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Springs Splash - January 2017 - Thomas Martin

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Springs Splash - January 2017 - Thomas Martin

by Tom Martin

Watch for proposed changes - Democratically participate in your community’s decisions. 

In the near term….Mid-Pen Affordable Housing Development….

The Mid-Pen housing project creating sixty (60) affordable units is near completion. At post time 700 applicants for housing in the pastel colored walls facing Highway 12 know where they stand and await knowledge if they have been selected or rejected. Hopefully the Mid-Pen lottery system will favor local residents in need. The opening will be in January or February.

Coffee house chatter centers on additional traffic to be created once the new residents settle into their new digs. Also, neighbors voice questions about how one parking space per residence will suffice. Whatever the answers are, sixty families will find new housing. That’s a boon to the neighborhood.  A bike path segment is complete from the apartments to Flowery School. Time for critiques is over; the new housing program is nearly complete! 

As Bryant McGill commented, “Proceed toward ‘success’ with extreme caution.”  On the Horizon for 2017…

How will the many plans and programs on the drawing board affect Springs residents? Will property values be affected? What demographic shifts in population might be anticipated? Watch for these developments. It’s in everyone’s interest to attend meetings called to discuss the many proposals.

Mid-Pen Affordable Housing Part II – Mid-Pen Housing plans call for forty (40) units of Senior Affordable housing adjacent to the nearly completed “Fetters Apartments.”  Mid-Pen has submitted its application to the California Low Income Housing Tax Credit Commission. If approved in March, ground breaking will be late summer. 

The Vailetti Property Between Fetters and Flowery School… is rumored to become a shopping center according to a neighbor. It will be interesting to see plans for access to a shopping center immediately adjacent to a housing development and an elementary school driveway. However, a market will be beneficial to residents of the northern Springs. Watch for an announcement of plans at this important location. 

Springs Specific Plan – Six months ago the County announced an agreement with the De Novo Planning Group of the southbay and a local committee of fifteen (15) as advisors to reshape the Highway 12 corridor. The County wrote the “Plan is intended to guide development and gradually shape the area into a more vibrant and sustainable pedestrian-oriented community with a focus on active transportation and enhanced transit opportunities.”  

The plan is to change or modify land use, transport circulation, modify design, and develop facilities in a band from El Verano to Agua Caliente. This endeavor includes plans for beautification, plazas, and bike paths. Look for a report from either De Novo or one or more of the Commissioners. The Commissioners are Mia Cabrera, Richard Dale, Teresita Fernandez, Patricio Galindo, Maite Iturri, Scott Johnson, Rich Lee, Cathy Shepherd, Michael Ross, Rick Ruiz, Gary Saperstein, Pedro Serrano, Yuliana Camerena, and Ryan Lely

Seems like a report from either the County and/or De Novo is in order. This project will bring major changes. The proposals need public airing and review before they become a fait accompli.  

New Eateries: Watch for the Highway 12 Ramen Shop near Boyes Blvd., and the reconstruction of Uncle Patty’s into a pizza parlor.

The Trumpster’s threat and undocumented residents! At a recent El Verano School meeting discussion centered on the role of law enforcement in the event of a President Trump attempt to remove undocumented residents in the Springs (and Sonoma County). The Sheriff announced they will follow current policy that says unless a person is involved in illegal behavior his office will not assist federal authorities in the deportation of residents. 

Sup. Susan Gorin introduced Jerry Threet, a new County officer leading an organization (IOLERO) that will provide residents with the opportunity to register complaints about law enforcement. Threet will investigate and report to the sheriff, supervisors, and public when charges are made. Mr. Threet is an ombudsman who serves to ameliorate charges and differences between law enforcement and citizens. IOLERO stands for Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach

For more information visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/IOLERO. Those wishing to speak with Jerry Threet may contact him at 707-565-1534 or Jerry.Threet@sonoma-county.org.  

Happy New Year!