Will Schmitt, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A development calling for more than 200 new homes in southwest Santa Rosa is headed back to the drawing board.
The City Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday night to send the proposed Dutton Meadows subdivision back to the Planning Commission, which voted against the project in February.
City staff took the rare stance of opposing the housing project, based on concerns about how the developer, San Ramon-based Trumark Homes, planned to build nearby roads in conflict with the city’s vision for the area.
The council’s move gives city staff and Trumark more time to negotiate the layout of future roads connecting the project’s 130 two-story homes and 81 secondary units to the rest of the city. It also allows Santa Rosa’s elected officials to avoid shooting down a large housing project, which the city has generally welcomed with open arms as it seeks to create new places to live and rebuild from the October 2017 fires, which destroyed roughly 3,000 homes in the city.
City planners didn’t object to the new housing — located on about 18.5 acres near the intersection of Hearn Avenue and Dutton Meadow — but to Trumark’s plans for building out local roads significantly different from older city plans envisioned for the greater Roseland area. Trumark’s position, which did not budge Tuesday, is that Santa Rosa’s preferred street alignment removes the potential for 52 homes, which prevents the project from penciling out.