Monday, April 4, 2016

From the Top of the Hill

Greetings neighbors,

        As you may or may not know, the City of Santa Rosa has embarked on a project of transforming, changing and upgrading the City's Bus System. It is the "Re-imaging City Bus" project. One of those bus routes proposed,  will come up Chanate Road make a left on Parker Hill Rd. turn right on Sleepy Hollow, make another right on Bonita Vista, travel along the back of Hidden Valley Elementary School and finally make another right on Chanate Rd and continue down the hill to town.  

         The reasoning behind this route is to service the "Health and Wellness Center", which is located in the same area as the Bird Rescue. All the other County facilities have relocated in preparation of the Re-purposing of Chanate Hospital.  The "Health and Welfare Center will be relocating in 18 months.  But you will still have a bus route. Granted it will only travel once an hour,  but those of us who have, or have had children attend Hidden Valley Elementary school know how congested the back of Hidden Valley  can be both  in the mornings and at the end of the school day.  Let us not forget, both the School and the Park are used for multiple sports activities throughout the year.  Parking on Bonita Vista is somewhat dangerous now, especially around the turn in front of the park. 

          I am sure the County Supervisors are happy because they will have a bus route in place to service the Re-purposing Chanate project,(which will have 20% Affordable Housing) or is it Low Income housing. Will this housing be affordable to buy or to rent ? Will the land be sold or will the housing be attached to a 100 yr. lease ? Will the buildings be apartments? How many units ? Traffic is terrible on Chanate now and Hidden Valley Elementary schools are both impacted.   So far,  what we  have heard from the supervisors is that they would like some sort of a "Homeless Youth Facility ", commercial property, a park, trails, and affordable housing.( Multi-Use) and current market priced housing.  Would you buy a $800,000 home next to a apartment building?  

         The purpose of this email is to keep you informed of the developments taking place in our neighborhood. the Transit Department will take this "Re-imagining City Bus" project to the city council within the next few weeks.  For the most part, the changes made to the bus system are definitely an improvement, except this particular route which make sense at all, except maybe to fulfill the needs of the County in Re-purposing Chanate .  

 The way I see it, we have two choices at this point:

          The first being; do nothing and let our elected officials do whatever they want, In which case we will be sorry 10 years down the road.

           The latter;  be proactive regarding these two projects and email the Santa Rosa City Council and express your feelings about this bus route. (They do read their emails)  An alternative would be to have the route  turn around in the Chanate Hospital area and not down Sleepy Hollow. 
      An alternative as far as the "Affordable Housing part" of the Chanate project would be to locate it off West College Ave, just west of Stony Point Rd.  ( the old Water District Building, property owned by the County). It is on an established  bus route close to the Westside Transit Center , and The  Finley Recreation Center. For this issue an email to our County Supervisors would be prudent.

       In conclusion, in all fairness, we really don't know at this point what is going to happen with the Chanate project. We do know that only a portion of the land is build able. I think we can all agree that further urbanizing this area is not in the best interests of it's residents. 

Thank you for your consideration

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