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