City Council and the Planning Commission will review the draft plan and public feedback at the Oct. 25 meeting.
Santa Rosa, Calif. – The City of Santa Rosa has unveiled its preferred alternative for the general plan update and is moving forward with asking the public for feedback on a new survey and at two open houses this month. This effort marks the start of the final phase for broad community input in updating the City’s general plan as it moves toward City Council review next year.
In February 2022, the City presented the public with three housing alternatives, or paths, the City could take for future development. Following extensive public input, dozens of in-person and online meetings and gatherings with a variety of neighborhoods, communities, schools, and organizations, the City has combined ideas put forth by the public to build this preferred alternative.
“We’ve done extensive research and heard thousands of comments from the community, and this is the preferred alternative that has been created with the residents’ voices,” said Supervising Planner Amy Lyle. “Once Council and the Planning Commission weigh in on this document on Oct. 25, it will start the final phase of approval for an updated general plan and a comprehensive vision to firmly place Santa Rosa as a diverse, equitable, and sustainable community built on civic engagement.”
In summary, the preferred alternative as currently written would shift city planning in the following ways:
- Housing and Economic Development
Focuses housing in downtown and around neighborhood shopping centers, and along key corridors, while providing safe access to services; and bolsters the urban core, supporting local businesses with a plan supports up to 24,000 new homes, with a focus on low- to very-low income housing, and 650,000 sq. ft. of new community-serving retail space.
- Efficient and Sustainable Development
Improves connectivity and reduces dependence on single-occupant drivers with greater management of transportation demand and vehicle miles travel (VMT); creates better east-west linkage for walking and biking, builds on existing public transportation (SMART, CityBus, Sonoma Transit); keeps safety and evacuation concerns in mind; and does not exceed the City’s capacity to meet community water needs.
- Resilience and Safety
Limits development in the wildland urban interface (WUI) and builds in greater community resiliency; improves evacuation capacity during wildfires and other emergency events; and supports evacuation needs of zero-vehicle households.
- Equity and Community Health
Everyone, including equity priority communities, have full access to essential goods and services, healthy foods, outdoor activities, and recreation; new housing would be thoughtfully designed and emphasize “visitability”; sets a minimum of 500 feet for new development along Highways 101 and 12; and supports aging in place.
The public is being asked to review the preferred alternative summary and/or the whole document to and weigh in on its approach. TAKE THE SURVEY
In addition, for those wanting to hear about and discuss these changes in-person, people can attend one of two open houses this month. At an open house, participants will hear a 10-minute presentation (given at the top of each hour) and have the opportunity to review materials, discuss them with the project team, and provide comments and input on the various strategies included in the preferred alternative. Open houses will be presented in English and Spanish, with childcare and food provided. Those open houses are:
- Open House #1: Wednesday, October 12, 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sonoma County Central Library, 211 E Street, Santa Rosa
- Open House #2: Saturday, October 15, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Lighthouse Church, 920 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa
To watch the City Council and Planning Commission review the draft plan, visit the City of Santa Rosa’s YouTube page on October 25. VIEW PAGE
For more information on the general plan update, the open houses, and the survey, go to santarosaforward.com/PrefAltSummary.