Sunday, November 27, 2016

S.R. City Council Mtg Agenda, Nov 29th, 2016


Our thanks to our friend, Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa, for her analysis of this week's City Council meeting:

Friends:   There is no Study Session before the 4PM meeting.

6 Proclamations
    6.1 National Native American Heritage Month
    6.2 California Law Enforcement Challenge Award for Santa Rosa's Police Department.  The Police Chief will accept the award from the CHP.

  14.1 Fiscal Year 2015/16 Measure O Annual Report.  This measure was amended by the voters on November 8 to good effect. In the link below, there's information on how the money from the tax was spent.  It's interesting that the Violence Prevention Program was moved in Fiscal year 2016/17 from the City Manager's Office to the Office of Community Engagement. 

  14.3 Roseland Pre-Annexation Agreement and Annexation Application.
Starting in 2014 the City of Santa Rosa and the County have been negotiating a Pre-Annexation Agreement to address cost-sharing and other commitments necessary for annexation.  
In October of 2016 the Council approved the EIR, adopted the Roseland Area/Sebastopol Road Specific Plan and various pre-zonings and re-zonings. The recommendation by the City Manager's Office is that the Council approve the agreement with the County of Sonoma, adopt a resolution directing the Planning and Economic Development Department to file an application with LAFCO, the local agency formation commission, for annexation of 5 unincorporated County islands.  In the link, there 's lots of information about how much improvements are going to cost, along with a map of the areas to be annexed.

5PM Public Hearings

  15.2 Proposed Zoning Code Amendment to Allow Lodging - hotel or motel- land use upon approval of a Minor Conditional Use Permit for all properties in the city with the CO (Office Commercial) zoning.   This proposal is new to me.  It is perhaps meant to help with the glut of vacant office space we currently have.  The main areas on the map look like Bennett Valley and the Airway Drive area.

See you there!


Monday, November 21, 2016

S.R. City Council Meeting, Nov 29th


On Nov 29th, the City Council will consider allowing motels and hotels in all areas zoned for offices in the city.  The Planning Commission public hearing in September presents a great opportunity to learn not only the background on this vital land use issue, but contains some easy to understand information for citizens on the City's public notice practices.  It also will helps explain how a citizen can request that an particular use permit application can be elevated from an administrative hearing to a public hearing before the Planning Commission.

Click here for the link to the Citizens University post.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sonoma County Takes Action to Ease the Housing Crisis

Santa Rosa, CA  –  November 15, 2016  –  Sonoma County took significant action today to ease the local housing crisis. With actions taken by the Board of Supervisors, the County is now set to expand emergency shelter capacity during winter months, implement innovative programs to boost homeless services, challenge federal Housing and Urban Development regulations to make housing vouchers work in Sonoma County, and invest nearly $4 million in new affordable housing construction in 2017.
“Housing is fundamental to the health of our communities,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Efren Carrillo. “Expanding housing opportunities for all in the County and providing the safety net of expanded shelters during the winter will save lives today and help families in the future.”
Covering a sweeping set of actions, the presentation given by the Community Development Commission highlighted a number of investments and programs to ease the housing crises. With the Board’s approval today, the County will now invest approximately $300,000 for a sustained expansion of emergency shelter capacity during the winter, and nearly $4 million for the development of additional affordable housing in 2017. In partnership with the City of Santa Rosa, the County will also gather the needed data to challenge existing federal criteria for housing vouchers that are dramatically out of step with local rents, making it difficult for low-income individuals and families to afford rent even with the vouchers. The County will amend its existing policies to make it easier for local veterans to use local financial assistance for housing.
In addition, the Board of Supervisors received updates about the County’s efforts to date on housing and homelessness. Highlights included the County’s investment of over $20 million in the last decade on affordable housing, over 450 homes that have been built or are in development, including the creation of nearly 300 additional units by private and non-profit developers.  The report emphasizes the collaborative work with community stakeholders to draw attention to the critical need of affordable housing in Sonoma County.
The presentation comes just a few days before the “Housing for All” summit organized by the Community Development Commission. The Executive Director of the Community Development Commissioner, Margaret Van Vliet, noted, “while these are major investments in resources and capital, we know that $4 million for new units is just the tip of the iceberg for what we need to do, and we know that making vouchers actually work for individuals in Sonoma is just the beginning of our advocacy in Washington. Our team is proud to have our leaders and community partners so committed to this issue.”