Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The Santa Rosa City Council Tuesday narrowed the scope of its latest effort to streamline its permitting process in areas where it has prioritized housing.
The move was a reversal of a council vote earlier this month to cut the red tape for housing projects throughout the city, and was cast as a sign of the city’s renewed commitment to downtown development.
The council faced pressure to limit the streamlining effort to only those areas of the city known as “priority development areas,” which include Roseland and areas near transit, including downtown.
Groups such as the Greenbelt Alliance had argued that the city should do everything it can to incentivize housing closer to the infrastructure best able to handle it, such as Highway 101 and the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit line.
Mayor Chris Coursey, who voted for the more expansive version earlier this month, praised narrowing it Tuesday.
He said the change would help preserve a rare alliance between environmental and business concerns who agree on the importance of focusing development near downtown.