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Released by: Board of Supervisors
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Moves to Create Housing on Water Agency Property

Santa Rosa, CA  –  June 16, 2017  –  The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is set to consider next steps toward creating mixed income housing on a Santa Rosa property located on West College Avenue, which is currently owned by the Sonoma County Water Agency. At its meeting on June 20, 2017, the Board will be asked to approve a sale of the property from the Water Agency to the Sonoma County Community Development Commission (Commission) for $4.2 million, the current appraised value. Following this action, the Commission will work to engage interested members of the neighborhood and the broader community, as well as the City of Santa Rosa, to formulate a plan for affordable and workforce housing development that is compatible with the surrounding area and the city’s housing efforts. The first in a series of community meetings on the project will be held from 6 pm – 8:30 pm on August 2nd at the Finley Center, located at 2060 West College Ave in Santa Rosa. The Commission plans to solicit proposals in the Fall from developers for the eventual project.

“Addressing Sonoma County’s housing crisis has been a top priority for the Board of Supervisors and of great importance to me personally since I joined this Board,” said Board Chairwoman Shirlee Zane. “It is unacceptable that veterans who have served our country and seniors who have spent their work life in service to Sonoma County are being driven into housing out of the county or to homelessness.”

“Every member of our community deserves to have a housing option available that is affordable to them,” said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, who serves the Fifth District where the property is located. “One of the challenges we’ve had as a Board is balancing an interest in additional housing with preserving our valuable open space. Taking advantage of a county-owned property that is in an urban setting meets both of those key priorities.”

In April 2017 the Board adopted a Housing for All strategic priority, which seeks to increase the pace of development of housing for all income levels, with a special focus on housing that’s affordable to low income residents. The priority identified several county-owned properties appropriate for housing development, including the West College Avenue parcel. This is just one piece of the Board’s strategy to address Sonoma County’s housing shortage. The Board has also taken a series of other actions, including relaxing rules for construction of accessory dwelling units and updating the policy for investment of County Fund for Housing Trust Fund dollars.

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Contact Information

County Administrator's Office
County of Sonoma
Address
575 Administration Drive
Room 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464626, -122.725441
 

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