Policy Update, November 2023

Housing Advocacy Highlights!
This month we showed up for some major deliberations on local housing issues!

On November 14, 2023, the Petaluma Planning Commission held a joint meeting with the Historic & Cultural Preservation Committee to discuss the Downtown Housing & Economic Opportunity Overlay. The overlay proposes to support housing and mixed-use development in a portion of the Downtown area through modification of Floor Area Ratio (‘FAR”), building height, and lot coverage maximums, and associated revisions, including development and design controls for properties located in the overlay.

The proposed zoning overlay was met with considerable opposition, but prohousing voices countered with a strong and affirmative voice. And after 8 hours of education, public comment and deliberation, the Planning Commission voted 7-0 to approve amendments to the General Plan and zoning code.

Barring an appeal, the Zoning Overlay issue will proceed to the City Council for further deliberation and possible adoption at their December 4, 2023 meeting.

On November 15, 2023, the Windsor Town Council received a presentation for a pre-application concept review of a project proposed at 9290 Old Redwood Highway, a site proximate to the Town Square, SMART, and Oliver’s.

After careful consideration, Generation Housing determined it was necessary to once again voice our opposition to the applicant’s proposal. The project continued to conflict with what was envisioned in the General Plan and the minimum zoning requirements outlined in the Station Area Plan. The site has always been viewed as one of the last major opportunities to create a sizable share of multifamily housing in the core of Windsor. Yet, the applicant continues to propose predominantly single family detached homes that they are calling “affordable by design”. Opting for such low density in this location endangers our collective efforts to curb further urban sprawl in more sensitive or less built out areas of Windsor. The Town Council agreed with our sentiments and those of others who spoke.

Generation Housing has never spoken in opposition to a housing development. However, the availability of large infill properties that are transit-centric is few in number. It is for this reason we elected to vocalize our concerns and urge the applicant to return with a proposal that better aligns with the higher intensity vision for this property.

Click here to view the November 15 meeting agenda!

On the Horizon: What’s Coming Up on the Sonoma County Policy Front?

People might be wrapping presents already, but the year is far from wrapped up. See what’s in the pipeline of upcoming agenda items. This is not an exhaustive list, so be certain to sign up for Action Alerts.

Santa Rosa
December 5, 2023: Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (“BAHFA”) and 2024 Regional Affordable Housing Bond
December 12, 2023: Draft Economic Development Strategic Plan (Study Session), Declaration of Multiple City Owned Parcels as Exempt and Non-Exempt Surplus (Report)

December 4, 2023: Downtown Housing & Economic Opportunity Overlay

November 28, 2023: The County Board of Supervisors will review the First Reading of the Transient Occupancy Tax (“TOT”) Ordinance. At this same meeting, the BOS will review the Fall General Fund Fiscal Forecast – this includes review of funds and will be an opportunity to revisit TOT, Teeter, and reinvestment/redevelopment policies.
December 5, 2023: Annual Legislative Review (Consent); Permit Sonoma Management Review Implementation Update (Report)
December 11, 2023: Climate Action and Resiliency Workshop
December 12, 2023: General Plan Kickoff