Residents dreaming of a proper downtown area in Rohnert Park may have to dream a little longer if the city does not take action soon. The long-envisioned project has been mired in discussion since it became a priority for the city in 2016, and without a vote by the Planning Commission at its Oct. 25 meeting the project may be delayed several more months.
Without approval by the city’s elected officials by the end of this year, the proposed retail, commercial, restaurant, hotel and gathering space project at the former State Farm campus near the Smart train station may have to wait until next year for a vote, pushing construction deadlines — and retail move-in dates — further down the road.
“The plan contemplates an urban, mixed-use project spread across 32 acres that includes a central square, 460 residential units, 140,000 square-feet of retail, 130,000 square-feet of office, and a 156-room hotel,” according to the city. Laulima Development owns the property and has applied to build in the space to the city’s specifications. They’ve been waiting on a vote by the City Council, which, in turn, has been waiting on a recommendation by the Planning Commission. The Commission has had seven special study sessions on this topic since 2016, the most recent one taking place Monday, Oct. 15.
In 2016, a city-conducted survey showed that creating a downtown area was the top priority for Rohnert Park residents, and the city chose to make it a top priority as well. The Planning Commission, however, has not yet voted on a recommendation for the City Council to approve, modify, or not approve the project.
The Commission is slated to discuss the downtown project at its Oct. 25 meeting. Because of meeting schedules and the holiday break, this may be the last chance the Commission will have to vote on a recommendation in order to get the project on the City Council agenda by the end of the year. The public is invited to comment on the project and its status at the meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall.