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July 9, 2020
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City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems

By: David Rheinhart
October 26, 2018

Discontent and frustration was seen at the Cotati City Council Tuesday as the Council discussed a 12- month extension to the Cotati Station Apartment project. 

The problem is parking. The location for the Cotati Station Apartment project lies near East Cotati Avenue right next to the SMART station and people in the area already have a devil of a time finding a place to stick their cars. A few concerned residents appeared at the city council to express their fear that the project might exacerbate an already difficult issue. 

“As a homeowner I’ve lived on Santero Way for 13 years now and it is the worst condition that it’s ever been as far as parking goes,” Kristen Ernst, local resident, said. “I mean, we have the train station now and that train station is overflowing all over Santero Way. There are people parking clear back into the cul-de-sac. They’re even starting to park in the fields.”

At the moment the amount of parking in the area around Santero Way is about 138 potential parking spots with another 48 added in from parks and other public areas. That’s 50 short of what’s needed in the region. That need for additional parking in the neighborhood was actually one of the driving forces behind the approval of the project. 

The Cotati Station Apartment project would provide 2.5 parking spaces for each of the 74 proposed multifamily units, which is slightly higher than the state’s maximum allowed mandate of a single space. Part of the larger ratio is thanks to the commercial space which will be folded into the project to help take advantage of the SMART station, but a lot of the new parking is there to alleviate the shortage the region currently suffers from

“All those extra spaces are to make the parking problem go away—then the project itself has the spaces it needs to be healthy,” Cotati Mayor Mark Landman said. “With that this problem should, if not be fixed, then at least darn close. We’re going to have a lot of extra spaces.” 

The Cotati City Council approved the one-year project extension with a unanimous vote.