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Roseland Review - March 2015

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Roseland Review - March 2015

by Duane De Witt

Thursday March 5th there are two important meetings affecting potential opportunities for Roseland residents to have a better future for their community. These important meetings will have an opportunity for community members to interact with the elected officials responsible for local governmental decisions affecting Roseland in the future. The first is at 9 am when Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane hosts an “Affordable Housing Incentives” workshop in the North Coast Builders Exchange at 1030 Apollo Way in south west Santa Rosa. At the first meeting Santa Rosa Mayor John Sawyer will also be one of the speakers along with Ms. Zane. Mr. Sawyer is now also a member of the Roseland Annexation Committee for the city of Santa Rosa. This meeting will be discussing how builders may be able to get more affordable housing built in Sonoma County. This is relevant to Roseland residents because a number of housing projects in Roseland, or nearby, are now working through the city of Santa Rosa planning process for permits and entitlements to build.

Later that day from 6-8 pm at Roseland School multipurpose room on 950 Sebastopol Rd. the Sonoma County Community Development Commission is hosting a community forum with the Advisory Group for the Roseland Village Neighborhood Center Project. According to a meeting flyer distributed to community members, “Plans for a Request for Preliminary Proposals for Development of the Roseland Village property will be discussed.” For more information about the meeting you can contact Beau Anderson or Mr. John Haig the Project Manager at Phone: (707) 565-7508 or by email at Beau.Anderson@ sonoma-county.org or email for Mr. Haig at John.Haig@sonoma-county.org

On Monday Feb 23, 2014 the Sonoma County Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force Meeting received a report from a Community Engagement and Healing subcommittee stating, “We strongly recommend that the Board of Supervisors strongly support services in Roseland by investing in parks, libraries, and programs for youth, etc.” This is an important local statement of support for what many Roseland residents have been saying for decades. They need more parks and places for children to play, such as a community youth center as well as their own Library branch in Roseland. During previous meetings about the Roseland Village project there have been a number of speakers mentioning these ideas.

At the Tuesday, February 17, 2015 meeting of the Roseland Village Task Group from 3:00 PM-4:30 PM there was some discussion of these possibilities for community public facilities to be located at the Roseland Village. An encouraging note a staff member from the Santa Rosa Junior College was in attendance to hear some of the discussions about ideas to possibly site an “Extension” or “Satellite” branch of the Junior College at the Roseland Village. This would entail moving the existing Southwest Santa Rosa branch Junior College facilities from South Wright Rd. where they currently reside at a form elementary school site.

Omar Paz, the Student Trustee on the Santa Rosa Jr. College Board of Trustees is also a member of the 15 person Roseland Village Task Group. He has been talking with local educator Alex Templeton about the possibilities of including Sonoma State University into a broadened proposal for a Roseland Community Center. Such a community center could be built into the Roseland Village Plaza plan which has already received taxpayer funding for a one acre plaza. There is an additional 6 acres of taxpayer owned land on the site with provision of $3.5 million of funding for affordable housing to be built on site with infrastructure improvements.

County taxpayers have footed the bill for the demolition of the buildings previously occupying the site of the Rose Bowl and the Alpha Beta/Lucky’s/Albertsons store. The Dollar Tree store still on the site in a building shared with Furniture 2000 will be allowed to stay for a short while longer as the county renegotiates the lease while planning for future uses of Roseland Village. Roseland residents and other supporters of the community are encouraged to make their viewpoints known both the city and the county officials involved with the Roseland Village.

Other affordable housing in Roseland may be coming forward sooner than later now the, “Housing Authority, by resolution, approved a commitment of funds for a Further Advance in the amount of $2,300,000 to assist Burbank Housing Development Corporation with development costs for Crossroads, a 79-unit multifamily affordable rental housing development located at 1980-2010 Burbank Avenue (the Project), contingent upon approval by the County of an additional 13 Project Based Section 8 Vouchers for the Project.” This occurred at the Monday Feb. 23 meeting of the Santa Rosa Housing Authority. The website can give you more information about Roseland Area projects by the city of Santa Rosa. http://www.srcity.org/departments/cityadmin/city_manager/roseland/Pages/default.aspx