Council OKs new RP Police station
Site near CHP on Labath Ave
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By Jud Snyder  November 15, 2013 12:00 am

Ten years ago, the City of Rohnert Park signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR). Part of the pact included a contribution of $2.25 million to build a new police and fire station west of the freeway.

This was October 2003. The MOU was amended in March 2013 and the fire/police pledge was increased to $3.75 million.

Tuesday night, Nov. 12, the Rohnert Park City Council approved a site for the new Dept. of Public Safety building west of the freeway. 

It will be a three-acre parcel on property owned by Redwood Equities on Labath Avenue, where it crosses Hinebaugh Creek. The new building will be on the north bank of the creek, now just a trickle due to lack of rain. 

Directly across the creek on the south side is the California Highway Patrol headquarters.

No estimates on the cost of the building were provided, but it will house a few fire trucks, patrol cars, a kitchen and dormitory accommodations for five or six public safety officers. Funds for its construction will come from mitigation monies already paid to the city by Graton Resort & Casino or the MOU donation pledge.

Redwood Equities owns the land and it’s divided into two parts under the Stadium Area Master Plan (SAMP) designation, for it was the site of Crusher Stadium when RP had a baseball team competing in independent league baseball. 

In between are properties owned by the Cotati-Rohnert Park School District and TV and radio stations owned by KRCB Broadcasting. The northern portion will be closer to the casino and Business Park Drive, and its major housing project is Fiori Estates, a multi-family complex. Along the eastern edge is Costco, RP’s Animal Shelter and Ashley Furniture. There’ll be room for about 94 housing units between the DPS building and the school district site, currently vacant.

Guided by Marilyn Ponton’s staff report (she’s the city’s Development Services Manager), the city council went through a lengthy protocol of negative declarations, resolutions, ordinances and General Plan amendments. They were all approved on unanimous 5-0 votes.

One question arose concerning the noise factor if apartments or single family homes are built close to the animal shelter. Councilman Jake Mackenzie wondered if homebuyers would be coming to the council complaining about barking dogs outside their units. SAMP spokesmen noted they were aware of this and would be taking steps to minimize this potential barking dog problem.

Tuesday night, the city council also discussed changes in the moratorium concerning massage parlors and billboards. They got tangled in a 40-minute discussion on massage parlor language before adopting Ponton’s recommendations.

There’s already a ban on billboards (the city has seven within city limits already), and the only electronic message center is the Veale sign alongside the freeway where State Farm Drive ends. The billboards are “grandfathered in” and no more will be allowed and the Veale EMC will be the only one allowed. At this point, no EMCs will be permitted on Golf Course Drive West.

Still to come are rules concerning adult entertainment and cyber cafes near the casino. The moratorium concerning them still exists.

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