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Cloverdale Comments - October 2016


Cloverdale Comments - October 2016

by Carol Russell

“In Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all... good deisgn must pimarlily serve people. — Thomas J. Watson

Leaving Highway 101 at the downtown exit brings you to the intersection of Citrus Fair Drive and Cloverdale Boulevard. In front of you and slightly to your right are the fairgrounds. Just to the left is a large piece of undeveloped property purchased years ago by the City. Called Thyme Square, it sits like a blank canvas that’s waiting for a creative but practical vision with the potential to become a reality.  

On September 13th, the Cloverdale City Council approved a Conceptual Site Design that hopefully will provide development space for three much needed services to our community plus new businesses. Here are its four components:

Alexander Valley Healthcare (AVHC) has grown exponentially since its 1994 inception. A federally qualified health center, AVHC is the only primary care provider between Healdsburg and Ukiah with a patient roster that’s soared to over 28,000 visits per year. Bursting at the seams, expanded space will accommodate new services and more staff as AVHC evolves into the Alexander Valley Wellness Center. Located at the corner of Healdsburg Avenue and fronting Cloverdale Boulevard, the AVWC building is designed to create a pleasant aesthetic with floor space of 38,000 square feet and three floors where Cloverdalians and other patients will be able to access primary care, alternative wellness programs, mental health and dental services plus more.  

Our Police Department also finds a permanent home within the Conceptual Site Design. Today it is squeezed into the old, “seismically deficient” Fire Station on Broad Street at the Plaza. A well-designed, two floor, 16,000 square foot headquarters fronting Healdsburg Avenue (that includes appropriate parking and police vehicle accommodations!) will go a long way to helping the Department continue on its positive trajectory well into the future. 

At the rear of Thymes Square’s “blank canvas”, across from Washington Middle School, a Skate Park, taking up approximately a half an acre, has been mapped out. The location is near the Middle School and relatively central to residential areas. A Skate Park has been a dream for 10 to 15 years, with possible location ideas proposed by its advocates all around the City. However, securing a safe, accessible location and, with the arrival of the Great Recession, finding the necessary funding the wonderful, intergenerational group of people who worked so hard to make it a reality were overwhelmed. 

 During “Public Comments”, the City Council had the pleasure of hearing supportive comments from parents and a number of exceptional youngsters. These youthful skateboarding advocates exercised their democratic rights with enthusiasm as they offered inspiring explanations of the value of such a park to them, their friends and school mates. Most remarkably, they understood both the protocol and how to argue their case with politeness and a moving sincerity that served as an example to the Council and other adults in attendance which could not be denied.

 Lastly, the concept includes retail/restaurant/office space utilizing 25,000 square feet in a one and two-floored building complex at the corner of Citrus Fair Drive and Cloverdale Boulevard. Several possibilities come to mind for these spaces such as a café accommodating the employees and patients/patrons of Thyme Square.

 The Conceptual Design includes plenty of parking with electric vehicle, bicycle and ADA spots and, along the Boulevard frontage, space for landscaping plus a public sculpture plaza. 

 Spaces like these four accommodating safety and healthcare plus places for adults and children to become engaged are “practical and aesthetic aspects” serving our community. 

 Granted: All this is still at the early stages. Now each organization must find its own funding and travel through the various procedural steps to actualize their specific part of the Conceptual Design.

 In the future? Yes! But envisioning and then designing a concept must take place before building a reality can happen. Luckily, working together with the City and one another to make our visions happen is something Cloverdalians do very well indeed.

Correction to September’s Column: Our apologies! We inadvertently referred to Carol’s talented neighbor as “Steve” when his name is Robert! What was not incorrect was all of the great fun and music Robert and Ginny Bauer created at their Block Party which we wrote about. Check out Robert’s popular band and their new CD: