Downtown Station Area Specific Plan Update

Design Review Board Meeting:  1/17/19

Joint Design Review Board / Cultural Heritage Board Study Session and Walking Tour

On January 17, 2019, the Design Review Board will hold a joint study session with the Cultural Heritage Board regarding the project scope and visioning for the Downtown Station Area Specific Plan Update.  The study session will be held at or after 4:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 100 Santa Rosa Avenue.  

Prior to the joint study session, City staff will lead a walking tour of the area beginning at 2:30 p.m.  The walking tour, which will begin and end at City Hall, will take approximately 90 minutes, and will hit key points throughout the Specific Plan area.

Community Engagement

Please click the link below (see the red envelope) to sign up for updates on the project, and check back regularly to this website to see information on upcoming community engagement and outreach.  Events and opportunities to participate in the Downtown Station Area Specific Plan Update process will be posted as they are known. 

On January 8, 2019, the City Council accepted the Community Engagement Strategy for the Downtown Station Area Specific Plan Update.  The Strategy outlines the outreach that is planned for the duration of the project.

  1. Patrick Streeter

    Senior Planner
    Phone: 707-543-4323

  2. Jessica Jones

    Supervising Planner - Advance Planning
    Phone: 707-543-3410

Downtown Station Area Specific Plan Update

The City of Santa Rosa is beginning the process to update the 2007 Downtown Station Area Specific Plan.

The planning effort will focus on evaluating existing and potential land uses; analyzing circulation and infrastructure; and developing land use regulations, implementation strategies and design guidelines to encourage transit-oriented development within the downtown area.  

Community participation will be a key element to the update process.

2007 Specific Plan Cover Page


On October 9, 2007, the Santa Rosa City Council adopted the Downtown Station Area Specific Plan (Specific Plan).  

The primary objective of the document was to increase the number of residents and employees living and working within walking distance (1/2 mile) of the Downtown Transit Mall and the Downtown Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) station, through intensification of both residential and non-residential land uses in the area (see map).

2007 Downtown Station Area Specific Plan

Location Map

Development in the Specific Plan Area

The Specific Plan projected that the following residential and non-residential development would be constructed in the Plan area by 2027:

  • 3,409 new residential units
  • 493,500 square-feet of new office, retail and institutional uses

Halfway through the planning period, the following have been realized:

  • 100 residential units developed, with an additional 275 units approved (not yet constructed)
  • 194,000 square-feet of office, retail and institutional uses developed, with an additional 107,000 square-feet approved (not yet constructed)

While a lack of vitality in the downtown can in part be attributed to market forces, feedback has indicated that the Specific Plan is too restrictive, in terms of development standards such as density and height, to finance and fully realize the City’s need for high density downtown housing and job centers within walking distance to the Downtown SMART Station and Transit Mall.

Residential Units in Plan Area
Non-Residential Sq Ft in Plan Area

Update to the Specific Plan

On February 13, 2018, the City Council adopted a new set of priorities, which includes downtown housing as a Near Term (six month) and Tier 1 top priority.

On March 5, 2018, the City submitted an application for the Priority Development Area (PDA) Planning Grant Program through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).  The grant funding would allow the City to update the Specific Plan to address land use, transportation and infrastructure needs associated with intensification of housing development in the downtown.   

The grant was approved by the MTC Commission on April 25, 2018.  

In November 2018 the City Council approved a Professional Services Agreement with Dyett & Bhatia Urban and Regional Planners.  Please see below for an outline of the project scope, as well as a graphic illustrating the anticipated project schedule.

DSASP Schedule Opens in new window