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.
For the past decade, Windsor has been on record against a proposed Lytton Rancheria housing development on its border, but more recently town officials have quietly cooperated with the tribe to look at potentially providing the project with sewer and water.
A modest plan to kick-start development around Santa Rosa’s downtown train station got kicked to the curb Tuesday by the City Council. The council rejected by a 4-3 vote a developer’s bid to build 93 units of affordable senior housing instead of a more ambitious plan he says no longer makes financial sense in the current economy.
City leaders rejected a developer’s plan to build 73 homes in the largest subdivision under construction in Santa Rosa, calling the proposal a ‘bait-and-switch’ that would leave the city without the low-income housing it was promised.
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.
Windsor, a town that once worried about rampant growth, has seen residential construction slow dramatically, to the point that no new homes have been built this year. But when the economy improves, that could change quickly with the backlog of 1,200 dwelling units with tentative and final approvals.
Housing discrimination takes many forms. It can be blatant, as when an ad for an apartment rental states ‘no children.’ Or it can be subtle, as when a lender offers to lend at a slightly higher mortgage interest rate to a Latino homebuyer than the normal rate offered to similarly qualified Caucasians. A recent report prepared for the cities of Santa Rosa and Petaluma and the county of Sonoma finds that these and other forms of housing discrimination may be a bigger problem in Sonoma County than other areas.
A new federal plan to help more underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages drew praise and skepticism Monday in Sonoma County. Rep. Mike Thompson said the Obama administration plan was an incremental step. “I don’t think it comes close to where we need to be or what we need to do,” Thompson said.
Beginning Saturday, the federal government will withdraw some of its support for the real estate market by scaling back the size of home loans it will guarantee. The lower loan limits are already making it more expensive for buyers to get mortgages on upscale homes in Sonoma County.