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Park planned for apartment project south of Coddingtown mall

By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The developer of a proposed apartment complex south of Coddingtown mall is planning to spend $1.1 million to build a 2.7-acre city park adjacent to the project.

The Wolff Company of Scottsdale, Ariz. has approval to build 270 apartments in a 15-building development called Range Ranch.

coddingtownIt is the largest apartment project proposed in Santa Rosa in years and a sign of the strength of the rental housing market. Construction is anticipated to begin this summer.

One of the city’s requirements was that the developer build a park at the western edge of the 11-acre property, an island of pasture land at the intersection of Jennings and Range avenues.

The area south of the mall between Highway 101 and the rail line has long been identified as lacking enough parks for the growing number of residents in the area.

A master plan for the yet-unnamed park has been completed with input from neighbors. The plan heads to the City Council Tuesday.

Major features of will include a dog run, community garden, fitness trail, play grounds, barbecue area, and large open grass area.

Many residents who submitted suggestions to Carlile-Macy, the firm designing the park, expressed a desire for a public space that was attractive, peaceful and low-maintenance. Some suggested no bathrooms be included to discourage homeless people from congregating.

Others expressed interest in helping manage the community gardens, which are considered an asset particularly around areas of higher density housing, said Curt Nichols, a landscape architect and vice-president of Carlile-Macy.

“That’s not something that’s traditionally been in neighborhood parks, but I think it makes a lot of sense,” Nichols said. “Giving people space to grow some vegetables and interact with their neighbors is a good thing.”

An early version of the plan set aside approximately ½-an acre as wetlands, but they were eliminated after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded the area were not true wetlands, Nichols said.

The plan calls for the preservation of several existing oak trees and the planting of dozens of new trees. One tree that won’t be saved, however, is an approximately 250-year-old Valley Oak that will have to be removed because is it in danger of major limb failure, said Lisa Grant, the city’s parks superintendent.

“The likelihood of the remaining upright portion falling is very high,” Grant said.

The agreement with the city also calls for the developer to make a one-time payment of $100,000 to help the city maintain the park. The park must be completed before the city will allow occupancy of the final 40 units of the development.

The community design process began Dec. 19 when about 13 residents attending a meeting at Whole Foods in Coddingtown mall. Several additional meetings focused on park design and issues such as the type of playground equipment that should be installed.

Some neighbors suggested additional crosswalks to make it more convenient for pedestrians to cross Range Avenue to reach the park. But the design team concluded that a single crossing at the intersection of Range and Jennings avenues would be safest.

Some of the proposed park names include Finali Park, in honor of the family that has owned the land for years, Codding Station, Jennings Community Park, Free Range Park, and Peace Park, among others.

The Board of Community Services is expected to make a decision on the name May 22.

(You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @citybeater)





5 Responses to “Park planned for apartment project south of Coddingtown mall”

  1. Snarky says:

    I think we need to buy every government employee a brand new government vehicle so they can cruise around pretending to be useful.

    We need that more than ANOTHER park.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. Snarky says:

    Kirstin:

    You hit upon an extremely valid point in pointing out that the City (and county and state) don’t maintain and repair what they already own and operate.

    But you see…. its the usual government game. Keep buying, keep spending, or the voters might just realize that government as a whole does very little to deserve all the money it steals from us.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  3. bear says:

    This has all been carefully planned by your elected officials, your planning commission and their staffs.

    You paid for this land use choice.

    I worry more about a park in this location.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  4. Kirstin says:

    The hypocrisy of the City of Santa Rosa is plain for all to see. The city planners and other authorities harp about the “need” to conserve water, reduce green house gases, etc. Yet, they are more than willing to approve very large, new resident complexes like this one. Do they think the people who will reside in these 270 new apartments don’t drink water, use electricity, have autos, etc.? Growth like this is incompatible with a reduced ecological footprint. It’s time the city authorities stopped pretending that they have any kind of coherent, logical plan for Santa Rosa, but they obviously don’t.

    By the way, this article focuses on yet another park for the city (which, as noted by others, is problematic in and of itself because the city hasn’t kept up the parks it already has), in effect touting that as a “carrot” for people to support this new high density complex. Some people will fall for it, but hopefully most will not.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  5. Grapevines says:

    270 apartments? 270 apartments with at least 2 people residing in each works out to another 500+ vehicles on either College Avenue or Guerneville Road generally in the morning and evening.

    Or will city hall cave in again to the bicycle collation and make only bicycle riders be able to rent there?

    Either way, imaging the added congestion to a city that was never designed for this, and does not maintain the streets the way it is anyway. Seems that street funding got pushed aside so we can designate bicycle lanes instead.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 11

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