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Community Separators, Press Democrat Close to Home 12-6-15

Nice to see the article by Jake Mackenzie on the need to protect our community separators, “Close to Home: Keeping greenbelts amid crisis in housing”.

However, it seems we have another case of the “Two Jakes”. This time it’s the Greenbelt  Alliance Board Member (Jake #1) and the Rohnert Park Councilman (Jake #2).

The part that Jake #1 left out is that the City Council of Rohnert Park, which he (Jake #2) is a member,  is the biggest threat to Community Separators in the County.

Petaluma Hill Road is a community separator and a designated Heritage Road. As such it should not be improved, widened, expanded according to the County Guidelines and General Plan.

The planned Rohnert Park developments abutting Petaluma Hill Road will add approximately 51600 new daily road trips, many on this bucolic country road, which is already designated as “congested” in the Sonoma County General Plan. This will incur the need to expand the road and there goes your community separator, thanks to Jake #2. Rohnert Park’s planned mitigation for the damage their new strip malls and tract houses will do includes “sound walls” on Petaluma Hill Road. If that’s not San Jose North, what is? Are sound walls the kind of separators we want in Sonoma County?

When Jake #1 spouts: “the county has prevented housing tracts and shopping malls from sprawling into our precious green places. By safeguarding adjacent unincorporated lands, community separators protect the urban growth boundaries around Sonoma County’s cities.” For full disclosure, he should mention what Jake #2 is doing.

I appreciate Councilman Mackenzie and Evans for speaking out in favor of the Community Separators. Now, we would like to see it followed up with a moratorium on Rohnert Park Developments on Community Separators, specifically, the University District Plan, Southeast Specific Plan, Northeast Specific Plan and Sonoma Mountain Village which combined will add 5160 new homes to the Petaluma Hill Road Scenic Corridor. Canon Manor is also of concern.

The Downtown area plans, near the Smart Rail, should go full speed ahead.

A little history

Came across this great recording session on local history with several of our entertaining local historians, and Chuck Lucas.

Not exactly on topic but relevant to the theme of the unique interesting character  of our area and why it’s worth preserving.

Each house generates 10 auto trips per day! – 51600 new trips on PHR

The average number of auto trips per house is 10 according to traffic engineers. It’s more for people closer to shopping areas. That includes, deliveries, trash, mail…

So, the new Rohnert Park subdivisions will generate 51600 new trips. Can Petaluma Hill Road handle that? Well, today I waited 10 minutes to drop my kid at Penngrove School.


Stop the RP development machine

I don’t mind when Rohnert park builds new subdivisions within their city – until they impact vital rural areas that are important to all citizens of Sonoma County and it’s environs. That’s why the planned 5160 new units along Petaluma Hill Road must be stopped. This project  shown above, at Rohnert Park Expressway and Petaluma Hill Road, is currently paving over key recharge points for the Santa Rosa Aquifer. During the worst drought, ever.