An artists rendering of the new hotel rejected by the planning commission

In a First, Santa Rosa Denies Construction Project Due to High Fire Risk

For the first time since the October 2017 Tubb’s fire in Sonoma County, a new development was denied due to high fire risk in the burned area of Fountaingrove of Santa Rosa.

On Thursday, November 29 the City of Santa Rosa Planning Commission decided on a split 3-3 vote not to allow a new 144-room Residence Inn Hotel on a burned lot in the Round Barn area that was devastated by the Tubb’s fire.

Greenbelt Alliance, along with local housing and climate activists, testified and wrote letters opposing the project due to high fire risk at the site of the new hotel and the cumulative new fire risk being increased due to a number of new developments in the immediate area. Greenbelt Alliance and allies also raised concerns about the lack of full environmental review for the new hotel.

“Now the city of Santa Rosa needs to address the overall fire risk and how to prevent loss of life in high-risk fire and burned areas.” said Teri Shore, Regional Director, Greenbelt Alliance.  “The city also needs to also to consider the multiple other new projects in the works in the same immediate area of the hotel and come up with new holistic fire-safe land use plans and policies.”

Other new developments underway or proposed in the immediate area include a townhouse development, a senior memory care facility, and a new luxury resort and event center in the community separator just north of the project site.

Doctors from the cancer treatment center next door to the proposed Residence Inn also opposed the project due to the visual, noise, and other impacts that the large new hotel would have had on their treatment experience.

Image: Courtesy of Designcell Architecture

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