THE SOUTH SONOMA GROUP
Contact: Lynn Fiske Watts
707 939 5354
N E W S
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTH SONOMA GROUP CHALLENGES HOUSING PLAN
Bringing public awareness to a new low income housing project at 20269 Broadway
SONOMA, CA, March 10, 2016-- Forty-nine rental units are planned for a small grassy field on Broadway at Clay Street, across from Train Town, just at the boundary of Sonoma’s prized Gateway District. The proposed project will house homeless, low income, and extremely low income tenants. This is in contrast to the City’s own Housing Needs Assessment, which identifies that housing for seniors is the most pressing need, and HUD’s position that mixed income housing is necessary to avoid concentrated poverty. The developer’s current plan, and much more, can be found at www.sonomagateway.org.
Developer Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) is able to bypass local development codes using California’s Density Bonus Law, which allows exceptions to density, height, zoning, parking, and setbacks. Added density compensates developers with additional revenue and Sonoma should expect developers of future low income housing projects to use it.
Now is the time to inform citizens that, as presented, this project will permanently alter the character of the City and exacerbate current problems with traffic congestion, noise, and safety in South Sonoma.
The South Sonoma Group was formed to work for an Environmental Impact Report and against the current plan, which is high density and non-conforming to development standards. The City needs 47 very low and low income units and this project includes 49, which means one small site is intended to address all of Sonoma’s housing needs for this population. To concentrate poverty-stricken people on one site is a discriminatory practice and should be re-evaluated.
There are nearly 50 members and that number is expected to increase when canvassing is completed and residents are directed to the Group’s Website at www.sonomagateway.org.
Members of the Group’s steering committee initiated meetings with Supervisor Susan Gorin, John Haig at the Community Development Commission, City Planner David Goodison, Public Works Director Dan Takasugi, Eve Stewart at SAHA, and administrators at large businesses close to the planned project site. Others researched federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the project along with local customs and precedents. The South Sonoma Group strives to present an accurate look at the proposed project, describe its projected impacts, and offer solutions to the problems this plan creates and exacerbates, through its Website and contact with the media.