra Costa Times article - "Tribe, San Pablo back Feinstein's Casino bill.", John Simerman.  Please see  Contra Costa Times for additonal information regarding the bill and Lytton Pomos.  Their search box is at the top of the page.

February 11, 2005 Press Democrat Article - "McCain critical of Lytton casino process" 
Erica Werner, Associated Press, Washington

February 10, 2005 Press Democrat Article - "Pomos Unveil Plans for Scaled-down casino."
Guy Kovner, Press Democrat Staff Writer

January 28, 2005 Press Democrat Article - Let the Public Speak "Competing casinos" 
Robert E. Crawford, Windsor, Letter to the Editor

January 25, 2005 Press Democrat Article - "Casino issue unites 4 counties" 
Kerry Benefield, Press Democrat Staff Writer
   Support Sonoma Board of Supervisors 

January 23, 2005 Press Democrat Editorial - "Casino fight - Feinstein's war against urban gaming should move north" 
   Support Senator Diane Feinstein 

January 22, 2005 Press Democrat Article - "Feinstein revives casino bill" 
Guy Kovner, Press Democrat Staff Writer
January 11, 2005 Press Democrat Article - "Tribe airs casino plan at Capitol" 
Guy Kovner, Press Democrat Staff Writer
August 28,2004 Press Democrat Article - "Governor puts off Lyttons' Casino" 
Guy Kovner, Press Democrat Staff Writer
August 25, 2004 The Windsor Times Article - "Lytton Pomos Years Away from Windsor homes project." 
Bert Williams, Windsor Times News Editor
August 19,2004 Press Democrat Article - "Lytton's casino deal won't derail RP plans - 
Pomo accord with governor over San Pablo site due to be signed today, seeks Bay Area Monopoly." 
Guy Kovner, Press Democrat Staff Writer 
April 7,2004 The Windsor Times Article - "Lytton Pomos, Windsor neighbors find communication difficult." 
Bert Williams, Windsor Times News Editor 
April 2,2004 The Press Democrat Article - "Lytton Pomos offer state a slot deal." 
Guy Kovner, Press Democrat Staff Writer 
April 1,2004 The Press Democrat Article - Reported from the LA Times "Governor near deal with tribes on casino Money." Lytton Pomos among those who might back $1 billion in bonds, get more slots - PD Title 
  "State May Let Casinos Pay to Grow" -  LATimes title 
Dan Morain, Los Angeles Times 
March 27, 2004 The Press Democrat Article - "Counties to unite on Indian gaming issues", Spencer Soper
   Show your support - contact supervisors. 
January 29, 2004 The Press Democrat Article - "6 local tribes seek off-site casinos", Guy Kovner
October 10, 2003 The Press Democrat Article - "Lytton tribe step closer to casino", Mary Callahan
March 9, 2003 The Press Democrat Article - "Tribes big donors to local lawmakers", Sam Kennedy 
March 8, 2003 The Press Democrat Article - "Legal fight stalls Pomo casino plan" by Sam Kennedy 
February 11th, 2003 A letter has been sent from the Windsor west residents to Governor Gray Davis regarding Urban Indian Casinos and the Lytton Pomos/San Pablo Card Room. It included the Petitions of 2001, the County of Sonoma Resolution and the Town of Windsor Resolution 

December 15 & December 23, 2002, Time Magazine Articles, Special Report: "Indian Casinos" by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

November 20, 2002 The Windsor Town Council passed the resolution #1300-02. It is entitled: "A Resolution of the Town of Windsor Opposing Reduction of Health, Safety and Zoning Standards on Land Adjacent to the Urban Growth Boundary" . This is one more major step in stopping any development on the subject property that is inconsistent with the Town's Urban Growth Boundary and the County's General Plan. 
A copy of the resolution can be found by clicking 
See also Windsor Times Article "Council Wants Pomo Indian project to adhere to General Plan" by Corey Young 

August 11, 2002 Gov. Gray Davis has lifted his moratorium on discussing new casino agreements with Indian tribes after a federal court rules in favor of the states Indian gambling Law. 
August 1, 2002 Lawyers for the card clubs filed a notice appealing the judge's decision on their lawsuit. This refers to decision of July 29th, 2002 by U. S. District Judge David F. Levi.
July 29th, 2002 U. S. District Judge David F. Levi of Sacramento dismissed the first and more significant of two lawsuits filed last year by owners of four Bay Area card clubs, who said Proposition 1A, approved by voters in 2000, gives unfair advantage to America Indians by allowing them the exclusive right to operate Las Vegas-style casinos. 
June 15, 2002
The Sonoma Entertainment Investors L.P. who have a contract with Lytton Pomo Band bought the 50 acre forest property on Windsor River Rd. 
- June 11th, 2002 - Resolution #02-0665 passed at the Sonoma Board of Supervisors Meeting. Resolution entitled "Resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sonoma, State of California, regarding Indian Affairs, Land to Trust Status and Comments to Bureau of Indian Affairs on New Land to Trust Status Rules"
A copy of the resolution can be found at 
See the following article for a very good synopsis of what is happening in the Pomo situation: "Pomos' homes on hold" - by Sam Kennedy, Press Democrat, 8/04/02 

Quote from Windsor Times Article 8/22/01.  Tony Cohen, Attorney for Lytton Band of Pomo Indians:   "If the San Pablo project fails then there is no money to pursue the Windsor project," said Cohen. "If it fails, we will look in the 101 corridor of Sonoma County for a casino project. " 
 See Windsor Times Article 8/22/01 for complete text

Can 50-97 homes and a private sewage plant be built on land zoned for 10 homes?
Can a casino really be built within 1/2-mile from a school?

YES!   If it's "tribal lands"!

Click on the following web site for the text version of the June 3 or 4th Press Democrat ad:

Could this happen in your 
Indian homes were bulldozed to clear the way for this casino.


See article Press Democrat article 5/30/02

What can you do?

Contact the Board of Supervisors and let them know you support the resolution and want your rights protected!

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors     (707)565-2241
575 Administration Drive, Room 100A
Santa Rosa, CA, 95403-2887

 For more information on this project, click here or
 e-mail with questions or comments


Links to pertinent web sites

Last update October 26, 2009, 6:00 PM