The proposals that yielded Petaluma’s two largest shopping centers, both anchored by big-box chains, created heated disagreements among the community and the City Council on what size and style of development were appropriate for Sonoma County’s second-largest city.
The Target project sparked two lawsuits and a $150,000 settlement with an opposition group, while developers of the Friedman’s project agreed to fund nearly $200,000 in amenities opponents wanted in order to head off threatened litigation.
Now that the nastiest development battles of the past decade are over, with Target’s East Washington Place already open and Friedman’s Deer Creek center well underway, what’s next for development in Petaluma?
Santa Rosa is considering an overhaul of the building fees it charges for everything from replacing a water heater to building a Wal-Mart.
Instead of basing fees on the values of projects, the city is following the lead of many other communities and may set its fees on the actual cost of providing plan reviews and building inspections.
The change has been in the works for years, but it took a back seat after the recession forced cutbacks in the city’s Community Development Department.
In a sign of a rebound in the construction of single-family homes, developers on Wednesday proposed as many as 90 new houses on land just north of Windsor’s Wal-Mart, in a presentation greeted with enthusiasm by most of the Town Council.
Santa Rosa developer Hugh Futrell is planning a six-story downtown apartment building for 140 low-income seniors.
The $30 million project on Fourth Street near Brookwood Avenue will include a medical center and other services for seniors on the first floor, features Futrell says are crucial for an aging population.
Sebastopol appears on track to become the second city in California to require solar power systems on all new housing developments, as well as new commercial buildings.
Petaluma’s Planning Commission on Tuesday will take public comment on the draft environmental impact report for a proposed 93-unit housing subdivision on the western edge of town, adjacent to Helen Putnam Regional Park.
The project, proposed by Davidon Homes of Walnut Creek, is returning after having been shelved in 2007. At that time, the City Council indicated it wanted to scale down the proposal but stopped short of setting a cap on the number of homes that would be allowed.
Petalumans for Responsible Planning has been coordinating opposition to the project, as it did in the mid-2000s.
An international development company has purchased three vacant acres near Petaluma’s planned downtown train station, sparking discussion of what kind of development is appropriate at such a significant location.