May 25, 2019
by Duane Dewitt
With the wonderful wet winter we have had this year “potholes” have been multiplying fast. With the weather changing there is hope some Roseland roads will be repaired this summer. According to a recent Santa Rosa news release, work is already happening. Along a portion of Roseland Ave. north of Sebastopol Rd. Santa Rosa City road repair crews, “Removed 10 yards of dirt and gravel from the surface of the road then installed new asphalt pavement”. There is a need for many Roseland roads to be repaired as soon as possible. But with the city of Santa Rosa in a “Structural deficit” for the budget it will take many years to get roads repaired.
According to the same press release, “This summer, funding received through the annexation agreement for capital improvement projects will fund the Roseland Pavement Maintenance Project to rehabilitate Rose Avenue and Sunset Avenue. The pavement improvements completed by our streets crews are in addition to the annexation agreement for the annual capital improvement projects.” Both the city and the county are putting in $662,000.00 each, every year for a decade, to help repair the long neglected infrastructure of local roads inside Roseland. There are many things planned, such as building of a permanent Roseland Library branch.
During a two day study session for a Santa Rosa city budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020 it was stated there may be an opportunity to have $150,000.00 put into keeping a branch library open when the current library building is demolished. The rebuilding of the Roseland Village Shopping Center to be a site for housing is going slower than expected by Sonoma County officials. When the existing library site is destroyed it may take up to five years or more to get the new library project done. For now it appears the county plans on having the library in the Food Maxx Shopping Center on the west side of Stony Pt. Rd. in the Wright District.
On Tuesday May 21, 2019 during the first day of the Santa Rosa budget study session the city manager Sean McGlynn put forward a “reorganization” proposal for city service which will affect Roseland. The city Recreation and Parks Department planning processes will go under the city Planning and Economic Development Department. The Parks maintenance and upkeep will go under the Public Works and Transportation Department. This may be more helpful to folks interested in saving four houses in the Roseland Creek Park. All four of the houses were purchased with the help of Sonoma County Taxpayers starting in 2010. First a 3 bedroom house at 1400 Burbank Ave. was purchased for $2.5 million.
Next a 3 bedroom house at 1027 McMinn Ave. was purchased for $1.6 million with a match of a donation of the same amount from Exchange Bank which held a “bank note” on the property. Less than a year ago two houses, a 3 bedroom house and a 1 bedroom cottage at 1370 Burbank Ave., were purchased using $1.8 million of taxpayers’ money. The city recently told the Press Democrat it was preparing to demolish not just these four houses, but also other nice houses the city owned. Local Roseland veterans have discussed the idea of saving the Roseland houses by moving them to city (taxpayers) owned land at the corner of Rose Ave. and Stony Pt. Rd.
When the city decided to widen Stony Pt. Rd. a number of houses on the east side of the road, with a total of 17 housing units, were purchased and destroyed by the city. The lot on the north side of Rose Ave. is large enough for up to six houses if planned correctly. Across the street on the southern corner of Rose Ave. and Stony Pt. Rd. the lot is large enough for the one bedroom cottage slated for demolition at 1372 Burbank Ave. The city of Santa Rosa could be receiving rent for these taxpayer owned houses. Helping to increase revenues for the city operating at a deficit would be a positive outcome while preserving affordable housing. The city has stated time and again “preservation of housing” is a top priority. Now is the time for the city to show it is not just hollow rhetoric and they will walk their talk.
A number of veterans from Roseland have stated there should be another Veterans Village put on the west side of Santa Rosa. At least three local veterans have stated they would be willing to help on this type of a project. Roseland Review will pursue the news they can use to save houses.
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