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Sonoma County Gazette
Roseland Review by Duane Dewitt

News from Roseland


Aug 1, 2018
by Duane Dewitt


June 7, 2018 at 2:30 pm Mr. Robert Jackson, an Assistant City Attorney for Santa Rosa, was in the Superior Court of former Santa Rosa City Attorney Rene Chouteau to have a lady evicted from a house the city of Santa Rosa was buying in Roseland. Judge Chouteau sided with the city contention the woman had to be evicted prior to the purchase of the property by the city. However the judge pointed out the city could make arrangements for the lady to stay on the site until the city demolishes the house. This sounded like a recommendation to this reporter. But the city ignored the statement. The lady was evicted by the property owner as directed to do so by the city of Santa Rosa and Mr. Jackson.

With an ongoing “housing crisis” of lack of housing it is sad this Roseland resident was forced out onto the streets by the city. It is ironic because now the city of Santa Rosa will be putting tax increase Ballot Initiatives on the November Ballot to pay for “new” affordable housing to be built. This is while the city has been holding onto houses in Roseland already bought by Sonoma County taxpayers and keeping them empty. So the taxpayers paid “Top Dollar” for houses which the city has now claimed are “surplus” and has told the public the city will demolish the houses. Wasteful!

This reporter will not be supporting any tax increases, nor any wasting of tax payers’ money. The city needs to save the already existing houses and buildings owned by the taxpayers. They can be used for housing while this “housing crisis” continues. When the crisis has passed the structurally sound buildings could be re-adapted for different uses. Just imagine if the old Albertson’s Store and the Rose Bowl had been kept intact and put to use while Sonoma County has spent years trying to work with “non-profit” developers to build some affordable housing at the Roseland Village Shopping Center. There could have been some income flow for the taxpayers instead of the constant drain of money paid out to deal with the homeless encampments at the site and along the Joe Rodota Trail.

Some readers have asked Roseland Review to find out the amount of money spent so this will be a future topic for readers. Also some have asked, “What happened to the Bowling Alley equipment?” Where did all that beautiful, fully functional, equipment go once the county taxpayers bought the site? Obviously, there will need to be more research on this and other topics so Roseland Review will start the process. Why is the Roseland Village site still dealing with “contamination” issues? Plus we have to find out how much taxpayers’ money the city spent for the two houses just purchased on Burbank Ave. also? Busy times are ahead.

In east Roseland the Stony Point Rd. reconstruction is moving ahead for completion by the end of the year. So far additional travel lanes have been added to Stony Point Road from Hearn Ave. in the south up to Sebastopol Rd. in north Roseland according to the city. The city website states, “Roseland Creek culvert bridge will be widened…the roadway will be completely reconstructed and repaved… and a landscaped median will be added.”

Of interest to bicyclists is the fact, “Bicycle lanes will be added on both sides of Stony Point Road.” It has been a dangerous ride along either side of the road for many years. One other thing which could be helpful is “Street lighting will be enhanced along this corridor.”

Another important feature not mentioned much is the addition of “Street Trees” both on the sides of the road, and in the median. Street trees can act as an urban bio-filter to help lower air pollution Roseland suffers more than most other areas of Sonoma County. The Roseland area has a very high amount of child asthma cases so those trees may be a welcome addition to the area. The city will be doing some street “slurry sealing” in the neighborhoods off of Stony Point Rd. at Lazzini and Trombetta streets and including the “new” section of Hughes Ave. west of Burbank Ave.

The other one block long section of “old” Hughes Ave., perhaps the most rutted and run down street in Roseland won’t be touched by the city yet. Supposedly this section of roadway and the Corby Ave. section similarly rutted and rundown are to be improved by the county in the future. This was supposedly agreed to be done with the signing of the Roseland Annexation agreement by the city and the county. Recently the excuse for no action has been, “because of the fires.” Since 2008 the previous excuse was the “economic downturn.”

Now we must wonder, will the current excuse last another 10 years?


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