Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Original Downtown Subcommittee Presentation - August 2015.

Important Meetings Early in the New Year


2016 is off to a great start for exploring homeless and affordable housing, Roseland annexation, and for civic engagement.  For those of us who pleaded with the City of Santa Rosa, and the County of Sonoma, to engage citizens to respond to the housing crisis , we're about to see what their responses were.  Not counting SRT Steering Committee meetings, or our meetings with individual City Council members or City staff, here are some of the important meetings where we can learn and influence more in January and February.

January 4th
     9:30 - Task Force on the Homeless, 1551 Montgomery Drive
   11:00 - Homeless Action, 1551 Montgomery Drive
     1:00 - Rent Stabilization Subcommittee, City Hall
     5:30 - S.R. Participatory Budgeting-Capital Improvements Budget, CAB Mtg, 704 Bennett Valley Road
January 5th
     9:00 - Safe Parking Expansion, Tiny House Pilot Project, Child Welfare Supportive Services, BOS Chambers, County Administration Drive
    10:00 - Downtown Square Reunification Community Meeting, 19 Old Courthouse Square

January 7th
    5:30 - S.R. Participatory Budgeting-Capital Improvements Budget, CAB Mtg, 2060 College Ave

January 11th
    9:30 - Homeless Action, 1551 Montgomery Drive
    5:30 - S.R. Participatory Budgeting-Capital Improvements Budget, CAB Mtg, 7902 Oakmont Drive

January 14th
    5:30 - S.R. Participatory Budgeting-Capital Improvements Budget, CAB Mtg, 415 Steele Lane

January 15th
    3;30 - Homeless Conversation Project Mtg, 465 A Street

January 18th
     9am - Martin Luther King Day Activities
     2pm - Homeless Action Homeless and Housing Conference, Chanate Road

January 19th
     3:00 - Reimagining CitiBus, City Hall

January 21st
     5:30 - Roseland Village Neighborhood Center Advisory, 779 Sebastopol Rd
     5:30 - S.R. Participatory Budgeting-Capital Improvements Budget, CAB Mtg, 950 Sebastopol Rd

January 25th
    9:30 - Homeless Action, 1551 Montgomery Drive

January 26th
    3:00 - Rent Stabilization Ordinance, City Hall
    5:00 - Courthouse Square Reunification, City Hall

February 8th
    9:30 - Homeless Action, 1551 Montgomery Drive

February 9th
   10:00 - SRJC Homeless Rally & Support Faire, 1501 Mendocino Ave
     3:00 - City Goals Review, City Hall
     3:00 - City's Role in Child Care, City Hall

February 18th
     6:00 - Roseland Area Projects Steering Committee Workshop, 769 Sebastopol Rd

February 22nd
    9:30 - Homeless Action, 1551 Montgomery Drive

February 23rd
    4:00 - Housing Funding Resources, City Hall

Monday, December 21, 2015

Santa Rosa to Engage in Participatory Budgeting


The City of Santa Rosa will be organizing a series of community meetings in an effort to obtain public input on the City’s Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget for 2016/2017.

These meetings represent a great opportunity to learn about the different types of capital improvement projects, their funding sources, and the process followed to prioritize them. 

The community meetings will be held from 5:30PM to 7:30PM on the following dates and locations:

January 4, 2016   Bennett Valley Senior Center, 704 Bennett Valley Road
January 7, 2016   Finley Community Center, Willow Room, 2060 West College Avenue
January 11, 2016 Oakmont East Community Center, 7902 Oakmont Drive
January 14, 2016 Steele Lane Community Center, De Meo Room, 415 Steele Lane
January 21, 2016 Roseland Elementary School Library, 950 Sebastopol Road

Translation for Spanish-speaking attendees will be provided. Everyone is welcome. Please forward this message to others.

More information about the CAB can be found at http://srcity.org/departments/cityadmin/cab


Jaime PeƱaherrera | Community Engagement Director, MBA, MA
Office of the City Manager |100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Room 10 | Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tel. (707) 543-3010 |Fax (707) 543-3030 | jpenaherrera@srcity.org

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Santa Rosa City Council Agenda, December 15th


Thanks to our friend, Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens for Santa Rosa:


3:00PM   There is a study session entitled 4.1 Review of Sonoma County and Local Law Enforcement Task Force Recommendations. These recommendations take into account the whole county. This review will encompass all that apply to Santa Rosa and give information about what the Santa Rosa Police Department is doing with them. The presenter will be Hank Schreeder, Santa Rosa Police Chief.

15.1 Approval of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California Host City Agreement.
   AEG, the owner of the Tour, has asked Santa Rosa to host the Saturday, May 21,2016 Stage Seven Start and Finish of the Men's Tour and Stage Three Start and Fish of the Women's Tour.
      In addition to infrastructure and general production costs, part of the tour hosting obligation is to enter into other agreements such as facility rental agreements in individual amounts that do not exceed $100,000.  The cost to produce what is suggested is estimated to not exceed $350,000.   
      All funds for this purpose are raised through private donations and from the City and County Tourism Business Improvement Area assessment funds.   No General Fund money is spent for this.

15.2 Complete Streets Policy.
      Complete streets are those designed to serve all users. Although Santa Rosa's General Plan 2035 has policies envisioning complete streets, an adopted policy will meet eligibility requirements for One Bay Area Grant funding. See more information below:

16.1 Work Plan  The Council will hear a review of projects the staff is working on at their direction, including the department responsible and the timeline anticipated.

21 Upcoming meetings

Anne Seeley

484-8722 (cell)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Roseland Area Projects Steering Committee Meeting in Jan/Feb

Roseland Area Projects Steering Committee Members,

I am pleased to announce that the next Steering Committee meeting and Community Workshop have been scheduled!  Please mark your calendars…and note our new location! 

Steering Committee Meeting 4: 

                Where:                 Roseland Village Neighborhood Center
777 Sebastopol Road

                When:                  Thursday, January 21, 2016
                                                5:30 p.m. social/food
                                                6 p.m. – 8 p.m. meeting

Topic:                    Help us plan for Community Workshop 4

Your attendance is important!  Please respond to this email with a YES or NO in the subject line to indicate whether you will be attending the January 21st meeting.

We need to ensure that a quorum of the Steering Committee members are in attendance (51%), so it is imperative that you respond to this email by January 7, 2016. 

Community Workshop 3:

                Where:                 Roseland Village Neighborhood Center
777 Sebastopol Road

                When:                  Thursday, February 18, 2016
                                                6:00-8:00 p.m. Open House (please stop by any time during these hours)

                Topic:                    Share ideas on potential policy topics (action items) of the Specific Plan.  Get a preview of the draft land use and circulation plan that was prepared based on community input.  Learn about and provide input on the potential annexation.

Please note:  Similar to Community Workshop 3, this workshop will be an open house format, and you are welcome to stop by anytime between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.  There will not be a formal presentation; however, there will be several activities in which we are hoping to gather feedback from the community.

Food and childcare (for children 3 years and up) will be provided, and the workshop will be conducted in both English and Spanish. 

We are asking that all Steering Committee members commit to bringing two people from the community to the workshop.  We are finalizing the flyer for the workshop, and I will send it out as soon as it is ready. 

We are also looking for volunteers to help at the welcome table at the Community Workshop.  We are looking for four volunteers to fill 30 minute time slots, which will allow time before or after for you to participate in the workshop itself.  Please let me know if you are able to help.

Thank you.  We look forward to seeing you all on January 21st.


Jessica Jones | Senior Planner
Planning & Economic Development |100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Room 3 | Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tel. (707) 543-3410 | Fax (707) 543-3269 | jjones@srcity.org

Sunday, December 6, 2015

S.R. City County Meeting, December 8th


This Tuesday's Santa Rosa City Council meeting agenda contains several items of which SRT members should be aware.  Among them are a 3pm study session in which a presentation entitled "SONOMA COUNTY’S BUILDING HOMES: A POLICY MAKER’S TOOLBOX FOR ENDING HOMELESSNESS" will be delivered by the County Community Development Commission.  Click on the above title to review the ToolBox.

City staff has responded indicating "The tools in the Toolbox overlap considerably with the strategies that the City of Santa Rosa’s has used or is considering to increase the supply of a full spectrum of housing that ranges from affordable housing for extremely low-income households - that could house homeless people and others earning less than 30% of the area median income - to incentivizing higher density market rate housing. The Toolbox may be a springboard for collaboration among the County and nine cities to think regionally about the common housing issues throughout the county."

Nevertheless, considerable discussion has taken place which reveals some frustration in the City over an insensitivity concerning the considerable work being done by the City on the issue.  It should be interesting to listen to Council members responses to the presentation.

Also on the agenda is an update on the progress of the City's Capital Improvement Budget.  Recent discussions by Council Members would lead us to believe that a more open and participative planning and prioritizing process for this significant amount of the City's budget is in the cards.

If you can't attend the meeting, remember you can find the links to watch it LIVE (or any past meeting) by clicking on the City's Meeting Agenda Link. 

And from our Friend, Anne Seeley of Citizens Concerned For Santa Rosa:

There is a Study Session at 3PM. 
2.1 Sonoma County's Building Homes Program.  This is in line with the Council's recent sessions looking at City housing needs and potential.  This program offers information from the county's perspective; its 'Toolbox'. See links to the City staff report and in the second, the county's document.

12.1 City Attorney's salary increase, voted on last week.  The increase is 4.5%, resulting in an annual income of $202,380.  Last week, Duane DeWitt spoke in opposition, commenting on the disparity between City salaries and benefits compared to those of most private residents.

12.2 Ordinance Adoption Amending the City Code to Increase Water and Wastewater Rates in a 5-Year Plan.  The only dissenting vote was by Council member Wysocky, who objected to setting rates out that far, considering conditions might change year to year.  He wants a yearly request and explanation.

Staff responded to him saying that the increases in rates in future rates are just caps on what might be charged, subject to yearly examination. 

I'll see you there!    Anne

Anne Seeley

484-8722 (cell)

There will be a design meeting on Saturday, December 12, at 10AM  at 19 Courthouse Square.  I'm told that this meeting place is on the floor level in a building on the southwest side of the Square, adjacent to 3rd Street.

This meeting is important.  You may know that I've been a long time supporter of reunifying the square, since back in the early 1990's, when a downtown group named Heart of Santa Rosa was working.  Plans have gone up and down and have been delayed by the recession.

This meeting is important because it might be a clash of two opposing concepts of the square.   Those of us who want a simpler, less expensive design with renewal of the side streets along with parking on those streets will be countered by those who don't want parking on the side streets.  Some people are opposed to the side streets because they would require the felling of some redwood trees.  The loss of those trees would be very unfortunate, but they'd be replaced by other trees considered more appropriate for providing shade and whose roots aren't problematic. [I understand and agree with the reverence for redwoods, but this proposal is full of trip-wires and my greatest hope is to get the project built.]

Please do join us!

Thank you!    Anne

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Steering Committee Update - Roseland Area Projects - Sebastopol Area Specific Plan/Annexation


Reviewing the excellent materials produced by the City of Santa Rosa Community Planning Department, it is clear that Jessica Jones and her colleagues have been busy assisting the civic engagement of the members of the Steering Committee and the residents of Roseland.

The Oct 7th materials sent out by Jessica contain both a detailed map and an update of the variety of activities taking place in Roseland.

She also gave the Committee a map which outlines the projects on the S.R. Capital Improvement Plan which are occuring in Roseland.

In addition, she responded to my email earlier this week asking for her latest planning for the Committee:

Hi Gregory,

Glad to hear you and Pat are back from your trip.  I hope you had a wonderful time!

The last Steering Committee meeting and Community Workshop went very well.  We discussed the proposed land use and circulation plans that were developed out of the first two Steering Committee meetings and Community Workshops.  At the Workshop, which was held in an open house format, we also had information on the annexation, parks in the area and transit.  We hope to have the summaries of both meetings available in the near future.

At this time we are finalizing the land use and circulation plans based on input from the above-mentioned meetings, and we are beginning the process of developing policies that will eventually be put into the final Specific Plan document.  The draft policies will be brought before the Steering Committee and the next Community Workshop in the first of the year (specific dates are not set yet, but it will likely be mid-January for the Steering Committee and mid-February for the Community Workshop).

As for the annexation, the City is currently in discussions with the County regarding the cost of providing services.  The next Joint City/County Roseland Annexation Committee meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 19th in the City Manager’s Office.


The County Community Development Commission met on October 7th, at the new Community Center in Roseland, and reviewed the three revised proposals for the development of the Roseland Village Neighborhood Center.   Kathleen Kane and Beau Anderson told us that staff is working on detailed reports concerning the proposals now, and are planning on presenting their recommendations to the Roseland Village Neighborhood Center Advisory Group at 4pm on Thursday, December 3rd at their conference room at 1440 Guerneville Road, and then taking the final recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.  

In addition, the Rotary Cub of Rohnert Park/Cotati presented a Multi-Cultural Celebration on Sunday, Oct 18th, at the new Roseland Village Library (779 Sebastopol Road) to benefit the Library. Finally, the Grand Opening of the Roseland Library took place today, Saturday, November 14th at 11am.  The celebration was a complete success, with everyone involved congratulating each other, and plenty of parents and kids beginning to use its services.  Here are some photos of the event. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Reimagining S.R. CityBus Workshops

On November 5th,6th,12th,and 16th, Santa Rosa is asking your participation in Reimagining CityBus Workshops. 
 Click on these Google Calendar icons to find out where and when.

Monday, October 26, 2015

S.R. City Council meeting, Tuesday, Oct 27th


A report on the upcoming Santa Rosa City Council Meeting, thanks to Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa.


At 3PM there's a Study Session on the City's Parking Program; its current status, money matters, etc.

14.1 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the County and City about a new Santa Rosa Charter School to be organized at 815 Brookwood Drive.  The agreement obligates the City for planning authority over the use of the Garrett and Kraft Buildings on the Fairgrounds property, which is owned by the County.  More details can be found in the link below.

14.2 Community Homeless Assistance Pilot Program (CHAPP) - Safe Parking, Portable Toilets and Temporary Shelter.  The City proposes to allow property owners who meet certain Zoning Code Requirements to allow the placement of the uses listed above, on their property.  See the link below for the staff report and more details.

See you there!    Anne

PS At last week's meeting, neighborhood leader Tom Sawyer spoke at Public Appearances to present the Council the many petition signatures gathered requesting a simpler application process for Neighborhood Block Parties.  In his Bennett Valley neighborhood, he and his neighbors have enjoyed block parties, but find that the applications to fill out in order to close off a (non-arterial) street have gotten longer and more complicated.
YOU, TOO, could present such a request.

See you there!

Anne Seeley

484-8722 (cell)

Monday, September 21, 2015

S.R. City Council Meeting, Tuesday, September 22nd


Thanks again to Anne Seeley of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa:

Friends:   This is an important Council meeting.  For me the most compelling subjects are Courthouse Square Reunification (CSR to me) and also the appeal of a Design Review Board decision on the North St. Apartment Project, which is the subject of the Public Hearing.

2PM Study Sessions
4.1 City Financing Options and Courthouse Square Reunification.  This is a helpful review of the various ways the Council might pay for the City's portion of this project.   Some of it (a new project design plan) is being donated, and there will be  a future donation drive for elaborations on the square after this first phase is complete.   The proposal is the work of a group of downtown property owners and advocates who have produced a much simplified plan for reunifying the square, building the 2 side streets and creation of a water-permeable central area.  In Report items, the Council will choose whether or not to proceed and if so, with which funding mechanism.
I plan to speak for the project in the later item.  Below is more information:

4.2 Development Impact Fee Revue, Session #2.  in this session the consultant , Walter Kieser of Economic and Planning Systems will present information on the possibility of a commercial linkage fee for housing, a summary of the concerns of stakeholders and will offer a menu of Impact Fee Options.   The Council will give direction to staff about how they wish to proceed.  BTW: Thanks to our Greenbelt Alliance NorthBay representative, stakeholders other than the building community were consulted.  Teri Shor assembled a group of longtime housing advocates, including me, to meet with the consultant.
The fees being considered for change are the Capital Facilities Fee (CFF), the Southwest Area Fee and Southeast Area fee (both instituted when area plans  were done for new development in those two parts of the city) and the Parks fee. 

4PM General meeting
6.1 Proclamation for National Latino Heritage Month.
6.2 Proclamation for Assistant City Attorney Michael Casey, who is retiring.
12.4 Support of Transportation Funding.  The National Transportation Research Group listed the Santa Rosa area at 3rd in a list of 25 urban regions with populations between 125,000 and 500,000 for our share of major roads with pavement in poor condition that provide a rough ride.  City staff has provided the Council with a list of projects that might be funded by the League of California Cities.
14.1 Financing Options for the Courthouse Square Reunification project.  It is recommended by the City Manager and the Chief Financial Officer that the the Council, by motion, select a financing method and direct staff to begin the process of pursuing the selected financing method to fund all or part of the project.  My opinion: It is time, I agree, for us to stop discussing and get on with this better project.
14.2 Authority to Issue Design-Build Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to build solar panel arrays on the rooftops of selected public parking structures.  Engineering studies have been done and a couple of downtown parking structures have been ruled out.

Public hearing
15,1 Appeal of the approval by the Design Review Board of the North Street Apartment project.  A complex of apartment buildings providing 20 apartments is proposed, involving a 3-story building next to a 2-story building on the site next to the Bekins warehouse on North St.  The neighbors are not objecting to something being built there; they object to the style of architecture, as not being compatible with the McDonald Avenue Historic Neighborhood to the east and the Ridgeway neighborhood to the west.  This will be difficult, as the City Council members are seeking housing development (although this is not a low-income project).  The architect took as his influences building in other places, not the local neighborhood styling and neighbors believe it doesn't live up to the city's infill policy. 
See you there!   Anne

Wednesday, Sep 30th, Paul Gullixson

League of Women Voters of Sonoma County invites you to -

A look at what readers are talking about

featuring Paul Gullixson
Editorial Director, The Press Democrat

   Wednesday September 30, 2015
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Santa Rosa Central Library
211 E Street
Refreshments will be served

Friday, September 11, 2015

S.R. City Council, Sep 15th


Thanks to Anne Seeley of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa:

Hello friends!

The Council is holding a lot of Study Sessions over the next two months to help them fulfill their recently affirmed goals.    The one for Tuesday starts soon after 3PM and is titled:  
Fair Housing/Ordinance Banning Discrimination Against Persons who Use Housing Vouchers. This is an overview of what's happening and what the law says about it.

4PM Meeting 

Consent   There are several items for bid awards for products and services.

13.1 The Community Advisory Board (CAB) will present its work plan for the coming year.  

13.3 Expedited Permitting for Small Rooftop Solar Systems

13.4 Water Bill Assistance Program.   The Council asked for this to help low-income people with increasing water bills.  It will allow all users to "round up" payments of their bills to fund assistance for low-income households.

Upcoming meetings:

See you there!   Anne

Friday, August 14, 2015

What community projects are you involved with?


SRT is interested in helping distribute information about what community projects our members are a part of.  Use the comments feature below to write up a short answer.  If needed, we'll contact you to gather more information to best inform all of us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

SRT Newsletter Issues: What's Happening in Southwest Santa Rosa?


As you may recall, the Santa Rosa Together Steering Committee recently adopted a set of Strategic Initiatives for 2015. One key initiative is focused on southwest Santa Rosa (SWSR) and the Roseland Annexation. The key objectives for this initiative are:

1.   SRT will partner with others to form and then work in a broad coalition of community leaders and organizations to:
  • Ensure that the residents in SWSR have a strong and organized voice in ongoing city and county outreach efforts, and
  • Work with community leaders to form a community-wide organization in SWSR that is community led and gives the community a strong and organized voice
2.  SRT, working as a part of the broad coalition, will work in and with the existing city and county outreach efforts to ensure that:
  • The efforts are coordinated to ensure that community participation is maximized and that the participation helps to build the capacity of the community to work together
  • The community has a strong and informed voice in the process
  • The community’s voice is heard and incorporated into outcomes
  • The need for an ongoing community voice and organization in SWSR is discussed and supported
SRT members have been active participants in the Roseland Area Projects Steering Committee (the advisory group to the Santa Rosa Roseland Area Specific Plan and the Roseland Annexation Process) and community meetings held in June. SRT members Arthur Deicke, Gregory Fearon, and Pat Kuta are representing SRT on the Roseland Area Projects Steering committee. SRT member Duane DeWitt is also on the Steering Committee as a representative of Roseland Action. SRT members Beth Dadko, Lee Dibble, and Hank Topper have also been involved in various SWSR projects. An update on the Roseland Area Projects was presented to the Santa Rosa City Council on August 11. Click here to read the staff report for more details.

Several SRT steering committee members met with City Manager Sean McGlynn in mid-June to discuss concerns regarding the lack of coordination between the many projects impacting Roseland and the broader southwest area. In addition, members emphasized the importance of city support for the development of a strong community based organization in southwest Santa Rosa.  The city has taken the following steps to address our coordination concerns:
  •  City staff participates in monthly meeting of representatives from all projects impacting SWSR to provide updates and coordinate plans. A group calendar was created for coordination of meetings/events in SWSR to avoid conflicts.
  • The city has recently made changes to the Roseland project web site -- adding Spanish translations; adding a new page listing all the projects underway in SWSR; and launching an online survey and discussion group to provide another way for the community to provide inputs to the Roseland Area Specific Plan and Annexation projects.
Less progress has been made in developing a strong community based organization in SWSR, so Santa Rosa Together, working with the forming SWSR Health Action Chapter, and others, will focus in the coming months on helping the residents of SWSR form the organization they will need to monitor implementation of current planning efforts and take the lead in the ongoing work to strengthen their community.  Overall, the city now seems to be taking community engagement seriously, but there is still a lot of room for improvement and more work to be done.

Finally, we are excited to announce the launch of a campaign to fund a library in Roseland, something the community has dreamed about for many years. To learn more about the plans for the Roseland library and how you can help make it a reality, go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/roseland-village-library/x/8197669#/story.
If you have any questions or feedback on SRT’s work in SWSR, please contact Pat Kuta, Gregory Fearon, or Tanya Narath.

SRT Newsletter Issues: Homelessness

Engaging our City to Address the Needs of the Homeless

Recently, SRT successfully advocated that the city establish a community dialogue on responding to homelessness as part of it’s approach to the affordable housing crisis we are experiencing.  We’d like to further explain our case for this approach.

1) This would not be just “Another Taskforce”
Addressing the needs of homeless people will not be accomplished by better coordination among and funding for our governments and not-for-profit organizations. We have all learned this lesson many times over in our work to address complex issues like preventing crime, improving education, and addressing environmental challenges.  Our governments and not-for-profits can do great work, but they, by themselves, do not have the resources or ability to address these issues.  We know that it takes a community-wide effort that can engage a broad number of our community members at all levels to make real progress on any of our complex challenges.  We need the resources and ideas of our community members at all levels to address the needs of the homeless.  Just as importantly, we need to find common ground and develop a common plan to address this issue so that we are all working together.

We don’t need another taskforce, we need a new process that can engage our community and provide an opportunity for everyone to contribute to the planning and work to address this issue.  We need a process that brings the expertise of our governments and not-for-profits together with the ideas and resources of our community and its many organizations to succeed.

2)   Broad engagement sounds like too much work. Is it worth it?
We have the opportunity to create a broad and effective community wide effort to address the needs of the homeless –an effort that could finally begin to address this issue in significant ways.  In addition, creating a process that brings everyone together, this effort will give us all a chance to get to know each other and learn how to work together more effectively.  This will be a major step forward for our city, increase our ability to address all of our future challenges, and begin to shape the kind of democracy we need to create a great city. 

3)  What would the process of truly engaging our community look like?
Let’s take a close look at an outline for this process, so that we all understand both the time and resources that would be required as well as the potential of that this kind of effort would have.  This outline is based on successful experiences in other cities that have worked to engage their communities.
·       To engage more of our community members and leaders, take this conversation out to the community by forming small groups for facilitated conversations.  Hold these conversations in our neighborhoods, organizations, churches, and schools to give a large number of community members a chance to have a voice and be part of the solution
·       Let’s set a target of at least 50 small group discussions
·       Let’s prepare well so that these discussions have the best chance to succeed:
·       Train facilitators for each of these discussions to ensure that everyone has a voice and to encourage listening and learning from each other,
·       Provide these small groups with the information they need for an informed discussion by forming a group (students, homeless leaders, homeless staff, interested community members, journalists) to produce discussion materials that frame the question, provide information on the homeless and current efforts to address their needs, and known options and costs for addressing the issue from best practices around the world.  Work with the Press Democrat to print and make these materials widely available.
·       Small groups will meet and discuss these materials and their own experiences and work together to find solutions
·       Ideas from small groups will be circulated on city web site and in PD
·       Representatives from all the small groups will convene in a city wide meeting to discuss and work towards a common plan for a community wide effort to meet the needs of the homeless.  Recommendations for City and County action will be presented to Council and the Board of Supervisors for consideration.  An organization, if necessary, will be established to implement the plan.

Let us know if you are interested in hosting or attending a neighborhood meeting on homelessness!  Contact us at:  Pkuta@sonic.net.

Monday, August 10, 2015

S.R. Downtown Subcommittee Hears Plea from Merchants


Last week, I attended a meeting of the Santa Rosa Downtown Subcommittee at which three members of the City Council (Wysocky, Coursey, and Olivares) heard a plea from downtown's merchants to move forward with a phased approach to revitalizing the downtown square.  Outlining their traffic and parking suggestions, and identifying the variety of ways to finance the changes, they requested the Council take action at its September 22nd meeting in order to advance construction early next year.

Here is a video containing the audio of the meeting, with some photos from the web of the square.   Sorry the volume is low, I used a recording app on my IPod Touch.

Here is a link to a city webpage detailing what the City of Oakland is doing to engage its citizens in discussing their downtown planning.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Website Re-Design Meeting for OGTF and SRT


The City of Santa Rosa is currently conducting a series of meetings at a variety of locations intended to attract targeted audiences to tell them what the City’s website should do for them.   Steve Cancian, Shared Spaces consultant who is assisting plan the Roseland Area Projects, has scheduled gatherings throughout the City.  As you read this, four have occurred, targeted at advocates and activists, families and children, seniors, and the southwest community.  This week, Steve will be meeting with students and youth, web community, tourism and the visitor agencies, and the business community.   

I have attended all meetings, and have suggested the website needs to support a more participative and engaged community, is simpler to find information, and is embracive of a wider set of content reflecting the entire city.

Very recently, a decision was made to conduct a ninth meeting, one aimed at listening to members of the Open Government Task Force and Santa Rosa Together.  It will be held in the Council Chambers this Thursday morning from 9:30 to 10:30am.  I know this is a late notice, but I encourage all of you to attend if you can do so.  The ideas being collected will be incorporated into the design specification for the vendor chosen to build a new website for the City. The meetings so far have been very well run, and the ideas varied and responsive.  If you have questions, I’d be happy to respond to them either through email (gfearon@sonic.net) or phone (546-5771).

Santa Rosa City Council, Aug 11th


Once again, Anne Seeley of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa provides a report on the City Council meeting coming up on Tuesday:

Beyond the first 2 links to staff reports, my copy/paste inclusion of staff report links went kablooey.  Sorry.   You can see the whole agenda on srcity.org.

Friends:    There is a 3PM Study Session 
3.1  Restroom Options for the Unsheltered.    Staff have provided an overview of potential ways to provide this most basic service to homeless people.  See below:

11.1 Authority to accept $110,000 in funding (which comes from an assessment on all water users) from the Sonoma County Water Agency.  Santa Rosa participates in a Memorandum of of Understanding (MOU) with other water contractors to conduct outreach efforts and education on water conservation.  This particular funding is proposed to expand Santa Rosa's Take it From the Tap program (TAP) and implement a regional local tap water campaign throughout Sonoma County and Northern Marin.
The objective is to inspire, educate and encourage behavioral change regarding water conservation.  See below:

13.1 Professional Services Agreement with Creative Thinking, Inc., dba The Idea Cooperative for destination marketing of Santa Rosa.
  The cost is $190,000, which would come from the City's portion of the Santa Rosa Tourism Business Improvement Area (SRTBIA) funding.   The SRTBIA was approved as an entity by the City in 2010 as an alternative to increasing the Transient Occupancy Tax.

13.2 Grant Agreement for the Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST).  HOST is sponsored by the County of Sonoma and administered by Catholic Charities.  HOST is a multi-disciplinary outreach team that works to engage unsheltered homeless people into services and ultimately housing as apart of the 'Housing First" model.
The proposed agreement would provide $415,000 to Catholic Charities to fund the program from 8/15/15 through June 30, 2016.

13.3 Roseland Area Projects Update.  In 2014 the City bagan work on 2 projects in the Roseland area: the Roseland Area Annexation and the Roseland Area/Sebastopol Road Specific Plan.  There's also the Roseland Village Neighborhood Center, Bayer Neighborhood Park and Gardens, Roseland Creek Community Park and the Stone Point Road widening and Hearn Avenue overcrossing projects.
This report will update the Council on the status of each of these projects.

5:00PM Public Hearing
14.2 Adoption of Revised Animal Services Fees.    Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) provides sheltering, administration and field services to Santa Rosa, the Town of Windsor and the unincorporated areas of the county.  They're also responsible for rabies control throughout the county.
Increased fees are proposed to help recover the cost of SCAS services.

See you there!    Anne

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 11th, Council to hear Update on Roseland Area Projects

On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the City staff will present an update on the Roseland Area Projects to the City Council. 

The report to Council will outline the work that has been completed thus far on the Roseland Area/Sebastopol Road Specific Plan and the Roseland Area Annexation (collectively known as the Roseland Area Projects), and will provide the next steps for both projects.   There will also be a brief update of various other projects in the area, such as the Bayer Neighborhood Park and Gardens, Roseland Creek Community Park, Stony Point Road Widening, Hearn Avenue Overcrossing, and the Roseland Village Neighborhood Center. 

Below is the specific information about the date, time and location of the Council meeting:

Date:                     Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Time:                     at or after 4 p.m.
Location:             City Council Chambers, 100 Santa Rosa Avenue

Also, please note that the City is still working on scheduling the next Community Workshop.  As soon as we have a specific date, time and location an e-mail will be sent out and flyers will be posted around the community.

Thank you,

Jessica Jones | Senior Planner
Community Development Department |100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Room 3 | Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tel. (707) 543-3410 | Fax (707) 543-3269 | jjones@srcity.org

Monday, August 3, 2015

S.R. City Establishes On-Line Community Discussion on Roseland Roads and Pathways

Roseland Area Projects Steering Committee Members,

Thank you to all of the members who participated in the on-line survey asking for ideas on possible topics for a series of small community group meetings that will be held in August.  We received a great response from the community! 

We now have a new question:  Where would you like to see new roads and pathways in the Roseland area that would help you move around the area better?  This question is a follow-up to one of the activities we had at the last Community Workshop.  Rather than a survey, this is an open discussion.  I sent out an e-mail this morning to our e-mail distribution list for the Roseland Area Projects asking everyone to participate.  

You can also find the survey on the project website (www.srcity.org/roseland) by clicking on the “Get Involved! | ¡Participe!” link at the left side of the page. 

As we did with the survey, we are asking all Steering Committee members to participate in the on-line circulation discussion, and to forward this e-mail to others in the community that may not be on our distribution list.  The discussion will be available until August 16th.  A new question will be posted every few weeks, and I will send an e-mail to you each time a new question is posed.

Thanks so much for your continued participation!


Jessica Jones | Senior Planner
Community Development Department |100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Room 3 | Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tel. (707) 543-3410 | Fax (707) 543-3269 | jjones@srcity.org

Santa Rosa City Council, August 4th

Friends :    
There is no study session before this 4:00 PM meeting

5.1  Proclamation Honoring Former Council member Jake Ours.  His obituary is in today's Press Democrat.
5.2 Proclamation for National Health Care Centers Week.  This proclamation honors the tremendously beneficial effect that health care clinics have in providing preventive care and health care for low-income people.  In particular, the proclamation lauds Santa Rosa's Community Health Centers for providing medical, dental and mental health services to many who have no other options.

6.1 Staff Briefings 
6.1  7th Annual Gang Prevention Gang Awareness Week


11.3 Amend the Smoking Ordinance recently approved. Specifically, include Outdoor Service Areas in the prohibition of smoking.  Such areas are ATM lines, outdoor food vending lines, movie lines, bus stops and shelters.  The original document referenced Indoor Service Areas only.

13.1 Reimagining CityBus Service and Scheduling.  This project was begun in January of this year, with the purpose of maximizing the convenience and efficiency of the system,  See more below:

Public Hearings
As often  happens, a public hearing is held so that the public can voice objections to the specific properties that will have weed abatement actions carried out on them.    This item is for more general comment on the City's Weed Abatement Program.

15.1  A letter from the council in support of a resolution by Senator Mike McGuire to rename Annadel State Park to Henry F. Trione Annadel State Park.
15.2 A letter of support for Santa Rosa's application for National Park Services' Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program.
   This would perhaps provide funds for the future South East Greenway project, to help to acquire the 2 mile swath of land that is now a vacant State Right-of-Way to use for community benefit. 

Upcoming meetings, which includes the large number of study sessions that the Council just asked for to consider in depth the issues highest in their goals list.  See below:

See you there!   Anne

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Santa Rosa City Council, July 22, 2015

Friends:  There is no study session before the 4PM meeting start.  

7.1 Quarterly Report of Settlements and Active Litigation.    The Council recently asked the City Attorney to report regularly in their public session about what legal activity is happening in her office.   It is quite extensive.

11.1 Cooperative Agreement with Sonoma County Transportation Authority (Yes!) for Fulton Road Improvements.  See below:

13.2 Council Goals Workplan.   The Council finalized their goals in February and today they'll prioritize their goals for the 2015/16 workplan.  This is in recognition that staff, with their reduced numbers, can't do all the preparation needed for everything at once.   See the list below:

There are no public hearings.

Upcoming Meetings:

I'll see you there!    Anne

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Santa Rosa City Council, June 23rd

Friends:     As the subject line says, there will be no City Council meeting this coming Tuesday.   
SO, that means that you'll (maybe) be available to come to the 5:30 PM Second Community Workshop on Roseland Annexation.
I am on the Steering Committee and we're trying to make sure that everyone with knowledge of and/or concerns about how this annexation happens is included in the discussion.  It's held at Roseland Accelerated Middle School at 1777 West Avenue, a few blocks south of Sebastopol Road (West is a north-south street just west of Dutton Avenue).
Below is one of the pieces of information available on the City's website under Roseland Annexation:

You'll find more information on the website if you do a search on Roseland Annexation.

At our last Steering Committee, we did some rewarding work by helping to hone the presentation materials so they make better sense.   You know how you go to some planning meetings and are asked to make choices and you wonder, "What were they thinking?"  I think we eradicated most of those unhelpful errors and the workshop will go well.     The meetings are conducted in English and Spanish, there is childcare available, and there is some food provided.

See you!     Anne