March 19, 2018
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City of Rohnert Park

Mary Grace Pawson
Neighborhood preservation
February 23, 2018

In Rohnert Park we pride ourselves on having a high quality of life that includes safe, clean and family-friendly neighborhoods. Sometimes it is challenging to maintain these standards, particularly with a housing shortage in our region and our location in the midst of wine country and thus a major tourist destination. 

The city has taken numerous steps to preserve high quality neighborhoods. These include:

Not allowing vehicles including cars, trucks, boats and RVs to be parked on lawns in our family-oriented neighborhoods. If you see this happening then please call our Code Enforcement Officer at 588-2249 so we can respond. 

Restricting vacation rentals, which have problems in many places with tourists. Some cities have banned them completely while others have embraced them wholeheartedly. Rohnert Park has taken a common sense approach to allow only ‘single room’ rentals with a permit in the home where an owner lives. ‘Whole house’ rentals are prohibited to maintain neighborhood character.  

Requiring owners to live on property if they add an accessory dwelling unit that they create, either by converting a single family home into two units or building a separate unit in their backyard. Without requiring owners to live on site, there would be a strong incentive for landlords to purchase single family homes and convert them to multi-unit rental properties. This would in turn make parking more challenging and could contribute to other problems. 

Committing over $100,000 in casino money dedicated to neighborhood improvements to repair problems in the homes of seniors, disabled residents and families in need and unable to complete these repairs on their own. This will help prevent houses from becoming run-down and allow residents to live more safely in their homes. We anticipate partnering with a non-profit organization to manage this effort. 


One of the most frequent requests we hear from residents is to bring more diverse restaurants and shops to Rohnert Park. While we don’t get to decide where businesses locate, we can try to get more of what residents are asking for. 

To help make that happen, last week we hosted a breakfast for commercial real estate brokers. These are people that help businesses find locations. We provided information that businesses look for when making decisions, such as our growing population and incomes. We told them about the award we received last year for being business friendly and about many of the exciting things happening in Rohnert Park that make this a good place for non-chain restaurants to consider – our emerging downtown, our entertainment venues such as the Green Music Center and Spreckels Performing Arts Center and our new businesses such as Bear Republic and the Oxford Suites Hotel. 

We are always on the lookout for promising businesses and speak with them often. And we know that the top choice for a new business is Trader Joe’s. We’ve contacted them and encouraged them to consider Rohnert Park, though we recognize that nearly every city wants them, too.