RP planners OK west side complex
Spanos Co. to build 224-unit, three-story apartment complex featuring nine buildings north of KRCB
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By Jud Snyder  March 8, 2013 12:00 am

Rohnert Park’s acreage it owned west of Redwood Drive and north of Hinebaugh Creek hasn’t really seen much development aside from Costco, Rural California Broadcasting KRCB TV-FM radio studios and offices and headquarters of the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District on Labath Avenue. It also held the abandoned sewer ponds of the city before it joined the regional wastewater system.

Now, the city’s planning commission has approved a 224-unit, three-story apartment complex of nine buildings to be called Fiori Estates. The 11-acre parcel will be located immediately north of KRCB-TV-FM and the vacant school district property on Labath Ave., bordered on the east by an unfinished Dowdell Ave. This street will eventually extend north to Business Park Drive and no doubt further north to Wilfred Ave. to handle casino traffic.

The A.G. Spanos project is not on the former Sonoma Crushers California League baseball stadium site. Carlson Court is on the south side of KRCB and the Crusher stadium is below it. The paved parking lot for baseball fans is still there, mostly overgrown with weeds.

Fiori Estates will be the third apartment complex the Spanos Co. has built in RP. He’s the owner of the NFL San Diego Chargers. The other two are on Golf Course Drive next to Foxtail Golf Resort and RP Expressway at Labath Ave. Both are three-story structures like Fiori Estates. 

At the planning commission meeting Feb. 29, the vote was 5-0 to approve. Chairwoman Susan Adams praised their plans, but little attention was paid to affordable housing. RP has a rule stating 15 percent of the units must be in the affordable category.

The problem arises again because there are no schools, elementary or middle, west of the freeway. Students in Spanos apartments on RPX and Rancho Verde Mobile Home Park have to be bused to the nearest campuses. At this point, the school district’s having financial problems of its own and faces more funding cuts due to lack of action by   Congress in this time of sequestering back in Washington DC. 

The commission last week praised the one-story clubhouse in the middle of the Spanos project. Amenities include a swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts, cabanas, putting green and open space portions. 

The parcel was formerly owned by Redwood Equities and sold to a consortium headed by Jim Ratto, Clem Caranalli and others who in turn sold it to the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR), who then partnered with Station Casinos of Las Vegas to build the casino, further north on Dowdell and Wilfred avenues.

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