On February 1 at a public hearing in Santa Rosa, Greenbelt Alliance joined a standing room only crowd of about 100 neighbors, advocates, and elected officials to speak out in favor of a safe at-grade crossing over the SMART tracks at Jennings Avenue for walkers and bicyclists. No one spoke against the City of Santa Rosa’s application to build the at-grade crossing.
The Bay Area has lost a legend. Sylvia McLaughlin, one of the original co-founders of Save the Bay, passed away on Tuesday. She was 99.
This year, Napa and Solano counties are moving forward on initiatives to bolster parks and open space.
The Sebastopol City Council has unanimously decided to renew its voter-approved urban growth boundary (UGB) before it expires at the end of 2016, but residents will have to help make it happen. Greenbelt Alliance is partnering with civic leaders and local organizers to finalize and pass a new urban growth boundary measure that will promote smart growth, affordable housing, and prevent sprawl for another 20 years or more.
The vulnerable residents and vast natural lands of the Sonoma Developmental Center face an uncertain future due to state plans for closing the facility within three years, an expedited move to cut costs. Greenbelt Alliance has joined with the many voices calling for the rambling state facility to be transformed instead of closed to allow for continued health care and land conservation.
The Bay Area’s housing affordability crisis has hit Oakland particularly hard. You may have heard that Oakland has the “hottest” rental market in the entire nation—yes, even ahead of San Francisco. Oakland rents have risen an astonishing 20% in just the past year. Now some help is hopefully on the way.
Funding approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will give new life to efforts to preserve more open space throughout the Bay Area, including the Tri-Valley. The commission voted to increase significantly its investment in conservation by expanding its first-in-the-nation Priority Conservation Area (PCA) grant program by over 60%.
Counties and cities throughout the Bay Area have been leading a national trend away from suburban sprawl and toward reinvestments in our urban centers. This smart growth makes economic sense, helps protect our natural and agricultural lands, provides multi-family housing near transit for a growing demand, and even helps fight drought. But just south of San Jose, the City of Morgan Hill is trending in the wrong direction.
We’re excited to report that on December 14 the City Council of Daly City approved a proposal to transform a vacant lot into new affordable homes for low-income seniors.
In a big year-end win for greenbelts, all five Sonoma County supervisors came out strongly in favor of extending voter protections for community separators and adding to them in 2016! Community separators are one of the important tools protecting the greenbelt lands between Sonoma’s cities and towns from sprawl development.