Apr 29, 2019
by Duane Dewitt
Gentrification of Roseland is in full swing this Spring. Look all around Roseland and as flowers are blooming the construction of housing is zooming. Over 600 new housing units are being built inside the boundaries of Roseland as the price of local housing is going through the roof. On Dutton Ave. the Paseo Vista “affordable housing” complex given waivers of various city and county requirements because single units of family housing would “only” cost $350,000.00 now has prices close to half a million dollars per unit. In north Roseland on Boyd St. at Sebastopol Rd. the Village Station housing complex is selling units at $500,000.00. These prices might be bearable to the middle class of Santa Rosa, but many lower income Roseland renters would be hard pressed to be able to purchase their own Roseland home at these costs.
Displacement is the term used to describe when local Roseland residents move away because they cannot keep up with a rising cost of living which comes with gentrification. It appears the city of Santa Rosa is encouraging gentrification as it has named Roseland an “opportunity zone”. Recently the city hosted dozens of out of town developers to tour the area to see how the city will welcome new development proposals. This was reported in Bay Area news outlets pointing out Santa Rosa rolling out the welcome mat to newcomers. With this in mind it has been reported by The Press Democrat investors from Healdsburg have opened the new Tia Maria bakery on Sebastopol Rd. Another Healdsburg investor has been chosen to operate the new “food court” being planned where Sonoma County taxpayers have purchased land at the Roseland Village Shopping Center to have a Plaza.
For over 20 years Santa Rosa and Sonoma County negotiated how to complete an annexation of Roseland started in 1995 by the city. The city encircled Roseland and then began to allow housing development on the edges without improving the fundamental infrastructure much. Recently the city has stated it will do Roseland Pavement maintenance on some inner Roseland roads. Danny Chen, an Assistant engineer for Santa Rosa wrote area residents stating an “overlay” will be done on certain roads. It appears it will be Rose Ave. and the western portion of Sunset Ave.
“Overlay is a type of street surface repair in which the deteriorated street surface is ground and removed. Once the surface pavement is removed, crew then spread a layer of new hot mix asphalt concrete over the roadway which is rolled and compacted before allowing traffic on the street.” according to a letter Chen sent out to area residents. This will make many local residents happy and residents of other streets such as Hughes Ave. are hoping this is the beginning of a series of road repairs to improve Roseland. John Murray a 34 year resident homeowner in Roseland stated he would like to see Hughes Ave. be a one way street because of the heavy traffic on the narrow street.
Some residents of the western portion of Sunset Ave. have also expressed an interest in one way streets as well as speed bumps to help slow traffic down. Danny Chen can be reached at (707) 543-3911 or email at DChen@srcity.org to ask questions or express your concerns. His letter also assured, “All existing striping and/or marking such as “STOP” legends will be reinstated, and most importantly all curb ramps within the project limits will be modified to meet the current ADA stand.”
Last month on April 3, 2019 the Roseland Fire Protection District was dissolved and folded into a new central Sonoma County Fire District. The existing Roseland Fire Station on Burbank Ave. will continue in operation. According to a story in the Press Democrat there is actually close to $3,000,000 being shifted from Roseland into the city coffers for the building of a new Fire Station in the “Southwest”. There were only 1100 voters and 2200 landowners involved in the Fire District with only 31 people registering protests against the reorganization, so it passed.
On Saturday, April 20, over two dozen volunteers converged on the Roseland NeighborWood to do a “Spring clean” of the area. Some volunteers were from the Milo Baker Chapter of the local California Native Plant Society. Lee Pierce, an Army veteran and former Santa Rosa City Council member came out to look at the area where local veterans are advocating for a Veterans Trail along the bikeway/greenway to be built along the south side of Roseland Creek. This Memorial Day please remember those Roseland veterans who have served our country. Some gave their lives, such as George Maybee in World War II and Charles “Skip” Catelli from Hughes Ave who died 50 years ago in Vietnam.
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