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View Poll Results: Do you support building mix-use housing at the parking lot by Hopmonk?

Voters
17. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, we need more housing

    4 23.53%
  • No, we can't lose the parking

    13 76.47%

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  1. TopTop #121
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk



    I've added a POLL on
    whether you support the
    Pine Grove Square concept
    to convert downtown parking lot by Hopmonk
    to a mixed-use housing development
    to the top of this thread on the website.

    To see the poll and vote,
    click here.

    (note that the votes are public)

    Last edited by Barry; 01-29-2018 at 03:06 PM.
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  3. TopTop #122
    cw707
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Question: I didn't see this info anywhere, but is this proposed housing being designated specifically for seniors and disabled folks? Not sure how this would work, and probably need to be lower income housing for them as well maybe? Also, many people with disabilities have vehicles that they would need to use for services outside of walking distance and Sebastopol. Where would they park? I may have missed some initial info about this project; if so, apologies. Any info would be helpful. Thanks.


    Quote Dorothy Friberg wrote: View Post
    I love the idea of this project. Perhaps they could be "walk up" apartments for the un-autoed among us. In the heart of town - new vitality to an already friendly place. Of course there would need to be limited spaces for deliveries, etc. (the etc. is the tricky part). Let's start saying CAN DO instead of CAN'T DO.
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  4. TopTop #123
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Quote cw707 wrote: View Post
    Question: I didn't see this info anywhere, but is this proposed housing being designated specifically for seniors and disabled folks? ...
    There isn't a "proposed" housing development for this project concept yet, just a feasibility study to determine an approximate land value based on a selected possible development scenario:

    Quote feasibility study wrote:
    The concept for the residential component is “affordability by design” targeting young professionals and empty nesters, both demographic groups that tend to be attracted to living in active, mixed-use settings. Since the units are designed to be relatively small, they will be more affordable than larger units in comparable first-class developments. Average market rate rents are currently pegged at about $1,600/month, making them affordable to households earning in the range of 100% to 120% of AMI in Sonoma County (Median to Moderate Income). In terms of deed restricted affordable units, because this will be a public-private project the City has the opportunity to set the number of affordable units by agreement with the future developer. For purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that 20% of the units would be reserved for Low Income households (incomes up to 80% of AMI), which would equate to rents in the range of roughly $800 to $1,000/month.
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  6. TopTop #124
    Norbu
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    I tried to park at Rite-Aid yesterday and it's parking lot was full. As we all know, for the most part the cars in that lot did not belong to shoppers at Rite-Aid but it is being unlawfully used for downtown parking, as is the Whole Foods Lot. When the city in it's desire to generate funds to build a new city hall eliminates the parking we are discussing this will put further pressure on the Rite-Aid and Whole Foods lots and they will undoubtedly put in controlled parking, further decreasing the downtown parking. The Art Center parking, which the parking study included as parking for downtown, is often fully occupied for events at the Art Center.

    Cities like Petaluma increase their downtown parking in order to have a flourishing downtown business center, local shopping and a vibrant energetic city. This wrong minded elimination of downtown parking will not turn Sebastopol into a Norway and put everyone on bicycles. It will turn our vibrant downtown into abandoned storefronts and send local business to the malls where parking is plentiful.

    With a slight zoning change lots of housing can be built outside of the downtown area, and folks bused in on jitneys. Why wasn't the CVS site or the upcoming Hotel site used for housing? Rezoning would have made those sites perfect for housing.

    They weren't rezoned because the city didn't own them and selling them wouldn't have provided funds for a new city hall that some in government want. I used to be proud of our city council and city manager but my faith in our city government is flagging. Let's listen to our new council member Michael the boot maker, he knows how important parking is to downtown business and keeping Sebastopol's shopping local and our downtown an exciting place.
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  8. TopTop #125
    1104GT's Avatar
    1104GT
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Your post contains a few incorrect/inaccurate statements that I would like to address:

    You should try the CVS lot. Unlike Rite Aid and Whole Foods, it is public parking and never full.

    Quote Norbu wrote: View Post
    I tried to park at Rite-Aid yesterday and it's parking lot was full. As we all know, for the most part the cars in that lot did not belong to shoppers at Rite-Aid but it is being unlawfully used for downtown parking, as is the Whole Foods Lot.
    Pine Grove Square is not a proposal for a new City Hall. The concept is to provide housing and some commercial space.

    Quote Norbu wrote: View Post
    When the city in it's desire to generate funds to build a new city hall
    Petaluma added housing, retail space and a movie theater downtown more than they added parking. That, along with their closer proximity to high paying jobs in the Bay Area has driven the upswing in vitality.

    Quote Norbu wrote: View Post
    Cities like Petaluma increase their downtown parking in order to have a flourishing downtown business center, local shopping and a vibrant energetic city.
    I'm not sure what zoning changes you think need to happen. I worked on the General Plan update and know that our zoning is actually pretty housing friendly.

    Why not build housing IN TOWN so people don't need to drive or get on a jitney? Building outside town is called sprawl. Sprawl=bad idea.

    Quote Norbu wrote: View Post
    With a slight zoning change lots of housing can be built outside of the downtown area, and folks bused in on jitneys.
    CVS being built had nothing to do with zoning. The site was zoned for housing at the time. It was a matter of economic timing. That's what the developer wanted to build. You are arguing that the City should stay out of development, but the CVS project might have become housing if they City had been in a position to take a more active role in finding the right developer and steering the project.

    Quote Norbu wrote: View Post
    Why wasn't the CVS site or the upcoming Hotel site used for housing? Rezoning would have made those sites perfect for housing.
    I'm actually quite proud of our City Council for taking an active role in tying to address the housing crisis in this county. You are obviously a drive-to-town person who values parking above housing. Relying on out-of-town people is not wise or sustainable. People living downtown will do far more to increasing the vibrancy of of Sebastopol than people who have to drive to get here.

    Quote Norbu wrote: View Post
    I used to be proud of our city council and city manager but my faith in our city government is flagging.
    SaveSave
    Last edited by Barry; 02-01-2018 at 12:18 PM.
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  10. TopTop #126
    MikeH
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    I honestly think that the more housing that's built, the worse the "housing crisis" will get. That is not to say more housing shouldn't be built, but just how I see it.

    Why would that be, or is that craziness to claim that? Well it seems more housing is a magnet for people to come from out of the area. The are new homes being built in Rohnert Park and Petaluma by KB Homes and "Signature Homes" and my first hand experience is talking with out-of-the-area buyers of some of those homes. I have done no poll; it is just anecdotal. They are not local first time home buyers, but have sold homes in other counties to put a large down payment and make the mortgage affordable. They are bringing out of the area cash to the transaction.

    People claim home prices and rents here are high, but really they are low relative to Marin, and very, very low relative to San Francisco. So maybe that's it: building more makes people in more expensive areas think "look at this brand new affordable living that is available to me if I move to Sonoma County."

    I rarely agree with anything our supervisors say, but one who I really dislike has said of this 'housing crisis" that we cannot build our way out of it. There is one thing said that i do think may be correct.
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  12. TopTop #127
    Mrs. Wacco's Avatar
    Mrs. Wacco
    Behind every great man...

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Thank you for clarifying the many misconceptions in that previous post!

    Quote 1104GT wrote: View Post
    Your post contains a few incorrect/inaccurate statements that I would like to address:...
    SaveSave
    Last edited by Barry; 02-01-2018 at 12:08 PM.
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  14. TopTop #128
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    The ideas in your post are fantasy based and not grounded in reality. They are another example of NIMBY, "I don't want this housing, put it someplace else".

    Housing was not built at the CVS lot or the new hotel because both sites are in the commercial downtown area, and therefore too costly for housing. "Abandoned storefronts" and "jitneys"...? ... you must be smoking some of that newly legalized crop.

    Quote Norbu wrote: View Post
    I tried to park at Rite-Aid yesterday and it's parking lot was full. ...
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  15. TopTop #129
    gypsey's Avatar
    gypsey
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Quote Norbu wrote: View Post
    I tried to park at Rite-Aid yesterday and it's parking lot was full....
    Thanks for a very good post. Another extremely congested parking lot is the one at the library. Long lines of cars wanting to use the library or access main street businesses are frequent. One statement I recall from city council was that the HopMonk parking lot is seldom full b/c there is "plenty" of parking. The reality is that any evening or late afternoon--it is packed. We have a serious parking problem here and while some parking is available at CVS, it is not convenient to local businesses downtown. And there are those who at night or in inclement weather, are uncomfortable crossing that very busy intersection. Just some thoughts.
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  17. TopTop #130
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Quote MikeH wrote: View Post
    I honestly think that the more housing that's built, the worse the "housing crisis" will get. That is not to say more housing shouldn't be built, but just how I see it..... Well it seems more housing is a magnet for people to come from out of the area. .... They are not local first time home buyers, but have sold homes in other counties to put a large down payment and make the mortgage affordable. They are bringing out of the area cash to the transaction.
    that's sort of true. It's analogous to the idea of building more lanes on the freeway - it just encourages more people to live farther from their destination so the traffic actually increases.
    The problem is in the solution. For roads, sure, don't build them. Instead, build housing close to destinations and add mass transit. Also, make things walking- and bicycle-friendly.
    So what's the parallel answer for housing? If you don't build housing, you don't squeeze out those from other areas who bring cash. You make it so ONLY those people can live here.
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  19. TopTop #131
    rossmen
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    CVS was not zoned for housing and if the city had tried to make that change the owners would have sued and won. City leaders are welcoming and guiding high rise development to make money for improvements and high on the priority lists is a new city hall.

    I am not excited about the city selling central public space to a developer even with guidance. Maybe if it was the school district selling Parkside to Luther Burbank housing for affordable units and a pocket park. If the city is this involved it should stick to building affordable housing, something it has done well.
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  20. TopTop #132
    1104GT's Avatar
    1104GT
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Just for accuracy, the Pellini (CVS) property was, and still is, zoned CD - Downtown Core. Housing is permitted as part of a mixed-use development (retail on lower floor, housing above).

    Link to the zoning map is: http://ci.sebastopol.ca.us/Sebastopo...1.pdf?ext=.pdf


    Quote rossmen wrote: View Post
    CVS was not zoned for housing and if the city had tried to make that change the owners would have sued and won.
    br>
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  22. TopTop #133
    rossmen
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    The number one rule of real estate development is that you can't beat the market. Any individual developer won't change the market, however government can change the market by changing the market rules.

    Sebastopol partnering with a developer for three story infill will not change the housing market. It will change downtown. Rather than the current concepts I would prefer the city keep the parking as open space, maybe guide the chamber lot into some straightup affordable housing with efficient public parking, and daylight Calder creek for a continuous greenway from lves to the Laguna including a new public square less hemmed in by traffic. The old square could be parking again. That would be nice.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-03-2018 at 09:06 AM.
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  24. TopTop #134
    ChefJayTay's Avatar
    ChefJayTay
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Keep in mind the parking lot is not even at intended capacity currently.
    There are office spaces for lease above the Sonoma west times.
    The entire 200S Main Building is for sale.
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  26. TopTop #135
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    I agree with your comments about developers and the market.

    Where is the "chamber lot" you suggest for affordable housing?

    Day lighting Calder Creek for a greenway to the Laguna, and a new public square? Can you pay for that... as I doubt the City has the spare cash lying around. It's not unlike the proposals for the Pellini / CVS property, to build affordable housing, or save the old buildings for reuse with a tea shop, macrame designs, and wine tasting. Where was the money supposed to come from? There was none for those ideas, including the street & utility repairs required. Thus they never happened.

    Projects like day lighting Calder Creek, a new public square, and affordable housing all require public funding... which is in short supply. Affordable housing has been built with creative public / private funding, such as by Burbank Housing in Santa Rosa. The funding picture has changed recently, helped by new CA State initiatives, and constrained by the new tax measure.


    Quote rossmen wrote: View Post
    The number one rule of real estate development is that you can't beat the market. Any individual developer won't change the market, however government can change the market by changing the market rules.

    Sebastopol partnering with a developer for three story infill will not change the housing market. It will change downtown. Rather than the current concepts I would prefer the city keep the parking as open space, maybe guide the chamber lot into some straightup affordable housing with efficient public parking, and daylight Calder creek for a continuous greenway from lves to the Laguna including a new public square less hemmed in by traffic. The old square could be parking again. That would be nice.
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  27. TopTop #136
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    ...Where is the "chamber lot" you suggest for affordable housing?...
    The chamber lot is one of best-kept secrets in Sebastopol! It behind the chamber building and it is public parking! It was included in the Pine Grove Square concept.


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  28. TopTop #137
    rossmen
     

    Re: City Proposes Pine Grove Square development to replace parking lot by Hopmonk

    Unlike the cvs property the city owns the parking lot. I don't know who owns the lot behind the chamber of commerce and museum. This lot is underutilized and was part of the parking study and pine grove concept.

    There have been affordable projects built in sebtown over the years and the city is in compliance with ABAG requirements. With the new state funding maybe it's time to develop another one. My favorite location is across from Brookhaven. This lot is owned by the Catholic church and has been on the short list for affordable infill for twenty years. The city could also let people camp again in the park they bought with open space money. That was really affordable.

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    I agree with your comments about developers and the market....
    Last edited by Barry; 02-05-2018 at 01:28 PM.
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