The Santa Rosa City Council narrowly approved steep increases to permit and development fees Tuesday over the objections of industry leaders who warned doing so could jeopardize a fragile economic recovery.
A divided City Council waived a key design requirement Tuesday for a subdivision in southwest Santa Rosa whose developers argued that affordable housing trumped design guidelines requiring strips of grass between the road and sidewalk.
Setting aside warnings about increased alcohol-related crimes downtown, the Santa Rosa City Council overruled its planning director Tuesday and allowed a Petaluma businessman to move forward with plans for a wine and liquor store on a prominent but long-vacant downtown corner.
Two members of the Santa Rosa City Council who served on the subcommittee that studied whether the city should join Sonoma Clean Power were selected Tuesday to be the city’s representatives on the board of the public power agency.
A last-ditch effort to assuage Santa Rosa’s concerns about the structure of the Sonoma Clean Power Authority succeeded Tuesday, convincing the city to join the launch of the fledgling public power agency.
The Santa Rosa City Council passed a $340.1 million budget Thursday that represents a 9 percent increase in spending as improved revenues allow the city to begin rebuilding staffing levels after years of cuts to many departments.
Santa Rosa’s City Council is planning to tackle some thorny issues in the next two years, including the annexation of Roseland, requiring labor agreements on public projects and relaxing the city’s medicinal marijuana ordinance.
A spirit of cooperation and compromise appears to have taken root on the Santa Rosa City Council as newcomers unscarred by ideological skirmishes of the past are working hard to forge pragmatic solutions to the city’s pressing issues.
Two recent policy debates underscore how the dynamic has shifted since three new members have taken seats on the council since the November election.
Julie Combs and Erin Carlstrom were both elected to the seven-member council in the fall, and Robin Swinth, a former Board of Public Utilities member, was appointed in January to replace now 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin.