In February, Greenbelt Alliance endorsed two exciting new neighborhood-scale developments: Peerless Greens in Berkeley and Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park.
While still early in the planning process, the Greenbelt Alliance Compact Development Team evaluated the proposal for Peerless Greens, located in West Berkeley just South of University Avenue, and has offered conceptual endorsement for the project.
Currently the site of the Peerless Lighting Corporation, this project will include 320 homes, R&D offices, 170,000 square feet of large-scale manufacturing and 140,000 square feet of small-scale manufacturing space. This artist-focused development will provide 50 affordable homes and 50 affordable workspaces with the likelihood to include more affordable homes. Residents will be ideally situated within a half-mile of the Berkeley Amtrak station, University Avenue bus lines, and the 4th Street shopping district.
Peerless Greens also boasts impressive green features such as urban farming at the center of the development, vertical gardens, solar roofs, and greywater recycling for irrigation. Street and sidewalk improvements, as well as a connection to Aquatic Park will help enhance the walkability of this neighborhood. We look forward to following the progress of this project as the plans are further refined.
In Sonoma County, Greenbelt Alliance has endorsed a large new urbanist development, Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park. At almost 1900 units, this high-density development will help increase ridership at the future Cotati SMART train station, just a half mile away.
The compact design of the project leaves room for numerous block parks and the preservation of open space. The development features a town square at its center with 825,000 square feet of commercial space for offices, retail shops and restaurants, a grocery store, and movie theatre. By designing the neighborhood around a “5 minute lifestyle,” residents will be able to meet their daily needs by walking rather than driving.
We are very pleased that 30% of the homes in this development will be rented to families at below-market rates. By providing affordable homes for families of varied income levels, the project will help ensure that the area remains inclusive to new and existing residents.
A notable mention, Sonoma Mountain Village has received the prestigious One Planet Community (OPC) endorsement, the first in North America to achieve this award. By using a combination of deep-water efficiency, greywater systems, rainwater catchment, and reclaimed water the total community water use will stay below that of the site’s former use as a factory. A large solar array will provide 100% on-site renewable power for the development.
Beyond their clear environmental benefits, the numerous energy and water-efficiency technologies included in these two projects will help reduce burdensome utility expenses for residents. More importantly, they will also set Sonoma Mountain Village apart as an example for future Bay Area projects.