December 16, 2018
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board  RP swears in new council member Cotati Council reshuffles seats RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer CHP reminds all of increased crimes Official election winners as projected by the VOICE Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU Rancho advances to semifinals Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! New residential building lands approved Cotati Council reviews trash plan Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” Bad air quality cancels sports Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program RP’s new interim police chief A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Cardinals rout Cougars How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park

By: Josh Rheinhart
October 12, 2018

Progress on the Station Avenue Development marched forward Tuesday when the Rohnert Park City Council met to review the planning commission’s recent alterations to the future downtown section. 

Most dramatic of the proposed changes is a reduction to the originally planned five story mixed-use set of buildings that formed the development’s center. The reduction would bring the buildings down to two stories, raise the ceilings on the office and commercial space and move the residential area to a large apartment block. The changes add an additional 10,000 square feet of office and 10,000 square feet of retail. 

“There’s a shift with the way new office buildings are built, with open floor plans and taller ceilings,” said Jeff Beiswenger, Rohnert Park planning manager. “This would fit more in the mode of what new companies are looking for. That’s the market the developer is trying to hit.”

The Station Avenue Development is the proposed replacement for the now abandoned State Farm Insurance property located at the junction between the Rohnert Park Expressway and State Farm Dr. It’s a greatly desired spot thanks to the new SMART station that’s right next door, and much of the Rohnert Park City Council hopes that the development will become the new ‘place-to-be’ in Rohnert Park. 

“Rohnert Park is an amazing place to raise your children and live,” Council member Gina Belforte said. “The one thing it has always missed is this little ‘heart’. The one place where we could all go--where the community could get together and sit at a brew-pub with friends or shop. We were always leaving to go do that.”

At the moment the Station Avenue development proposes to add both a beer garden and a four story hotel, and of course that’s not even mentioning the extra space for restaurants, boutiques and whatever else decides to make its home here in Rohnert Park. 

That’s all pretty big news for a city where the closest thing to a downtown was the local Safeway. 

“There’s a real history here and we’re now coming to a point where that history is about to be realized,” Council member Jake Mackenzie said. “For the citizens of Rohnert Park if there was one thing we agreed upon it was that there needed to be a central focus for the city. You don’t have to be a great urban planner to recognize where the central focus should be.”

It must be the season for development, because the Rohnert Park City Council also reviewed at that same meeting a proposed high density housing project between Costco and Scandia in west Rohnert Park. The 12.7 acre Redwood Crossing development hopes to add upwards of 156 apartment units to the city. 

It was affordable housing that proved to be the sticking point for the Redwood Crossing development, however. Under the current proposal, the developer would pay a $3,230 affordable housing fee for every 1,000 square feet of residential space. That would mean that the city of Rohnert Park should collect just over $500,000 in affordable housing fees for the entire complex. 

That’s not good enough according to Council member Belforte. 

“Giving a general plan amendment is a gift. It’s a big gift,” Belforte said. “To ask for 15 percent affordable housing in an area where we’re seeing our family members and our children not be able to live in the home town they grew up in. It’s a problem. We want our families to stay here. The way to do that is with affordable housing.” 

The Rohnert Park City Council kicked the negotiations back to the developer with instructions to ‘do better’.