WatchSonoma Watch

State rejects 2 Cotati redevelopment projects



Cotati’s City Hall’s plan to remake its downtown with $3.7 million in what were redevelopment

Cotati (PD FILE)

funds have taken a blow with the state’s rejection of the city’s proposal.

The city had submitted to the state two projects — a $1.8 million traffic roundabout plan and a $1.9 million proposal to build a downtown train station, contending both are “enforceable obligations,” meaning Cotati’s defunct redevelopment agency had made financial commitments to them before it ceased to exist.

City officials have said the projects are key to boosting economic growth.

But state officials reviewing thousands of such proposals from around California rejected Cotati’s, saying contracts hadn’t been signed for either project within the deadline set by state law.

“I would not say that’s accurate,” said Cotati City Manager Dianne Thompson. The city is working to revive its proposal, she said.

“It may be that they need more information, or that we need to have a discussion or a meeting about it. This is new territory and we’re continuing to work with the state,” Thompson said.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget for the current year, as approved by the Legislature, dissolved all redevelopment agencies in the state in a move intended to achieve budget savings and redistribute the funds collected from property taxes more widely.

Only projects with enforceable contracts would continue to get funding, according to the law and subsequent court rulings. Now the state appears to have blocked many of the proposals submitted by the oversight boards charged with managing the final distributions of funds.

Elsewhere in Sonoma County, rejected plans include high profile, long-planned projects in Roseland and Boyes Hot Springs.

In Rohnert Park, one of the Sonoma County cities still waiting to hear, City Manager Gabe Gonzalez said he’s braced for a denial.

“Given the pattern we’re starting to see, it may be they’re just going to reject all of them,” he said.

The timeline laid out by the state allows for denials to be appealed.

You can reach Staff Writer Jeremy Hay at 521-5212 or jeremy.hay@pressdemocrat.com.

8 Responses to “State rejects 2 Cotati redevelopment projects”

  1. Steve Alexander says:

    You messed up once Cotati by ousting a man of character and integrity…don’t mess up again, Re-elect George Barich and send all three of the ignorant donkey’s arse’s packing.

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  2. Jim Bennett says:

    ICLEI’s directive will sabotage the Free Market landscape in favor of installing their fascist oppressive Smart Growth hardscape.

    A well meaning citizen employing common sense just thinks their incompetent.

    They have other ways to impose their SmartGrowth against the will of the People.
    OneBayArea/MTC extortion.
    Disallow building any new privately
    built single family homes (yes, you read that right).
    Once private automobile/real estate ownership is too expensive and/or inconveinient and you’re financially challenged. Then.
    It’ll be easier to herd you int their
    Human Settlement Transit Village gulog.

    I’ll be in a smaller box than that before I’ll let ‘em do it.

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  3. Can’t say the city was not warned over and over and over again that none of these huge public works projects were remotely sustainable. Even in the face of historic state deficits, record state debt, and businesses leaving California in huge numbers and taking their wealth and talented staff with them, Cotati just refused to see the handwriting on the wall. Despite their high tech lynch mobs against their rivals orchestrated by members of the Chamber of Commerce who rely on taxpayer funding, the city sits on $73M in unfunded liabilities not reflected in the city budget. All the green jobs that former mayor Guardino promised were coming to Cotati in 2009 are working at the marijuana dispensary in town and less than a handful. The city council’s push for single lane roundabouts, despite little public support for such a plan, has exposed this City Hall as the most arrogant, most irresponsible group to date that has done little more than make Cotati the laughing stock of the county. The city can never say they weren’t warned politely and often the reality of spending other people’s money, often borrowed, as a realistic plan for running a municipality. All they have done is run the city farther into the ground with a crumbling infrastructure they refuse to address.

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  4. Missy says:

    We need George Barich back on the Cotati board. The rest of them are clowns.

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  5. GAJ says:

    Wait, so now the Republicans are the anti growth and anti development party according to Bear?

    That’s a laugh.

    Fiscal conservatives, (you know, of BOTH parties), think that government needs to do its BASIC mission rather than veer off into “nice to do” things.

    If government could just show us they are capable of maintaining basic existing infrastructure I’d shut my yap about money being frittered away by government.

    One example; the budget for the County Board of Supervisors is greater than the entire budget for County Road Maintenance…which represents less than .5% of the County budget.


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  6. Since the necessary signatures to put the traffic-choking one-lane roundabout plan on the ballot have already been collected, and public sentiment is overwhelmingly against them, you could call it hubris for Dianne Thompson and the leisure-time service she calls the City Council to persist in this war on traffic.

    At least some could call it hubris. I call it grounds for sending Ms. Thompson into the same limbo the city sent Ms. Lustig, and for telling the three tone-deaf council members who are up for reelection that they no longer represent anyone but themselves.

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  7. bear says:

    No jobs. No growth. No revenue. No improvements over what’s there now.

    Sounds like republican heaven.

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  8. Jim Bennett says:

    Aw, maybe the citizens will have a day of morning…

    or partying.

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