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Roseland Review - January 2016 - Duane Dewitt

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Reunite Roseland…Before Courthouse Square!


by Duane De Witt

“Smooth pavement does not always mean smooth sailing ahead!”  Those sage words of advice were told to me by long time Roseland resident Bruce Ohlinger. He has been living on Burbank Ave. since he went to Santa Rosa High School in the 1930s. He only left Roseland to serve our country in World War II as a Sailor fighting in the Pacific against the Japanese at the Battle of Leyte Gulf and during the liberation of the Philippine Islands. He returned home after the war to marry his sweetheart and raise his family. He had his 90th birthday in December. His words came to mind before Christmas as I rolled down the newly paved portion of Sebastopol Rd. between Dutton Ave. and the railroad tracks. It is “smooth as butter” there right now. But when you get to the railroad tracks it is still potholes galore with a bone rattling, car breaking, roadway on the east side of the tracks in front of the proposed Village Station housing development which may go on the old site of the Point St. George’s Fishery. Time will tell!

Tennis Wick, director of Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department told Roseland Review, in the New Year residents of the Roseland County Island WILL NOT be doing their building permits and zoning change requests through the city of Santa Rosa. When asked about this he pointed out the city is not ready for the change yet. It may not be until the actual annexation takes place in late 2017, if ever.

If you have questions about the Roseland annexation proposal, and the development of the Roseland Village Plaza, try to come to a lunch time meeting of the local group Los Cien on Jan. 29, 2016 at 11:30 am to 1 pm. They have recently become quite influential power brokers in Roseland and they will actually be holding there next big meeting in Roseland at the new branch of the Sonoma County Library at the area where the Boys and Girls Club opened in the same building as the library branch. This is in the Dollar Tree Store building on the west side of the 7 acre Roseland Village Shopping Center on Sebastopol Rd. Remember West Ave. dead ends into the Shopping Center right there at the street light, so you cannot miss the site.

One of the readers of Roseland Review asked about the “possibility of a Santa Rosa Police Sub Station in the Roseland Community Center before the annexation is complete.” This seems like it would be an excellent question to ask at the meeting of Los Cien. Keep in mind there is currently a two-year agreement for the Dollar Tree Store to stay there in Roseland Village while the development of the “Roseland Plaza” envisioned for the site is completed.  But that could take much longer than two years to get going. The Police could move into the Dollar Tree site with the County keeping the Library and Boys and Girls Club rolling along no matter how long the redevelopment of the Roseland Village Plaza will take in the future.

Santa Rosa is holding some of their Roseland Annexation and Roseland Specific Plan community meetings in January and February. First there will be a Thursday, January 21, 2016 event at 6 pm to 8 pm. It is a Steering Committee Meeting of the city Roseland team at Roseland Village Neighborhood Center at 777 Sebastopol Road. This is the same place where all the other good things are now happening. Omar Gallardo of Land Paths recently told the Review, “Roseland is Sexy now!” The proof is in the pudding as the meetings are coming over into the new Community Center in a big way. Along with the Steering Committee there is another meeting on Thursday, February 18, 2016 from 6 pm to 8 pm. This is the big Community meeting with food and childcare while folks talk of the issues. Specifically to “share ideas on potential policy topics (action items) of the Specific Plan.” Plus, to “get a preview of the draft land use and circulation plan” that was prepared based on community input. All this will also let you “learn about and provide input on the potential annexation.” Good Fun!

On a more serious note, the homeless encampment established at Roseland Village in November may have been located to another area of Sonoma County by then. But there have only been vague assurances the closing date is Feb. 1, 2016.

Roseland residents will need to contact Supervisor Carrillo’s office and Chuck Regalia’s office to get the most recent information. You can also ask for updates there on when  is “until a suitable long-term solution can be found.”  The phone for Supv. Carrillo is (707) 565-2241 with email efren.carrillo@sonoma-county.org. Mr. Regalia is at cregalia@srcity.org and phone (707) 543-3010.