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Santa Rosa approves dense ‘pocket neighborhood’ to meet housing goals

Martin Espinoza, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Local real estate developer Robert Upton has a novel housing concept for the north end of Acacia Lane in Rincon Valley, a design he says will bring homeowners together.

Upton, a principal partner of Glen Ellen-based Campus Properties, said the 2.5-acre lot at 746 Acacia Lane is perfect for a “pocket neighborhood,” a planned community of smaller homes that often surround a shared open space.

The estimated $16 million development, called Acacia Village, will consist of 25 detached, owner-owned homes, with three floor plans of about 1,000, 1,600 and 2,000 square feet. Most of the parking will be located on the north and south ends of the development and 19 of the homes will face each other, sharing the common green area.

Upton said the pocket neighborhood concept is popular in the Northwest but uncommon in Santa Rosa.

“It encourages a sense of community and encourages interaction between neighbors,” Upton said. “In a neighborhood like this, people will know more than half their neighbors.”

That’s a much larger share than is found in many suburban developments, he said.

The Acacia Village project was approved by the Planning Commission on June 27. Susie Murray, a Santa Rosa senior planner, said the project is consistent with the general plan and meets the “housing requirements of all Santa Rosa residents.”

Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9845227-181/santa-rosa-approves-dense-pocket?sba=AAS

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SMART line revives plan for transit village hub in Santa Rosa

For more than a decade, the leaders of Sonoma County’s largest city have dreamed of transforming a cluster of vacant properties along the railroad tracks in downtown Santa Rosa into a vital new village filled with people opting for lower-impact urban living.
Time after time, proposals to develop the western side of Railroad Square have fallen apart, victims of political infighting, neighborhood opposition and economic slumps.
But the impending arrival of a $428 million regional rail system is breathing new life into efforts to create high-density housing around the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit platform in Railroad Square.
SMART has narrowed its search for a development partner as it prepares to start trains rolling through Santa Rosa later this year. Next month, SMART and the finalist in its quest for a development partner will present a detailed plan to build out the property.
As early as next summer, construction could get underway on a complex of market-rate and affordable apartments, retail spaces focused on food and wine, and a public plaza on a 5.4-acre site just west of the Railroad Square station.

Read more at: SMART line revives plan for transit village hub in Santa Rosa

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Windsor approves Vintage Oaks on the Town Green housing project

… Councilman Sam Salmon, the lone dissenting vote, said he was still troubled over the removal of trees and that the original low-income units proposed were dropped.
That was the consensus of the Town Council members Wednesday as they voted 4-1 to approve a revised development plan for the 387-unit Vintage Oaks on the Town Green, the once controversial project planned for the site of the former Windsorland mobile home and trailer park.“This is a great day for Sonoma County,” said Mayor Mark Millan, adding that it will provide new housing choices for both young and old.
“It’s sorely needed,” he said.

It’s a huge complement to the downtown and the new Bell Village center,” Councilwoman Deb Fudge said in reference to the site it will occupy just to the north of the new Oliver’s Market and shopping center.
She and other council members touted the ability residents will have to walk to the nearby station to ride SMART commuter trains, which Fudge said could be in service in Windsor by the summer of 2018, if grant funding comes through to extend the line beyond its current terminus just north of Santa Rosa.
Developers hope to begin building the first half of Vintage Oaks as early as next month and be ready to rent units out by the summer of 2017, according to project manager Peter Stanley, a principal in Santa Rosa-based ArchiLOGIX.
Southern California developer Bob Bisno said he and his partners expect to spend as much as $135 million to build the combination of apartments and townhomes, which will feature rooftop solar panels and a dozen electric vehicle charging stations initially, with potential to add more.
Read more at: Windsor approves Vintage Oaks on the Town Green housing project