University District plan sees revisions
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By Mira Brody  April 18, 2014 12:00 am

Editor's note: The continuation of this story was erroneously omitted from the April 11 print of The Community Voice. Here is the story in its entirety.

Since their completion in 1989, Rohnert Park may be seeing once again the construction of new neighborhoods in the University District, a large parcel of land just east of Snyder Lane and north of Sonoma State University. The development plan was amended slightly for the first time since 2006 and is ready to be made a reality in the next five years or so.

The plan, which consolidates 300 acres from five different property owners, consists of two new “sections,” O and K, low-, medium- and high-density housing, a commercial use plaza, new parks, and possibly a trail that connects with Hinebaugh Creek and meanders up to Crane Creek Regional Park.

“These are the first new homes built in Rohnert Park in 24 years since M section was finished in 1989,” said City Manager Darrin Jenkins. “It’s an exciting project and a bell for the improving economy here.”

He assured council and audience during the presentation that construction and maintenance on the proposed new section of Rohnert Park would utilize only local labor and materials as well as have no negative impact on existing city residents.

Marilyn Ponton, interim Director of Developmental Services, presented the changes to the plan. 

Major alterations included less high-density homes, which shifted from 35-46 acres to 5-15 acres, and more medium- to low-density housing. Also, in 2006 the plaza was proposed to be publicly owned but would now be privately owned and still open to public use.

“The changes that have been made here are relative to 2014,” said Councilwoman Pam Stafford. “I’ve heard of people who know others who wished to move into these homes and they’re excited about it.”

This land would provide about 1,033 single-family lots, 100,000 square feet of commercial use, preservation of heritage oaks along the creek and some of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the region. The houses will be equipped with the ability to easily install solar panels and run parallel to California’s Build it Green Points Program.

The proposed changes fell in favor of the council with a 5-0 vote on every proposition.

“I think we have a specific plan that we can be proud of and that we can vote on. There’s real interest involved here; let’s move forward,” said Councilman Jake Mackenzie, who was albeit jokingly opposed to the overuse of Irish-themed street names.

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