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Community Development Commission

Early Notice and Public Review of a Proposed Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain

Published: April 19, 2024

To: All Interested Agencies, Groups, and Individuals

This is to give notice that Sonoma County (County), California, pursuant to 24 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 58, has determined that the following proposed Project under consideration is located within a 100-year floodplain, and that the County will be identifying and evaluating practicable alternatives to locating the action in the floodplain and the potential impacts on the floodplain from the proposed action, as required by Executive Order 11988, in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 Subpart C.

The Project site is located at 890 North McDowell Boulevard in the City of Petaluma (Assessor’s Parcel Map Numbers: 137-061-19). The Project site is approximately 6.56-acres in size with portions of the Project Site located within a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Zone AE designated Special Flood Hazard Area (Flood Insurance Rate Maps 06097C0893F and 06097C0894F), meaning portions of the Project site are subject to inundation by a one percent-annual-chance flood event (100- year flood). There are no wetlands on the site. To address potential flood impacts to the Project, all habitable ground floors would be constructed at least one foot above the base flood elevations of the Project site. In total, approximately 2.65 acres of FEMA-designated floodplain would be impacted by proposed Project activities. An additional 1.38 acres of FEMA-designated floodplain would be located within the portions of the Project Site that would be dedicated to the city for a SMART station parking lot and a future commercial development; however, the proposed Project would not alter the floodplain in this area.

As proposed, the Project qualifies as a federal undertaking in that the Project seeks federal assistance from HUD through the Public Housing Agency, in the form of 33 project-based vouchers from the Sonoma County Housing Authority. The Project would involve the construction of a 131-unit (including 1 market rate unit) multi-family affordable residential development on approximately 4.8 acres of the Project Site, which would consist of six three-story buildings and one four-story building for a total of 122,740 square feet of floor area. As part of the proposed Project, approximately 1.4 acres of land would be dedicated to Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) for the future development of the Petaluma North Station and an associated surface parking lot at the northern corner of the Project Site, south of the Corona Road and Northwestern Pacific Railroad intersection. Additionally, approximately one half-acre of land located at the southwest corner of the Project Site, east of the Corona Road and North McDowell Boulevard intersection, would be dedicated to the City of Petaluma and designated for future commercial development. The Project would also include community amenity and flex spaces and onsite parking with 160-spaces including electrical vehicle charging stations.

There are three primary purposes for this notice. First, people who may be affected by activities in the floodplains and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment should be given an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas. Commenters are encouraged to offer alternative sites outside of the floodplain, alternative methods to serve the same Project purpose, and methods to minimize and mitigate impacts. Second, an adequate public notice program can be an important public educational tool. The dissemination of information and request for public comment about floodplains can facilitate and enhance federal efforts to reduce the risks and impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in floodplains, it must inform those who may be put at a greater or continued risk.

Written comments are invited and must be received by the County at the following address on or before May 6, 2024: Sonoma County Community Development Commission, 1440 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 or by calling 707-565-7520, Attention: Veronica Ortiz-De Anda, during the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday - Friday. A full project description request, comments, or questions about the Project may also be submitted via email at