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August 19, 2017
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Backpacks and books, students start their first day of school A new school year Chess ‘Queen of Katwe’ visits RP Airbnb homes no longer allowed in Rohnert Park Brothel found Construction on schedule at Rancho Rancho Cotate High School bomb threat up date Japanese students enjoy visiting Rohnert Park Congressman Thompson holds town hall meeting in RP New team, new coach, new method of practice Rohnert Park and Cotati citizens come out for safety tips and fun at annual National Night Out RP City Council one step closer to vision of downtown Local team sets goal of $100,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Ribbon cutting event introduces the new and improved Richard Crane Elementary School 54 miles of road work to cause delays for some local roads Cotati’s K9 unit comes out for annual Coffee with a Cop event Update from March 8 Bomb Threat Reducing city debt Self-Proclaimed “Downtown L.A. Predator” in Rohnert Park Cotati City Council votes to join Climates Mayors Initiative Rohnert Park and Cotati hope to take part in Bike Share Program April Paul becomes an honorary lioness From the Publisher’s desk: Media preview ride offers sneak peak of SMART train Dancing the night away with Moonlighters Cypress School and UCP visits Stinson Beach for surf camp Local smoke shop employee pleads not guilty For RP city, some fireworks are illegal Out of a crime comes kindness Cotati City Council to attempt to get quicker start time for quiet zone establishment Trend in car smash and grabs significantly rises RP City Council audience reminded to keep it safe and sane Citizens Public Safety Academy accepting applications Jazzed it up with love and music Cal Ripken’s U 10 team gets higher up nod Credo High School’s special day 25th Annual Cotati Kids' Day Celebration Bikes become the equalizer at UCP day camp Rohnert Park water rates to rise with little to no resistance Skate park project a possibility for parks and rec Free lunch for any child served at La Plaza Park SMART and safe 'Hail to the chiefs' a fitting title for annual Penngrove Parade Nurse’s strike in Petaluma Breakfast and safety tips at annual Penngrove pancake breakfast Sutton takes oath of Eagle Scout The Kut-Ups’ final curtain call after 45 years Shows are icing on the cake Bugles Across America First Rohnert Park student to visit sister city in Japan brings back gift RP summer camp brings pets and kids together Fun after school Get ready Cotati - water and sewer rates are rising Petaluma teachers hold one-day strike Gift of $1,000,000 to the Sonoma County Fair Foundation Cotati woman pleads: consider the salamander PG&E contractors to inspect gas meters in Sonoma County Rohnert Park moves to make medication disposal easier Caps being tossed after graduation at Tech-High Rancho Cotate Graduation 2017 Safreno, 2017 Veteran of the Year Now that the dust has settled, is the CRPUSD ready for the next project? A sea of flags Cyber tip leads to Cotati man arrested for possession of child pornography Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Employer Best Practice Awards Breakfast! Place receives Girl Scout Gold Award.

Protestors show up, affordable housing gets closer

By: Christina Molcillo
June 16, 2017

Rohnert Park City Council meetings are generally staid affairs and the June 13 meeting seemed like it was on track. There was a sometimes emotional presentation for retiring theatre director Gene Abravaya, where Abravaya spoke about his love for the theatre, and his hope that Spreckels would make Rohnert Park a destination for theatre goers in search of good plays; akin to Ashland, Oregon, as a destination for the yearly Shakespeare festival. But that congenial mood changed quickly as the floor was open to public comments. Four to five individuals who had been part of the first protests at city council May 23; calling for a citizen oversight committee on perceived rampant police brutality in the city came to the floor to make comments. The tasing death of Branch Wroth May 12 at a Rohnert Park motel was invoked as evidence that police brutality is a problem in Rohnert Park by Jim Duffy from Rohnert Park, Eileen M. of Sebastopol, and Susan Lamont from Santa Rosa. Many protestors left as the comments came to a close, with a few staying to hold paper signs up throughout the rest of the meeting - some choosing to stand at the back for the rest of the time.

Tempers cooled as the city sought to button up the Development Agreement (DA) to provide for the development of the Southeast Specific Plan. This agreement requires the developer to construct 28 affordable duet units, eight affordable town homes, and a 36- unit affordable apartment complex. 

The council had earlier requested that the staff bring back a discussion and direction item on the local priorities that HLT [Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County] would use when evaluating applications and qualifying buyers for these new affordable units. As it stands now, the council agreed that the units give priority to eligible buyers who live or work in Rohnert Park, or who work for Sonoma State University.

The loose end came from a blank area in the contract where it wasn’t entirely clear whether individuals who did not currently live in Rohnert Park but did work at SSU would be eligible for this program. Any pushback on this project is only as a result of semantics; it was increasingly clear that the council approved of the development, they just wanted to be absolutely certain it’s a fair contract for everyone concerned. 

It would appear that after these parts of the contract are satisfactorily filled, Rohnert Park will be one step closer to achieving housing that people can afford based on their actual income, instead of the current median home values that many find out of reach.