Jan 29, 2020
by Duane Dewitt
There is Good News and Bad News to share with readers this February. With Feb. 2nd, Groundhog Day, reminding us how much more winter we will have this year, as well as how things keep happening over and over again, this column will start with the GOOD NEWS First. (The Bad news just keeps happening, so we will save it for later.)
On 2 Jan. 2020, The Boys and Girls Club previewed a proposed brand new 23,600 square foot building to be built just off Sebastopol Rd. behind the Gas station next to Fosters Freeze. The project appeared before the Santa Rosa Design Review Board for “concept review”. This was a “non-binding” advisory meeting to “offer advice” according to the city notice of the meeting. According to the published project description it will be a “two-story facility and attached gymnasium” for the Club. It will be serving youth of Roseland and beyond.
On Tues. Jan 14, 2020, the Roseland NeighborWood got a potential boost for a “Natural Park” as the Santa Rosa City Council “continued” a Public Hearing by moving to consider a local Roseland Community generated “Ideal Plan” during the discussion of the city Recreation and Parks Department Master Plan for a future City Park. The local residents have fought for over 20 years to preserve the natural Oak Woodland between Burbank Ave. and McMinn Ave to the north of Roseland Creek as well as Roseland Creek as a “Nature” area.
Close to 300 signatures on petitions circulated by local residents supporting a Nature park were turned in to the city. There were dozens of letters submitted from Roseland University Prep High School students who supported the idea of a Nature Park. Over 25 local residents spoke at the hearing in favor of nature, while one local person spoke to support the city staff proposal. One person asked for a Pickle Ball court. A Burbank Ave. resident asked for a “Dog run” also. The city council “rejected” the Master Plan presented by city staff as one council member stated it “needed to go back to the drawing board” before it came back to the council in the future. Council member Jack Tibbetts made a motion which was upheld to have city staff work to use the Roseland residents’ “Community Ideal Plan” first submitted to Council in July 2019.
Other good news is the new Roseland Library should be available for opening in June 2020. If this is the case the current large library facility in the existing Dollar Store building will close. Some local residents are proposing a “going away” party for the site which has been so helpful to many people over the years as a library and “community center”. It has hosted many events and some folks want to have a nice big Roseland Reunion with a celebration of local food and music. The Sonoma County Community Development Commission currently controls the 7 acres of the Roseland Village Shopping Center where the building is located. The city of Santa Rosa has BIG plans for the site once MidPen Housing Development Co. begins work there. The city, working with MidPen and Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit, is seeking millions of dollars to help there.
At the Jan 28, 2020 meeting of the Santa Rosa City Council a resolution was passed to ask the “State of California, the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (Department)” to provide millions of dollars for the Roseland Village project on Sebastopol Rd. The city asked, “under the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program” because, “The City of Santa Rosa (City) desires to apply for AHSC Program funds as a Joint Applicant with MidPen Housing and Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) for the purposes of delivering the Roseland Village Housing Project, which includes the Roseland Village housing project and related bicycle and pedestrian improvements to be implemented by MidPen Housing; SMART rail extension and multi-use path improvements to be implemented by SMART; and improvements to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and transit service and amenities to be implemented by the City of Santa Rosa (collectively the “City Project”)”.
The Council, “Authorized a submission of the AHSC Program Application” for, “a total amount not to exceed $30,000,000 for all Roseland Village Housing Project components to be implemented independently by MidPen Housing, SMART, and the City, including a not-to-exceed amount of $3,920,000 for the City Project, of which $2,770,000 is requested as a grant for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, transit bus purchase, and transit service expansion. This is to help the Sebastopol Rd. routes for CityBus. Plus, “$1,150,000 is requested as a grant for Transportation-Related Amenities for enhancement of transit amenities at bus stops and transit hubs in high-frequency transit corridors,” along Sebastopol Rd.
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