Will Carruthers, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
This weekend, Santa Rosa celebrated its 150th birthday. But, despite its age, Sonoma County’s largest city has never really grown up.
At a September 10 meeting of the City Council’s Economic Development Subcommittee, city staff presented the conclusions of a forthcoming report on why the city lacks tall residential buildings downtown and unveiled a plan to encourage developers to build them.
The report, based on suggestions from the Council of Infill Developers, will suggest legislative tactics to encourage developers to build market rate and affordable housing projects on vacant and underutilized land within the city, a process known as infill development.
According to the report, the reasons for developers’ reluctance include:
–Market demand for tall buildings with less parking remains “unproven,” making developers wary of investing in Santa Rosa.
–A perception from developers that the city’s staff and politicians lack enthusiasm for taller buildings.
–Prohibitively high permitting fees discourage developers from building higher.