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  1. TopTop #31
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

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

    Housing is more important than parking. Cars are a big problem. Walking is part of the solution. I lived in the Boston area decades ago when the city decided to close the downtown core to traffic. At first the business community objected. Then more people came to that area, walked around, and bought things. Walking is good.

    Quote Sieglinde wrote: View Post
    I am concerned about the loss of public parking. Many people including the customers of Hopmonk use that parking lot. Of course there is plenty of parking at CVS, but still the loss of public parking is an issue.
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  3. TopTop #32
    Sieglinde's Avatar
    Sieglinde
     

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

    Very good point. Let's hope this is affordable housing for lower middle class and Section 8 folks.

    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    Housing is more important than parking...
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  5. TopTop #33
    bushin's Avatar
    bushin
     

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

    No!
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  6. TopTop #34

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

    I went to the discussion last evening and was surprised at the number of people who interpreted "replacing the parking lot" as losing parking. I thought the Council made it clear that they wanted to retain the commercial parking.

    I think this is an opportunity to do something unique. For instance, put both residential and commercial parking on the first level, with separate entrances of course. This would eliminate any surface parking and free up that space for more housing or green space. Provide spaces in the garage for car-sharing vehicles so residents don't need cars but can use a car-share vehicle for a day trip to the ocean or to visit an out-of-town friend. Provide bike parking. Have a design competition to make a beautiful exterior on the garage (art opportunity). Have kiosks at the pedestrian entrance/exit of the garage with a large map of the town identifying all shops and restaurants possibly posting menus, calendar of events and exhibiting art. A solar roof is a no-brainer.

    What else? We could have a design workshop for the community where plan outlines are provided and tables of people brainstorm. Maybe we can think of how to develop this site without having a typical profit-making developer carry it out.
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  8. TopTop #35
    bushin's Avatar
    bushin
     

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

    Have you ever tried to look for a parking place in that area? It is terribly packed, most all the time. I can't imagine using that area for structures, with parking as difficult as it is already. Build housing in housing areas, not commercial areas. We need to keep the downtown area as downtown. My personal opinion.
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  10. TopTop #36
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

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

    I disagree. Boston's downtown core thrived when they stopped cars from coming there. We are two-footeds and it is healthy for us to walk. I have never seen the large CVS parking lot, open to all, even half full. As a 72-year-old, I am one of many people who would prefer eventually to move downtown. Mixed-use, rather than segregating into commercial and housing areas, is the way to go, in my environmental opinion.
    Quote bushin wrote: View Post
    ... Build housing in housing areas, not commercial areas. We need to keep the downtown area as downtown. My personal opinion.
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  12. TopTop #37
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    Quote Janice Gendreau wrote: View Post
    I went to the discussion last evening and was surprised at the number of people who interpreted "replacing the parking lot" as losing parking. I thought the Council made it clear that they wanted to retain the commercial parking...
    I was at the meeting, too. What the council asked the consultants to study a project that accommodated the project's parking demand. So that would replace the current general use parking spaces.

    However, the new CVS parking lot which is all general use, is only 25- 30 spaces smaller than the parking that is being considered being developed.

    At the end of the council discussion, after the public comments, it appeared that the plan was to authorize the consultant to continue to study the possibility of developing the parking lot, but reordering their workplan to include some sort of parking study in their next phase. The council's subcommittee (Larry, Sarah and Patrick) was tasked to reformulate the focus and cost for the next phase and bring it back to the council sometime soon.

    You can see the livestream video of the meeting here. This item starts at 48:35.
    Last edited by Barry; 06-07-2017 at 08:43 PM.
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  14. TopTop #38
    jerichsalud's Avatar
    jerichsalud
     

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

    I remember when the train tracks ran through where this parking lot is now. As much as I'd love to keep the small Sebastopol charm, not like to increase traffic, and am concerned about parking, what most concerns me and many others is that many people find it increasingly difficult if not impossible to continue to live in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, and the Bay Area. This project is an opportunity for Sebastopol to help address that. There are possible creative solutions to consider to address the parking and traffic and I'd love to see more of the housing that comes out of this being truly affordable for the people that help power the local economy like teachers, chefs, waiters, postal workers etc.
    Last edited by Barry; 06-08-2017 at 04:58 PM.
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  16. TopTop #39
    scamperwillow's Avatar
    scamperwillow
     

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

    I really don't understand all the complaining about parking. In the 18 years I have lived here, I have never not been able to find a parking spot. And I rarely park in that lot. I go to town at all different times and can usually park within a block of where I am going. The only time that is slightly challenging is sometimes during the Sunday market.

    Quote bushin wrote: View Post
    Have you ever tried to look for a parking place in that area? It is terribly packed, most all the time. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 06-08-2017 at 04:59 PM.
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  18. TopTop #40
    scamperwillow's Avatar
    scamperwillow
     

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

    Yes - agreed! Walking a block or so to your car, or walking to town or bus, bike, uber/lyft to town!

    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    Housing is more important than parking. Cars are a big problem. Walking is part of the solution. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 06-08-2017 at 04:59 PM.
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  20. TopTop #41
    JayS
     

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

    Living downtown seems great, mixed use seems great, but who would want to live in that area with cars constantly streaming by on three sides spewing exhaust? Can't be healthy.
    Last edited by Barry; 06-09-2017 at 09:03 AM.
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  22. TopTop #42
    sealwatcher's Avatar
    Supporting Member

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

    Good point about the air and that's where the idea of electric trams getting folks around town means leaving your car and walking or taking the trolley. Public transportation in western Europe is so much more accessible than here. There was a train that came through town back in the day and where I grew up in SoCal, there were trolleys and buses. Sebastopol can't go back, Warm Springs dam won't disappear, the Santa Rosa plan continues to develop, only the Laguna and the lack of water in west county have kept development at bay. So the town must change. Shepherd, I recall you writing about electric trams ... will you say more?

    Quote JayS wrote: View Post
    Living downtown seems great, mixed use seems great, but who would want to live in that area with cars constantly streaming by on three sides spewing exhaust? Can't be healthy.
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  24. TopTop #43
    210 Alumnus's Avatar
    210 Alumnus
     

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

    Unreal. We're losing our common sense fast in this once-unique town.
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  26. TopTop #44
    ChefJayTay's Avatar
    ChefJayTay
     

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

    I see Trams, trolleys, etc an expense that will be outdated by autonomous services within 10 years.

    UofNV-Reno is working on autonomous busses with plans for use by 2019 in Reno, NV.

    Quote sealwatcher wrote: View Post
    Good point about the air ...
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  27. TopTop #45
    JayS
     

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

    We can walk the talk all we want but people living in any future housing (and I am one of those interested) in the Pine Grove Square will be exposed to noise and pollution until traffic is either directed away from down town or banned altogether. Palm Ave and North/South Main are the main roads through town. Not to mention intoxicated folks leaving Hop Monk in the wee hours of the a.m.

    Quote Mrs. Wacco wrote: View Post
    Trams or a jitney, or a shuttle, or..or..we have get creative, be willing to use our feet and walk the talk.
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  29. TopTop #46
    Sieglinde's Avatar
    Sieglinde
     

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

    This project was planned way before the election. So I doubt if there was any influence by the Trump administration. I have no real issue with public private partnerships if it benefits the public.

    Quote Michael Anthony wrote: View Post
    ...Support for public-private partnerships can be derived directly from the Trump administration playbook as highlighted by the president's proposed budget. Linked here is a Time.com article speaking directly to this point: President Trump Launches $1 Trillion Initiative to Fix America's Infrastructure...
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  31. TopTop #47

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

    I am surprised that Michael would say the Pine Grove Square conceptual project is "defined" as a public/private partnership. It is not defined at all. It's in an exploratory phase. I spoke to another council member who said they would look at all potential developers including Burbank Housing, a non-profit.

    I think the whole idea got off on the wrong foot due to the consultant's presentation. They could have had a footprint of the site only without putting in a small amount of residential parking which implied that all other parking would be eliminated. Many people took this too literally. Most of the public at the hearing spoke in support of retaining the parking.

    I support both the concept of adding housing here and retaining the commercial parking. I am a great advocate of walking but it does take me 40 minutes round trip and that excludes shopping. You have to live downtown and nearby neighborhoods to walk everywhere. How many walk to Ace hardware? There is no way the thousands who live beyond the downtown core are going to walk downtown and yet they regard Sebastopol as their home town and shop here.

    Janice Gendreau

    Quote Michael Anthony wrote: View Post
    ...Pine Grove Square is defined as a public-private partnership...
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  33. TopTop #48
    jerichsalud's Avatar
    jerichsalud
     

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

    Google public private partnerships and housing and you will find a ton online about this to build housing, so it would appear to be a common practice and not just something taken from "Trump's playbook". Here is a link to the Silicon Valley Housing Trust Website, which on their donors page states "It is the generous support of our donors that has allowed Housing Trust Silicon Valley to become a leading national housing trust model. With the sustained contributions from our public partners and private donors, we have realized tremendous success in creating new homes and homeowners and preventing homelessness for thousands of Silicon Valley families and individuals."

    If you look at their donor page you can see donations from private corporations like Adobe, Cisco, etc, from banks etc which leverage public funds from cities, HUD, etc.

    Similarly the new Sonoma County Housing Trust fund is a public private partnership that also plans to leverage public and private dollars. Learn more here- http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CDC/News/...st-Fund-Paper/

    From your comments at the meeting and this comment it really seems like you are trying to derail this project with any means necessary.

    Quote Michael Anthony wrote: View Post
    ...Support for public-private partnerships can be derived directly from the Trump administration playbook as highlighted by the president's proposed budget. Linked here is a Time.com article speaking directly to this point: President Trump Launches $1 Trillion Initiative to Fix America's Infrastructure...
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  35. TopTop #49
    jerichsalud's Avatar
    jerichsalud
     

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

    This doesn't stop people from living in cities. In fact, some of the most expensive places to live in the US like San Francisco and New York City have plenty of traffic, noise, pollution etc.

    Quote JayS wrote: View Post
    We can walk the talk all we want but people living in any future housing (and I am one of those interested) in the Pine Grove Square will be exposed to noise and pollution until traffic is either directed away from down town or banned altogether. Palm Ave and North/South Main are the main roads through town. Not to mention intoxicated folks leaving Hop Monk in the wee hours of the a.m.
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  37. TopTop #50
    jerichsalud's Avatar
    jerichsalud
     

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

    It sounds like whether this project will actually be a public private partnership is still up in there air. But as an another local example of public private partnerships, here is a recent Close to Home in the PD written by the Sonoma County Office of Education Superintendent with many references to public private partnerships to fund housing for teachers in Sonoma County. Close to Home: Helping Sonoma County teachers buy homes
    Quote jerichsalud wrote: View Post
    Google public private partnerships and housing and you will find a ton online about this to build housing, ...
    Last edited by Barry; 06-12-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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  39. TopTop #51
    JayS
     

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

    I am aware of this. Doesn't mean we have to do it here.

    Quote jerichsalud wrote: View Post
    This doesn't stop people from living in cities. In fact, some of the most expensive places to live in the US like San Francisco and New York City have plenty of traffic, noise, pollution etc.
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  41. TopTop #52
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

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

    Quote JayS wrote: View Post
    I am aware of this. Doesn't mean we have to do it here.
    'we' don't (have to live in a city) but some obviously would like to. And in a county where more miles per person are driven than almost anywhere else, a little more in-town living would be something to encourage.
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  43. TopTop #53
    JayS
     

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

    ??? I agree, but my response was to jerichsalud. Just because New York and San Fran have residences on major streets, exposing residents to all that pollution, doesn't mean we have to do that here. We are starting from scratch and can change or influence how we do in town housing.

    I'm all for in town living. I would love to live back in town after being evicted from my 15 year residence because the rental (to) management (mbe) company wanted more money, but I would not live in the proposed Pine Grove Square with the current high traffic and it's related health damaging pollution.

    To you who are arguing it's such a great idea; would you and your children live in this proposed housing development with the high traffic moving through town and it's related pollution? I doubt it.

    Sebastopol needs by pass surgery.

    Quote podfish wrote: View Post
    'we' don't (have to live in a city) but some obviously would like to. And in a county where more miles per person are driven than almost anywhere else, a little more in-town living would be something to encourage.
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  44. TopTop #54
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    Here's the Sonoma West's write up of the meeting:

    Council, community weigh in on Pine Grove Square
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  45. TopTop #55
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

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

    Letter by Vice Mayor Patrick Slayter regarding the Pine Grove Square concept
    Sent to the Sonoma West Times & News,
    in part as a reply to this letter, published in the Times and News
    Reprinted with permission.


    It is widely known that a subcommittee of the Sebastopol City Council has been working on a concept known as Pine Grove Square, part of an exploration of the highest and best use of City-owned land located in our downtown area. The area under study is bounded by Burnett Street, Petaluma Avenue and Main Street. A subcommittee report was recently made to the entire council and the community at large. As this work has progressed, the subcommittee has relied on valuable feedback from our consultants, City staff and the residents of Sebastopol.

    It appears there is misinformation and some inaccuracies in the public conversation about this project, and a recent letter (from a resident of Santa Rosa) to this publication [Sonoma West] , as well as two recent articles, serve as a useful base to present up-to-date and accurate information. The letter contained several incorrect assumptions and failed to grasp the current stage of work. This is an opportunity to share what the subcommittee has learned and dispel some fallacies floating about.

    The writer indicates one of the members of the subcommittee is involved in the real estate industry. (Like this would be a bad thing? I would beg to differ.) Neither council member working on the subcommittee works in the field of real estate; one is a mediation and collaborative attorney and the other is an architect who specializes in the design of single-family residential new construction and remodels.

    The writer incorrectly assumes the massing studies presented to the community and council are a final design; they are anything but. Rather, using logical assumptions for the sizes of possible spaces, they are a useful tool to see what fits on the site in order to calculate financial feasibility (which most reasonable people would agree is an important thing to calculate before charging forward unencumbered by facts). The two massing studies are in no way design, architecture or reality and to assume this validates a lack of understanding.

    The writer, as well as members of the Sebastopol Downtown Association, say the possible project would eliminate parking, and this was a concern the subcommittee heard during the recent presentation as well. Rather than make assumptions or use anecdotal evidence, the subcommittee has commissioned a parking study to obtain professionally derived parking data. It is true some parking spots could be relocated and some changed in orientation, but to complain about a perceived current lack of parking and then scorn a parking study searching for solutions to a potential problem is a conundrum not easily understood. The creative thinking required to answer this question is not beyond us.

    The writer decries the potential lack of parking and then derides the 103 unrestricted, publicly available new spaces located right across the street from the area under consideration (in the “CVS lot”). This parking, which is newly added downtown capacity within the past few months, is free of cost to the City and the residents of Sebastopol, with all construction and maintenance costs borne by the private owners of the parcel. Every single owner and employee of every single business in the downtown can park in this convenient lot all day, at no cost, leaving street parking and other municipal parking lots open for their customers.

    The writer states “everyone” uses the existing Burnett Street parking lot and then asks who hasn’t lost time driving around looking for a parking place. A suggestion to the writer, as well as everyone else, would be to park at the curb in front of the Chamber of Commerce where there are, with very few exceptions, always several spaces available. Also, there are always completely unrestricted spaces available in the CVS lot, and the single block distance to Main Street is actually closer to many downtown destinations than the Burnett Street lot.

    The writer correctly states that the extension of Willow Avenue to Petaluma Avenue is a concept under consideration. This extension could provide a significant number of parking places (rather than, as the writer stated, “eliminate up to 15 additional spaces”), allow for much improved vehicular circulation in the downtown, reduce vehicle counts at the two most congested intersections in town and provide another 230 feet of storefront space along a pedestrian-scaled block that would align with the trailhead of the Joe Rodota Trail. At this early stage of study, the ultimate cost of this work is unknowable, as is the possible funding source, but to assume it would be paid by the general fund is fallacy.

    The writer believes the concept continues the process of making Sebastopol look like an “ugly SoCal-type city." If a pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined, small-scale downtown where people live, work and recreate is “SoCal-type,” then sign me up. The proximity of the site would allow for easy, walkable access to the library, the Barlow, many restaurants, Main Street retail shops, grocery stores, the hospital and many medical providers (which would only help with the writer’s “potential ulcers” and bouts of “giant heartburn”). It has been erroneously stated (in the public record by Councilmember Carnacchi) that a denser downtown will somehow lead to an increase in GHG emissions. This is thinking that induces sprawl, which Sebastopol has stated many times it wishes to fight through its Urban Growth Boundary, its support of community greenbelt separators and countless times in the newly adopted General Plan. Compact, walkable downtowns have been shown to be highly sustainable, with significant greenhouse gas benefits due to a decrease in automobile use, financially successful, popular and populated.

    The writer (who is member of the Board of Directors for the Western Sonoma County Historical Society) assumes the Western County Historical Society’s boxcar will be removed and lost. It bears repeating that the concept is not developed enough to know what would happen to the boxcar. The subcommittee is certainly aware there are existing conditions which need to be responded to and respected. The West County Museum, which is on the national registry of historic places, is a gem and this project could allow for greater office, workspace and storage so the mission of the Western Sonoma County Historical Society can be enhanced. The archives contained in the boxcar are valuable, shouldn’t they be stored in an environment that is fully ADA accessibility with adequate workspace, appropriate lighting and environmental controls for the irreplaceable materials as well as for the comfort of the invaluable museum volunteers? The relocation of the train car to another prominent location is a definite possibility, and to assume it will be lost to the sands of time is a significant leap into fantasy.

    The writer states he believes the West County Museum will be engulfed by potential new construction and makes assumptions that particular building materials (however fantastical and inappropriate) are already being ordered. Architectural sensitivity to the existing fabric of our downtown, and especially to the existing historic features, is of upmost importance to the subcommittee. While the zoning ordinance now allows three and four story buildings in our downtown, this absolutely doesn’t mean three and four stories everywhere. The allowance is for creative architects and designers to maximize the use and benefit of a site while responding to and respecting the existing built environment.

    The writer charges the subcommittee with a lack of “one shred of respect, or even a nod of acknowledgement to the styles that are dear to most of us.” This, simply, is false. To date, there has been no discussion of style, no renderings and no architectural design. The subcommittee believes creating places for people is important; that we have a vital downtown, yet it has significant untapped potential; and, that this concept can only improve our city.

    The writer discusses the existing land uses in and around the study area. Through the work of the City Council’s Housing Subcommittee (of which I am also a member), the need for additional workforce and senior housing in Sebastopol has become blindingly apparent. The financial feasibility and space massing studies state that somewhere between 50 to 70 housing units could potentially be constructed as part of Pine Grove Square. This would be a boon to our entire community, and especially to young professionals, seniors and empty nesters who are looking to rightsize their housing. The ripple effect would allow many in-town single family dwellings to become available.

    The writer asks his readers to contact the City Council; I am in agreement with this request. Please contact your City Council and let them know you are in favor of a pedestrian-friendly downtown, that you are in favor of workforce and senior housing, that you are in favor of a comprehensive parking plan that addresses the true needs of businesses and patrons, that you are in favor of interesting and delightful architectural and landscape design, that you desire an sprawl-fighting optimal urban form with higher densities at the core tapering to less dense near the edges of town, that you desire mixed uses, mixed incomes, mixed ages and a more vital and alive downtown, that you prioritize humans over cars, and that you see the potential and possibilities for Sebastopol’s unique, authentic and special downtown.
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  46. TopTop #56
    twodogs's Avatar
    twodogs
     

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

    You gotta love Sebastopol's politicians. First they try everything, including a losing lawsuit that cost city taxpayers more than $300,000, to stop the CVS project and now when they want to develop a city-owned parking lot they suggest folks use the nearby CVS parking lot to make their own project more feasible.
    My understanding of most zoning laws is the number of parking spaces a city requires of a development are based on the type of residential/commercial uses such a development proposes. Thus the CVS project and whatever is proposed to eventually be built alongside it would have been required to include a certain number of parking spaces to accommodate those uses.
    If that's so, the parking spaces set aside in the CVS project site would be needed once that project is fully developed. Zoning laws are largely to insure one project doesn't place an undue burden on adjacent developments. Slayter's suggestion that those who now use the city parking lot simply use the CVS lot that he and other council members fought like hell to stop is hilarious. Some might even say hypocritical.
    Still, it's good for a laugh.
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  48. TopTop #57
    JayS
     

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

    Mr. Slayter's letter is calm collected and well thought out, tugs at the Sebastopol groovy liberal heart strings and in theory sounds great, but It's B.S. The reality is, unless we redirect car traffic around or away from downtown, the proposed housing in the Hop Monk parking area will be a health nightmare. And, there is no way the downtown area will be bicycle or pedestrian friendly as long as two major highways run through town. This is an idea proposed by those who don't live downtown. Councilman Carnacchi is correct in his assessment. I suggest we listen to him.
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  50. TopTop #58
    sealwatcher's Avatar
    Supporting Member

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

    Exemplary of what Jay is saying here is my experience as a forty-two year resident getting from my apartment at Burbank Heights to the Feed Store, old Frizelle-Enos. I take the back streets, carefully, because I'm aware I'm adding traffic to a residential street. I get onto the road, now a bit of a roaring traffic jam, and make it past the post office annex and turn into the parking lot for the Feed Store that is also now a way for people driving away from CVS' parking lot to make a right turn. The collection of traffic going in and out of the Feed Store is becoming more and more difficult to blend into. It's now necessary to be careful of CVS traffic hurtling in front of the Feed Store. Everyone's irritated and many are normalizing it. It's NOT normal; it's the result of flawed traffic reports and a guiding ethics that has failed, I'm sorry to say. First the hotel and now this project?! Stop and think a moment: what is to be done about traffic? I find it to be quite out of control already.

    Quote JayS wrote: View Post
    Mr. Slayter's letter is calm collected and well thought out, tugs at the Sebastopol groovy liberal heart strings and in theory sounds great, but It's B.S. The reality is, unless we redirect car traffic around or away from downtown, the proposed housing in the Hop Monk parking area will be a health nightmare. And, there is no way the downtown area will be bicycle or pedestrian friendly as long as two major highways run through town. This is an idea proposed by those who don't live downtown. Councilman Carnacchi is correct in his assessment. I suggest we listen to him.
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  52. TopTop #59
    1104GT's Avatar
    1104GT
     

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

    Since parking seems to be your biggest issue, I'm guessing you live outside of town and rely on your car to get here. I live downtown, two blocks from Pine Grove and one block off that "unhealthy" highway and think its wonderful. My dear neighbor lived here for half her life and was incredibly healthy until she passed away in her mid nineties. Not bad for a life spent in a "health nightmare". People live in busy cities and towns all over the world and seem to do just fine. We've sacrificed our pedestrian and bike friendliness to cars for the past decades and it's time to reverse that mistake. Yes, we can and will make Sebastopol more pedestrian and bike friendly, and in the process it will likely become much less friendly to cars. Some of the most desirable places to be in the world are difficult to get to in cars. Something has to give, and I think sacrificing vehicular convenience is a good price to pay.

    Quote JayS wrote: View Post
    The reality is, unless we redirect car traffic around or away from downtown, the proposed housing in the Hop Monk parking area will be a health nightmare. And, there is no way the downtown area will be bicycle or pedestrian friendly as long as two major highways run through town.
    Actually, I know that several of our City Council members and many of our Planning Commissioners and Design Review Board members live downtown.

    Quote JayS wrote: View Post
    This is an idea proposed by those who don't live downtown. Councilman Carnacchi is correct in his assessment. I suggest we listen to him.
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  54. TopTop #60
    1104GT's Avatar
    1104GT
     

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

    I completely disagree with your low opinion of Concilman Slayter and our elected officials. I think our City government did absolutely the right thing and represented their citizens (us) well in the CVS mess. If you saw the first proposed design, you would know that what we ended up with is VASTLY superior.

    And now, I think they are doing exactly what City officials everywhere should be doing ... taking proactive and creative action to address the housing issues our community faces. Our downtown is a wonderful place to live. I know, I live here and think more people should. Downtown, people can walk to grocery stores, shops and restaurants that everyone else has to drive to. Downtown, they can walk to a bus stop to catch a bus to Santa Rosa, Petaluma, or to the SMART train.

    While other Cities Councils wring their hands and do nothing, ours is thinking, working and coming up with solutions. While you are complaining about traffic and parking, they are volunteering their time to try to make a positive difference. Instead of complaining, how about sharing your proposal on what do do about soaring housing costs, increasing population, traffic and parking. I think we have an obligation to build housing and the best place to do it in the center of town, close to goods and services.

    Our City Council has my full support and admiration for trying to do the right thing, and I hope they will continue their excellent work.

    Quote twodogs wrote: View Post
    You gotta love Sebastopol's politicians. First they try everything, including a losing lawsuit that cost city taxpayers more than $300,000, to stop the CVS project and now when they want to develop a city-owned parking lot they suggest folks use the nearby CVS parking lot to make their own project more feasible.
    My understanding of most zoning laws is the number of parking spaces a city requires of a development are based on the type of residential/commercial uses such a development proposes. Thus the CVS project and whatever is proposed to eventually be built alongside it would have been required to include a certain number of parking spaces to accommodate those uses.
    If that's so, the parking spaces set aside in the CVS project site would be needed once that project is fully developed. Zoning laws are largely to insure one project doesn't place an undue burden on adjacent developments. Slayter's suggestion that those who now use the city parking lot simply use the CVS lot that he and other council members fought like hell to stop is hilarious. Some might even say hypocritical.
    Still, it's good for a laugh.
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