Feb 24, 2020
by Duane Dewitt
A FREE Pasta Feed is on tap for Weds. evening March 4, 2020 at 5:30 pm to 7 pm at the Cook Middle School Cafeteria on Sebastopol Rd. The Community Dinner is being hosted by the City of Santa Rosa Recreation and Parks Department with an “Envision Roseland” theme. This is a city presentation and, “A community dinner and discussion on the future of Roseland as the city works toward finalizing the Roseland Creek Community Park Master Plan.” The city has sent out flyers announcing the event, so Roseland residents come on out to Represent Roseland!
According to the city, “An update on future housing, transit, park and commercial development plans for the Roseland area will be provided during the meeting to help residents with providing input specific to the future design of Roseland Creek Community Park.” There is a group of Burbank Ave. residents who are hoping the park would actually be expanded in size because the nearby Roseland University Prep charter High School has to use the one small field at Sheppard Elementary School which is currently closed due to new grass being installed. Also, some other Burbank Ave. residents have started a different group. They are calling for the city of Santa Rosa to either stop or scale back a proposed Burbank Ave. subdivision slated to put in up to 136 housing units with 62 units within 3 story buildings located right on Burbank Ave.
The area just to the south of the park would be for duplexes and single-family homes plus the new roads to be built for these new residents. This would be a significant impact upon both the scenic road Burbank Ave. and the surrounding areas with traffic. On Burbank Ave. traffic is already a big problem since the Crossroads Apartments were built just to the south with an extension of Liana Dr. Local neighbors are so incensed, they have filed appeals to the City Council against both the Zoning Administrator decision for approval as well as the Planning Commission to allow the project.
These local residents have united and are saying the city should respect, “Roseland Residents First” instead of allowing the developers to intrude upon the rural way of life on Burbank Ave. This theme also came up at a Candidates Forum for the 5th District Supervisor position held on Lincoln’s Birthday Feb. 12, 2020 at 6:30 pm at Roseland Library. It was an event moderated by Roseland Review for League of Women Voters in Sonoma County.
Current Supervisor Lynda Hopkins and her challenger Mike Hilber spoke with potential voters after the event also. Both stated, if elected, they would hold a Roseland Forum as soon as possible after the election to let Roseland residents express their concerns to them directly. Ms. Hopkins did not seem happy with some Santa Rosa actions since annexation in 2018 especially because the county is paying the city large amounts of money every year for annexation costs. There are a number of residents concerned about lack of road repairs and the cutting down of foliage and trees in Roseland while residents want the greenery to stay. The city has not been watering the trees it planted along Stony Pt. Road and these are at risk of dying already if a drought returns to our area.
Quoted by Sonoma West news recently Mike Hilber pointed out, “Government is always after money,” he said. “And that’s one thing about the incumbents, it seems like everything — every issue — is another excuse for a tax increase. I don’t think that benefits the ordinary working person, because they're mostly regressive taxes.” He stressed, “They’re bonds or parcel taxes or sales taxes, which are regressive.” Ms. Hopkins who has been working hard for her entire first term to address the issue of Homeless people in Roseland pointed out the matter is costly to county taxpayers. Adding efforts for taxes for fire safety is something needed in West County.
Hilber said creating a better, more permanent shelter for the homeless would then “empower the police to say that ‘We have a space for you indoors. You can’t just set up a tent wherever you want,’” he said. Now due to the legal decision “Martin v Boise”, cities can’t move people off public land unless they offer an alternative form of shelter. Asked what he’d bring to being supervisor, Hilber said, “Fairness and fiscal restraint.”
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