Oct 23, 2017
by Duane Dewitt
Roseland residents from many walks of life reached out to help the victims of the Tubbs fires and Nunn fires along with the Oakmont fire from Oct 9th through the 23rd. Various churches such as the First United Methodists on Giffen Ave. on the western edge of Roseland, and the Stony Point ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on the corner of North Point Parkway worked long and hard to help those in need. Throughout the community there was an outpouring of assistance and help to those who were in need during this very traumatic time. There had been early fears the fires would spread into Roseland with possible evacuation orders being discussed for the areas as far south as Hearn Ave.
Fate spared Roseland from the flames and the heartbreak so many in Santa Rosa have suffered, especially in Coffey Park the northwest Santa Rosa neighborhood devastated in the early hours of the fire on Monday October 9. One former Roseland resident who was living in Coffey Park posted photos of his destroyed home with posters saying to be “Coffey Strong”. This is a strong reminder to all of us Roseland residents to be vigilant also as fires can occur quickly at any time. There had been a fire on the Roseland Creek Elementary School property in September at the Roseland Creek wooded riparian corridor to the south of the school sports field. It was put out quickly before spreading into the adjoining residential neighborhoods though some fences were burned. School employees in the District Offices were evacuated.
It is very important for all Roseland residents to make sure they have made “defensible space” around their homes. If residents are renters they need to make sure landlords are attentive to the risks of fire and also they should be ready for earthquakes. Now the damage has been done to over thousands of local homes it is also going to make rental markets for housing units intense. In the past we have written about three or four of the various housing projects in the works for Roseland, but they are all a long way from completions.
The Crossroads project on Burbank Ave. is the closest to completion with 79 units of rental housing to be available in 2018. The Paseo Vista project on Dutton Ave. near Hearn is in the ground work stage as is the Village Station project on Sebastopol Rd. and Boyd St. There is a project also underway at the old Golf Driving Range sit next to Highway 12 and Stoney Point Rd. This is known as The Villas project and is in the groundwork stage also. Potentially there are hundreds of housing units in the works for Roseland but hey will not be of much help until 2018
What is desperately need now are places to live for Roseland residents at an affordable price. This could be helped if the city and county worked together to allow the use of temporary housing on sites in the area owned by the local government agencies. Trailers and the use of other buildings such as warehouses and commercial buildings should be allowed now for short term use to alleviate the hardships before winter hits. Government agency meetings which have been suspended for the last few weeks will begin being held again. Affordable housing needs to be a priority topic for discussion at both the city and county levels.
The first day of November all of Roseland is now under the jurisdiction of the city of Santa Rosa due to the successful reorganization and annexation of the former Roseland county island. This should help for there to be a more coordinated approach on matters such as housing. Most of the meetings mention in the last issue of the Roseland Review were cancelled due to the fires. This column will do its best to keep the public informed about the important meetings coming up which will be impacting our quality of life in Roseland. Also look to the Sonoma County Gazette for updates about meetings because some will be announced before our next publication date.
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