Robert Digitale, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
For at least a decade the tract housing subdivision sat uncompleted in west Santa Rosa — a repossessed field with a looped, asphalt road and most of the sidewalks installed.
But this spring foundations and framed walls arose from the ground along Sebastopol Road near the Courtside Village neighborhood. Plans there call for the construction of 51 single-family homes and 16 attached units.
“We plan to build all 67 just as fast as we can,” said Richard Lafferty, president and CEO of Lafferty Communities, a San Ramon-based homebuilding company. The project is one of the few remaining that sat for years after the original developers gave properties back to banks in the midst of a historic housing market crash.
Like the as-yet-unbranded subdivision, the Sonoma County new home sector is showing signs of life.
Builders are slowly making a comeback after enduring an unprecedented slowdown in the years following the recession. This year builders have broken ground for new subdivisions from Rohnert Park to Windsor for the first of hundreds of homes that are expected to be built in the next five years.
The home construction season appears on track to be the busiest in at least a decade. That is partly because hundreds of homes are being rebuilt in areas ravaged from last fall’s wildfires.