WatchSonoma Watch

Petaluma wants control of land on East Washington


Petaluma’s City Council will meet Tuesday to discuss eminent domain proceedings against land owners with property along Highway 101 and East Washington Street.

The city is seeking to acquire portions of the properties as part of a planned Highway 101-East Washington interchange expansion.

Traffic routinely backs up on East Washington Street in Petaluma, one of the few options for crossing Highway 101. SCOTT MANCHESTER/PD

Petaluma has reached agreements on purchase prices with two of three owners, according to staff reports. Escrow is set to close at the end of the year on the two properties.

The parcels include land behind the Raley’s shopping center, the Kmart center and vacant land owned by Regency Centers, which is planning a Target shopping center along East Washington.

Regency and the city haven’t agreed on a purchase price, according to a staff report.

Proposed purchase prices weren’t revealed.

Negotiations were continuing with all three owners, but construction planning deadlines required a City Council decision on eminent domain by the end of the year.

Attempts to reach Regency officials Monday were not successful.

Eminent domain proceedings, where property owners are compensated at market value when land is taken by a public entity, are allowed when the public’s interest requires the project. A supermajority of five votes of the seven-member council is required for approval.

The council could reject the staff’s recommendation to proceed and direct further negotiations. That could delay the project and funding, according to the staff report.

Planned changes to the interchange include reconfiguring the southbound 101 onramp, widening the end of the northbound onramp and adding a new diagonal northbound onramp with a bridge that would span Washington Creek.

The changes are intended to improve traffic flow around 101 and East Washington, one of the busiest areas of town.

2 Responses to “Petaluma wants control of land on East Washington”

  1. Seriously? says:

    Alright Steven Peterson, that is a great idea. Why don’t you go ahead and contact Regency, buy the property and do exactly what you describe. Or do you just want the current owner to do it, at a huge financial loss, just because? Or, maybe you would like the City of Petaluma, with the whopping $5,000 in reserve to buy it and do that.

    I always love these ideas that people have for others property. Things such as, they should make that property into open space or a park. Sure, great idea…..then you buy it and do it. Why should someone else donate to appease you?


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  2. Steven Peterson says:

    The area around the old Kenilworth high school should be used for a public recreational area for sports. The youth in this area are limited to bowling, baseball, soccer, and two skate parks. Since the noise level from the 101 is already very high, an offroad motorcycle track and recreational area should be implemented. for example, browse club moto in livermore or riverfront in marysville. usually a $25 day pass for revenue and waivers for liability release. This will provide revenue, a recreational place for all ages, reduce crime due to a local place to incorporate sports, and bring outside people from out of the area to Petaluma.
    You as the public would be amazed if you do some research on the size of this motorcycle community.

    Rancho Cordova, ca (Hangtown MX)
    Marysville (E-Street MX) (Riverfront Park)
    Dixon, ca (argyll MX)
    Ukiah, CA (Ukiah Speedway)

    That is how far we have to drive as a rider to be involved in this sport. Yet we have 3 Motorcycle shops in Petaluma, at least 5 in Santa Rosa, 3 in Marin County and more in the surrounding area.

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