The South Sonoma Group
The people publishing this Website are full-time residents of Sonoma. We are teachers, nurses, social workers, fire fighters, and retired and other professionals, and we live in several neighborhoods close to the proposed housing development site.
In December 2015, we formed a working group to share ideas and study the developers’ proposals that were submitted to the Sonoma County Community Development Commission. Our group expanded to 100 people and is now called the South Sonoma Group. We support affordable housing at 20269 Broadway and hope to influence the design and persuade the developer to increase the diversity of future residents.
The developer plans to offer housing to people from just one income bracket, which would exclude folks making a teacher’s salary, for example, because they would earn too much money to qualify. There are no set-asides for seniors though the Housing Needs Assessment identifies them as the first priority for affordable housing. We believe a mixed-income strategy would open up rental units to more members of Sonoma’s workforce and help ensure the success of this development. HUD is critical of developments designed for only very low and extremely low-income people because of the risk of concentrated poverty. Instead, HUD supports mixed-income housing.
On another front, the developer’s plan concerns residents of South Sonoma for three reasons: 1) With a planned 227 residents, it is very dense for this location 2) Sixty-five on-site parking spaces are inadequate; 3) There would be an estimated 324 new vehicle trips per day, according to the Institute of Traffic Engineers, adding new pressures to current residents and commuters.
The loading dock handles dozens of big trucks every day and does not meet acceptable loading dock standards, causing traffic congestion and safety issues. The developer has proposed placing apartments with front porches on Clay Street, across from the loading dock. This plan does not reflect respect for the future tenants.
We hope this Website serves all people of Sonoma by providing information and links to resources, raising concerns about safety, density, lack of economic diversity and set-asides for seniors.
This aerial view of Clay Street near Broadway shows how much room is needed for trucks to safely maneuver.