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Roseland Review - June 2016 - Duane Dewitt

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Roseland Review - June 2016 - Duane Dewitt

by Duane De Witt

Rescue Roseland Refugees Please!

On Thursday May 12, 2016 it appeared the five candidates for Sonoma County 5th District Supervisor election this year did not really know much about Roseland. There was a Candidates Forum at 6 pm to 7:30 pm at the Roseland Library branch with about 50 people in attendance from the community. There were also staff from the county and the candidates each had people there with them while staff from the Press Democrat newspaper in Santa Rosa were also there to moderate the event. However few of the candidates knew Roseland issues in depth and most just spoke in vague generalities about the future for Roseland should they be elected on June 7, 2016. Make sure to get out there and vote.

Because there are “Big Bombshells” on the immediate horizon for Roseland this column will deal more with land use development in two neighborhoods of Roseland rather than politicians. First up is word the Redwood Gospel Mission of Santa Rosa is seeking to build a facility in Roseland on Roberts Road at the site of the former Shamrock Cement plant next to the Joe Rodota Trail. This is also right next to a portion of the railroad tracks for the new Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit system planning to open service by the beginning of 2017. On Thursday May 26, 2016 at 4 pm the matter was heard by the Santa Rosa Planning Commission. The proposal is for a 24-hour “Rehabilitation” facility with room for up to 500 people in over 15 buildings at the 2.5-acre site straddling Roberts Road. This project is within the Santa Rosa city limits so there is information available at the city website srcity.org/.

Final approval for this project will have to come from the Santa Rosa City Council so there may be an opportunity for interested Roseland residents to make comments for the record about the project. Along with the current homeless camp next to the Joe Rodota Trail behind the Roseland Library Branch building it appears a new trend of “officially” congregating homeless people in Roseland is underway for the long term. This goes along with another policy of siting “affordable housing” for non-Roseland residents in Roseland. An example of this is a project on Burbank Ave. for 79 units of apartments for “extremely low, very low and low income” people.

The 4.85-acre project is costing taxpayers $38 million dollars and may begin this summer. Potential residents for the site to be operated by Burbank Housing Development Corporation will be picked in a lottery to be announced later in the summer. The site is right next to the Sheppard School site off of Liana Dr. which will be extended through to Burbank Ave. from West Ave. There will be 136 parking spaces at the site so there is definitely far more traffic in store for this part of west Roseland. This project is in the County so information about it is available from sonoma-county.org/.

This area of Roseland in the “county island” has been proposed for annexation into the city of Santa Rosa for many years. But for the last two years the city and the county have not been able to come to terms on an agreement to end the county island any time soon. Perhaps after the Nov. 2016 elections the city and county elected officials may be able to come to terms on this issue. The current round of annexation discussions has been underway for two full years now with no resolution in site. At the city of Santa Rosa budget study session on Tuesday May 17, 2016 both the city fire chief and city police chief did not raise objections regarding Roseland annexation. In the past the stumbling blocks were usually about the costs for these city services. Now it appears the concerns regard sharing of county tax revenues with the city after annexation. On a positive note the city transportation and public works director stated the Stony Pt. Road rebuilding was on track to be finish in another year.