Like every city and county in California, the City of Rohnert Park has a general plan, which is the local government’s long-term blueprint for the future. General Plans identify how much housing we will have, of what type (single family, apartments, townhouses, etc.), and where it will be. They also create long-term plans for where new businesses will go, how we will meet needs for parks and bike paths, and the other elements that create a community.
Rohnert Park’s General Plan was last updated in 2000 and so much has changed since that time. To provide a plan that will guide the community to the year 2040, the City’s General Plan is being updated to reflect changes in the community, new issues and opportunities and changes in state law.
As part of the update, the city has conducted outreach to understand what the community wants and what it envisions for itself over the next 20 years. Over the last several months, the city has developed alternative land use scenarios based on input from the public, city council, planning commission, and city staff. These choices were documented in an Alternatives Report presented to the city council and planning commission last fall.
The Alternatives Report analyzed two land use alternatives for Rohnert Park. The No Change Alternative represents keeping the current general plan land use pattern mostly unchanged, with updates to reflect existing conditions and approved projects. The Change Alternative looked at changing portions in the northwest corner of the city from residential and commercial uses to business park uses (a mix of industrial, office and institutional uses). This change would increase the number of living wage jobs available in Rohnert Park long-term. For more details about the analysis, read the full Alternatives Report on www.envisionrp.com.
Based on the Alternatives Report and public hearings, the city council supported a General Plan update that includes the concepts of the Change Alternative as the preferred land use alternative, with minor modifications. Based on this direction, the city is working on the development of the Draft General Plan.
We look forward to providing the Public Review Draft General Plan for public comment. The General Plan team will be hitting the road (and packing their prize wheel) – joining our Community Services staff at the I Heart RP event. Look for the General Plan table Sat., Feb. 8 from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. at the community center 5401 Snyder Lane.
The I Heart Rohnert Park event returns for its third year. Come enjoy live entertainment, local vendors, food, games and kids’ crafts. The event also features Rohnert Park’s Got Talent - a youth showcase of talent acts. For more information about the event, call 588-3456.
Also . . . a quick update on the city’s response to homelessness. Over the last 18 months, we have been funding the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) in Petaluma to help those experiencing homelessness in Rohnert Park obtain housing.
In addition, we are funding COTS to provide 12 beds in their Petaluma shelter to temporarily house others in Rohnert Park experiencing homelessness. In the first three months of the program,
16 people have received shelter, and several have gone on to obtain permanent housing.
Also, we have cleaned up about 25 encampments that have created risks to public health and safety. We are exploring other options as well, particularly for those willing to help themselves.