Southeast, University plans share pipeline
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By Jud Snyder  February 7, 2014 12:00 am

The University District on Rohnert Park Expressway across from SSU’s Green Music Center isn’t the only specific plan in Rohnert Park’s future. 

Now the Southeast Specific Plan (SESP) has joined the same pipeline and grading has already begun on the property.

This is an 80-acre parcel bounded on the west by Bodway Parkway, on the east by Petaluma Hill Road, on the north by Canon Manor and on the south by Valley House Drive. Sonoma Mountain Village is a bit further to the west and borders the SMART commute rail tracks.

It’s had a lengthy but bumpy history. Plans for the SESP first surfaced back in February 2002. It took eight years until RP’s Planning Commission approved it in November 2010.  In between those dates, a Penngrove water use lawsuit and the nationwide economic recession delayed progress.

It once was larger in size, extending down to East Railroad Avenue. 

But those were the days when Penngrove landowners claimed RP developments were drying up their water wells and they sued the city. A court decision favored Penngrove’s claim, and the city compromised by relinquishing the land south of Valley House Drive. It still remains 170 acres of unincorporated county land and is zoned agricultural.

The SESP developers plan a mixed use community, and it’s listed as such in the city’s General Plan. It’s also within RP’s urban growth boundary and sphere of influence. The planning commission approved its final environmental impact report back in 2010.

Preliminary plans call for 475 residential units, 10,000 sq. ft. for commercial use and a five-acre public park. It will eventually be slated for annexation by LAFCO. The project now goes to the city council.

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