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

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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 #61
    JayS
     

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

    In my opinion, parking is not the/my biggest issue. Fighting for parking is for whiners who can't get close to where they want to go. My issue is making this town accessible via walking or cycling and keeping cars out of down town, thus a REAL down town friendly environment. Right now down town is not friendly for cyclists or pedestrians and is not going to happen in a healthy or safe fashion as long as vehicular traffic is winding it's way through Sebastopol via two major highways. And now we have a four story hotel down town?! That's going to reduce vehicular traffic? Sure.
    Regarding many of our Planning Commissioners and Design Review Board members live downtown..okay, fine. Probably not on N or S Main, or Pet Ave. Would they live in the proposed Hop Monk housing? Doubt it.

    Quote 1104GT wrote: View Post
    Since parking seems to be your biggest issue, ...
    Last edited by Barry; 07-13-2017 at 09:03 PM.
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  2. TopTop #62
    rossmen
     

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

    Slayter slays, but what? My experience with the guy is he can listen, only after you hit him upside the head. And he put his head out here. My prediction, and yes i have been wrong (example creeper corrillo), is this proposal is doa. Like the neighbors dont want it, and they are businesses. If it was the chamber vs everyone else it might have a chance, example cvs. But the chamber has allies, the city council stands almost alone, they will be corrected.

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Letter by Vice Mayor Patrick Slayter regarding the Pine Grove Square concept
    ...
    Last edited by Barry; 07-13-2017 at 09:02 PM.
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  3. TopTop #63
    jerichsalud's Avatar
    jerichsalud
     

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

    I appreciate your concern about having a friendly downtown environment for walking and biking. I spoke out publicly against the hotel and would have done the same about the CVS but I was living out of the area at the time because in my mind the cons of those projects outweighed the pros for my hometown.

    If we weren't in the extreme housing crisis we are in I would probably not be in favor of this housing project, but I believe that the reality is that the crisis is so extreme that we need to take advantage of the limited opportunities to build housing where we can or many more people will be pushed out of our communities and/or end up on the streets. I would love to see this and other projects actually 100% affordable housing too.

    This project will likely have added benefits that the tenants will live downtown and be able to easily walk, ride bikes, and take public to many places. The bus that goes to Santa Rosa as well as to Graton, the River and Occidental passes right by this site and of course there is the bike trail to Santa Rosa and Forestville. And yes, I regularly took those buses myself to get to the SRJC and Sonoma State and sometimes also commute on those bike trails to work.

    I think given the housing crisis that is affecting so many people myself included we have to think about changing our hopes and expectations.

    Quote JayS wrote: View Post
    ... My issue is making this town accessible via walking or cycling and keeping cars out of down town, ...
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  5. TopTop #64
    jerichsalud's Avatar
    jerichsalud
     

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

    This article in today's Sonoma Sun while specific to the City of Sonoma highlights the seriousness of the housing crisis in Sonoma County and Sebastopol and why housing projects like this one in Sebastopol may be so important.

    A closer look: affordable housing
    A SUN staff report Why is there a need for more affordable housing

    The simple answer is that the residents who work here in the Valley are finding it impossible to afford or even locate suitable places to live. The dominant hospitality/tourism sector provides mostly low-paying jobs at or slightly above the minimum wage. Similarly, restaurants generally offer low-paying jobs lacking significant benefits. Agricultural workers are among the lowest paid workers in Sonoma Valley, and also lack meaningful benefits.

    Even teachers and health professionals, fire department personnel and mid-level professionals are finding themselves priced out of housing. About 50 percent of school district employees do not live locally, and less than that are employed in local government. Such employers find filling employment positions difficult because fairly-priced housing is so hard to find. Only 16 percent of the people who work in the City of Sonoma live in the City of Sonoma.

    Continues here
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  7. TopTop #65
    BloomMarig
     

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

    Business owners in downtown Petaluma seem to think that availability of parking is directly related to their success.

    Downtown Petaluma parking solution sought
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  8. TopTop #66
    heresbruce's Avatar
    heresbruce
     

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

    Folks, when you choose to live in a growing town positioned at the nexus to two major intra-county highways east-west (Hwy 12-Bodega Avenue) and north-south (Hwy 116-Gravenstein road), and want to continue to pretend you are just a little "one-horse" farm village with one lane roads... bless you all but you are delusional.

    I admire wanting to keep the small town feel and look, and struggling to match that with the demands the city faces are a challenge, and I suggest that there are creative and artful ways to do so. But things will have to change... as for me, I avoid downtown whenever i can... to paraphrase Yogi "no one goes there anymore, it's too crowded"... Bless you, I hope you can come to a consensus, I will just hang out in the country and watch...
    Bruce Schmidt
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  10. TopTop #67
    rossmen
     

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

    The problem with the city process is that it is so reminiscent of the hotel cramdown, where input was poorly noticed and fast tracked.

    If you want alternatives; what happened to laguna vista? Maybe the city leaders could renegotiate that with owners, with apologies for legacy hassle, to create 300 3 story mixed income rentals and owner condos avoiding the ghetto fiasco of the top down "cohousing", low income complex next to swmc. Also there is plenty of city owned land lightly used, unlike the most popular parking lot in town. Back to swmc, the big kahuna. Chances are that the latest revivification, leasing to drugt est scam operators out of florida with the rumor of rehab (i support rehab but not this crew), will not go well. 10 acres, publicly owned. Then there is the trailer park, shut down with open space and city $, now the city wants to revive but only with more public money; limited, just need to get past weaver. i could list more if you are curious...

    Quote jerichsalud wrote: View Post
    I appreciate your concern about having a friendly downtown environment for walking and biking. I spoke out publicly against the hotel and would have done the same about the CVS but I was living out of the area at the time because in my mind the cons of those projects outweighed the pros for my hometown. ...
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  11. TopTop #68
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

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

    Rossmen, I'm curious about your statement "the ghetto fiasco of the top down 'cohousing', low income complex next to swmc" [Sonoma West Medical Center]. I have a friend who lives there with her daughter who I visited a few years ago. My impression is that it was an appealing place to live. Why do you call it a "ghetto"?
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  13. TopTop #69
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

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

    I agree with Tommy. I have had friends happily living there over the years and I have been to appealing and nurturing events there. It is less expensive than some places, but still a credit to our town, in my opinion.

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    Rossmen, I'm curious about your statement "the ghetto fiasco of the top down 'cohousing', low income complex next to swmc". ...
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  15. TopTop #70
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    Pine Grove is returning to the Sebastopol City Council next Tuesday, Jan 16th, starting at 6pm at the Sebastopol Community Center Youth Annex (Teen Center).

    The parking study has been completed (and is attached). Basically, it says that parking will get tighter, but there will still be sufficient parking available.

    The question at hand is: Are you willing to walk an extra block or two in order to make more affordable\work-force housing available? Plus, this project should generate extra cash flow for the City that can be used for some other public purpose.

    One thing to consider, IMO, is that parking demand will go down in time, as more people use uber-style services, that are bound to get cheaper as the switch to autonomous vehicles.

    Here's the report's Summary and Recommendations:





    Come to the meeting and hear about the parking study and make your opinion known!
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  17. TopTop #71
    luke32
     

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

    This is akin to talking about the horse before we even know there will be a cart.

    Talking about parking - particularly when the conclusion is "Hey, no problem" - gets everybody excited. Affordable housing downtown!

    The reality is that the Pine Grove mixed use development must make economic sense before the City or private interests invest in it. The return over the years must equal the investment cost (factoring in any State or Federal subsidy available for affordable housing) plus inflation, plus some profit (yeah that ugly word).

    Usually deliberations and decisions about investment and future income are made by private parties. And we can see the results of such deliberations here in Sebastopol. For, oh, how many years?, no local entity bought the old car dealership; it only turned when a national chain which could afford a "losing" proposition decided to put up a single purpose store. Not buying the dealership was an economic decision.

    And, if downtown Sebastopol were a "hot' location you would think higher end retail would step in and spruce up such properties as the rock store and the used clothing store in the middle of Sebastopol. And, while it is a few blocks away from central downtown Sebastopol, the retail establishments in the 500 block of S. Main St. (just south of the Walker/Main intersection) would have fared better. Still awaiting an 'economic' verdict are the new stores across from Fircrest Market.

    And the Pine Grove development "shall we invest?" deliberations are going to be much more complicated , having to factor in affordable housing (the investment and rent supplement money is going to come from where?). So talking about parking, and Uber, and self-driving cars is a bit premature and runs the risk of getting people hyped up over something that may never make economic sense.

    Incidentally, I think the City contract to scope out the Pine Grove project should have waited until after the new hotel is up. Sidewalk foot traffic is bound to be a major factor in future retail success, and until we see what the new hotel will bring in the way of greater foot traffic, we won't get a good picture.
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  18. TopTop #72
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    The Sonoma West recently published an article about the Pine Grove Square that covers the main points.

    What I found really interesting is that one of the commenters (Tony Bryhan) suggested a "sanity check" of putting up barricades around the parking lot and see how parkers and businesses feel about it. Brilliant! I think this should be publicized in advance and include information about the test and a list/map of alternative parking areas, including reminding everybody that the everybody is welcome in the CVS parking lot and the big Art Center lot is just a block and half away.
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  20. TopTop #73
    1104GT's Avatar
    1104GT
     

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

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    What I found really interesting is that one of the commenters (Tony Bryhan) suggested a "sanity check" of putting up barricades around the parking lot and see how parkers and businesses feel about it. Brilliant!
    I think that is a fantastic idea. I never understood why the City of Santa Rosa never did this as part of the studies leading up to the Courthouse Square reunification project. That is also exactly what we should do to study returning to one-way traffic through town too. Setup an inexpensive and temporary equivalent.
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  22. TopTop #74
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

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

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    ...What I found really interesting is that one of the commenters (Tony Bryhan) suggested a "sanity check" of putting up barricades around the parking lot and see how parkers and businesses feel about it. ....
    I think it's too rational an idea; it doesn't account for people's psychology. An empty parking lot, with barricades around it to prevent you from getting in, is like a beer just out of reach. It would feel like you're being taunted.
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  24. TopTop #75
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    Quote luke32 wrote: View Post
    ...The reality is that the Pine Grove mixed use development must make economic sense before the City or private interests invest in it....
    A recent study was done and presented at the City Council in June 2017 that found that the project makes economic sense. See the report and video of the meeting here.
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  25. TopTop #76
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

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

    Housing is more critically important & needed than parking.

    People will always come up with arguments against housing: basically nimby - put it someplace else. That's been going on for a very long time in California, the main reason there's a shortage of housing, and the price has gone up (supply & demand).

    I'd guess that the "sanity check" barricades would do more to inflame opposition than support for Pine Grove Square. Who's going to report "oh yeah, I like less parking"? There's a long history in Sebastopol of people wanting things to stay the way they are. It will take courageous & smart leadership of the City to build Pine Grove Square.

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    The Sonoma West recently published an article about the Pine Grove Square that covers the main points.

    What I found really interesting is that one of the commenters (Tony Bryhan) suggested a "sanity check" of putting up barricades around the parking lot and see how parkers and businesses feel about it. Brilliant! I think this should be publicized in advance and include information about the test and a list/map of alternative parking areas, including reminding everybody that the everybody is welcome in the CVS parking lot and the big Art Center lot is just a block and half away.
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  27. TopTop #77
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    The Pine Grove Square parking study was presented last night at the city council. While the study concluded there would be sufficient parking of the large public lot near Hopmonk were to be converted into mixed use workforce house development, the public comment was nearly 100% the opposite, saying there would be insufficient parking without that lot.

    The Sonoma West article is here: "Citizens pack council meeting on Pine Grove Square parking"

    And the video of the meeting is here, with the parking study topic starting at the 14:45 mark.
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  29. TopTop #78
    b.w. rose
     

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

    For those who enjoy semantic differences between a "concept" and a "project" and deciphering what a "walkshed" is, this is the Sonoma West story on the meeting:


    Citizens pack council meeting on Pine Grove Square parking
    Last edited by Barry; 01-18-2018 at 12:50 PM.
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  31. TopTop #79
    ChefJayTay's Avatar
    ChefJayTay
     

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

    I just think this is a bad plan. There isn't a need for such density.

    There's equally as good spots that can be developed elsewhere in the city. What about the old concrete plant, or the space behind the feed store. How about the (now failed?) plans to redevelop the propane store into apartments? Instead people are actively arguing about taking away public parking, and shoehorning apartments above an established entertainment venue (You're telling me YOU want to live above a bar with outdoor live music?).

    Seems like a lot of wasted public money and time for someone's development convenience.
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  33. TopTop #80
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    Quote ChefJayTay wrote: View Post
    ...There's equally as good spots that can be developed elsewhere in the city. ...

    Seems like a lot of wasted public money and time for someone's development convenience.
    It may well turn out to be a lot of wasted public money. As for "someone's development convenience" the whole point of Pine Grove Square was that it was city-owned land. They could take the initiative and play developer to cause a project they'd want to see be implemented there (such as workforce housing).

    Any of the other sites are privately owned. They only control that the city has is via zoning, which is not insignificant, but they are wholly dependants on the whims of the owner.
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  35. TopTop #81
    1104GT's Avatar
    1104GT
     

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

    A few thoughts on Pine Grove Square:

    1. This shouldn't be an "or" proposition (housing or parking). I think there is an "and" solution (housing and parking). If you look around downtown, there are quite a few under-utilized pieces of property, so I think we can have both parking and additional housing. The City needs to re-establish a downtown parking district and start collecting in-lieu-of fees from developers that they then use to add to our City owned parking stock.

    2. Like it or not, the population of Sonoma County is going up. I feel strongly that if the towns of Sonoma County do not add housing at their cores, there will be increased pressure to develop in the open spaces between towns (urban sprawl). I know there is a large group of people who want the town to remain how it was when they first moved here, but that's not realistic. You can't step into the same river twice and the same goes for a town. Things change. The goal is to chose the right change.

    3. If we don't add some more affordable housing in town, then Sebastopol will only get more and more expensive and exclusive.

    4. As a town, I think we need to chose housing people over housing cars. The more people we have living downtown, the less we will need outside money arriving by car.

    5. I am surprised that so many downtown merchants oppose housing on this property. I think this is very short sighted. Pine Grove Square could add 50-60 units or 100-150 people downtown. If you are downtown merchant, those are 100-150 people who can regularly walk to your business and become your regular customers. They might have dinner, get coffee, buy a bagel, cookies or buy books and art supplies multiple times a month. Why would you chose occasional visitors over 100+ potential regular customers?

    6. Many say they oppose housing due to the proximity to traffic and Hop Monk (noise). When I was younger, I enjoyed living in loud, lively places. Just because you say you don't want to live there doesn't mean that someone else wouldn't love to.

    7. I think it's great that our City leaders are taking a creative and pro-active approach and really trying to address the housing issues of our community. If people on this thread have better ideas, let's hear them!

    Cheers!

    Ted
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  36. TopTop #82
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

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

    Quote ChefJayTay wrote: View Post
    I just think this is a bad plan. There isn't a need for such density.
    oh yeah there is. It's impossible to argue that there's enough housing in the area - and there's nothing unique about this area in that way. There's not enough housing for people. This is too much like the arguments that we can't afford health care. The alternative is people who go without. If housing isn't built, people go without. We all see it.
    With the need so great, it's hard to argue against any plausible plan. The cliche of the perfect being the enemy of the good needs to be broadened -- 'good' is the enemy of 'acceptable'. Some housing plans are pretty awful and must be stopped, but the bar for that needs to keep getting raised until some progress is made.
    This plan is not at all awful. Inconvenienced by a debatable lack of parking??? not enough reason to stop it.
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  38. TopTop #83
    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 you thoughtful response!

    Quote 1104GT wrote: View Post
    A few thoughts on Pine Grove Square:...
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  39. TopTop #84
    ChefJayTay's Avatar
    ChefJayTay
     

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

    But... their isn't.
    I'm not against new housing. I'm against it being crammed downtown, when lots in walking distance remain empty.
    I listed 3 in my post above that I believe are both eyesores and should be addressed before we bother with projects like this. Why are we wasting money on the study at all?

    Quote podfish wrote: View Post
    oh yeah there is. It's impossible to argue that there's enough housing in the area....
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  41. TopTop #85
    Mrs. Wacco's Avatar
    Mrs. Wacco
    Behind every great man...

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

    considering the other lots are privately owned, how would you propose they become housing?

    Quote ChefJayTay wrote: View Post
    But... their isn't.
    I'm not against new housing. I'm against it being crammed downtown, when lots in walking distance remain empty.
    I listed 3 in my post above that I believe are both eyesores and should be addressed before we bother with projects like this. Why are we wasting money on the study at all?
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  42. TopTop #86
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

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

    Quote ChefJayTay wrote: View Post
    But... their isn't.
    I'm not against new housing. I'm against it being crammed downtown, when lots in walking distance remain empty.
    I listed 3 in my post above that I believe are both eyesores and should be addressed before we bother with projects like this. Why are we wasting money on the study at all?
    the part of my post you didn't quote points out that just because better solutions exist doesn't mean we should use them to reject the one that's offered. They're not exclusive - I'd like the eyesores turned into housing or to other beneficial uses too. But that's not the choice that's available.
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  43. TopTop #87
    ChefJayTay's Avatar
    ChefJayTay
     

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

    They are all for sale.

    Quote Mrs. Wacco wrote: View Post
    considering the other lots are privately owned, how would you propose they become housing?
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  45. TopTop #88
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    Quote ChefJayTay wrote: View Post
    They are all for sale.
    So what do you think should happen? Do you think the city should start buying private land/properties for commercial development?
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  46. TopTop #89
    Icssoma's Avatar
    Icssoma
     

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

    gratitude is not enough for your well thought out points. i have been thinking many of the same things, and grateful that you have voiced them for me in such a well thought out way.

    i believe we can all find parking, and walk a little further. cvs is underused. we may need additional spaces, but no need for the parking to be in this location.

    i was saddened that so many people spoke against this plan.
    i agree this should go ahead, with some additional parking added, and that parking can be "somewhere else".
    the only time we need next door parking is when we are loading and unloading heavy equipment/items (what 10-15 min zones are made for), or in the case of the feed store a loading zone, or for people with disabilities who need to be close to a venue.
    i am saddened by so many who seem to want housing, but are not willing to change the status quo.
    hop monk will be just fine with housing near by.
    and most of us can walk a little further, or use parking accommodations.
    i am disturbed by sebastopolians and west county residents who want more housing and affordable housing, yet don't want any changes to make this possible.
    let's move on to other parking options. much easier than housing.

    Quote 1104GT wrote: View Post
    A few thoughts on Pine Grove Square:

    1. This shouldn't be an "or" proposition (housing or parking). I think there is an "and" solution ...

    2. Like it or not, the population of Sonoma County is going up. ...

    3. If we don't add some more affordable housing in town, then Sebastopol will only get more and more expensive and exclusive.

    4. As a town, I think we need to choose housing people over housing cars. ...

    5. ...Pine Grove Square could add 50-60 units or 100-150 people downtown...

    6. ...Just because you say you don't want to live [next to hopmonk] doesn't mean that someone else wouldn't love to.

    7. I think it's great that our City leaders are taking a creative and pro-active approach and really trying to address the housing issues of our community. ...
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  48. TopTop #90
    ChefJayTay's Avatar
    ChefJayTay
     

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

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    So what do you think should happen? Do you think the city should start buying private land/properties for commercial development?
    So this is a suggestion that our city get into the housing business?
    Because unless the city is building the project and operating it, there's no difference. They should just sell the land. Like those other 3 plots for sale.

    Instead, we're wasting 30 THOUSAND dollars on a piece of worthless paper saying if we should do it or not.
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