September 27, 2020
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History March 1961 Two self-sustaining communities in one

By: Irene Hilsendager
August 7, 2020

As far as traffic patterns, Rohnert Park will be divided into two self-sustaining communities with separate shopping facilities, parks, schools, churches and professional centers. A giant regional shopping center of nearly 100 acres and an industrial tract of 300 acres will divide the two residential areas, thereby halving the amount of traffic on residential streets.

In addition, each residential area will have two access roads to U.S. 101 freeway, plus the use of four other access roads which serve the regional shopping center and main industrial tract. Other “backway” access roads will lead to the Old Santa Rosa-San Francisco highway east of the city and Highway 101. Further diversions are into the neighborhoods, the basic planning unit, with an elementary school site and park in the center of each and non-access arterial roads surrounding the neighborhoods, to further remove traffic from residential areas.

For recreational areas there will be over a dozen parks planned within the city and three or four of them will be set aside for adults only. This latter arrangement is in recognition of the growing number of senior citizens who are retiring to the area to take advantage of the warm and sunny climate. A swimming pool is already in operation in the first park area and more are planned. Many of the parks will be oversized and constructed beside the ten schools to be built to allow for joint school use.

A 50-acre lake to be named Lake Celeste will be built beside the 18-hole championship golf course. The lake will be restricted to small sailboats and rowboats only; no power boats of any type will be permitted. The golf course will feature a spectacular “19-hole” clubhouse overlooking the lake frontage property. Membership in the club will be offered to Rohnert Park residents on a first priority basis.


Irene Hilsendager’s column each week touches on moments in the history of Cotati, Rohnert Park and Penngrove.