In a win for Greenbelt Alliance and smart growth, the Santa Rosa City Council recently revised an earlier decision to streamline new building permits under the Resilient City Measures citywide, instead focusing exclusively within the downtown and priority development areas. Construction of affordable homes on site will also be required to qualify for quicker approvals, as reported in The Press Democrat.
The Resilient City Measures, a set of rules intended to speed up the building of new homes, child care centers, farmworker housing, and neighborhoods that combine shopping and jobs with homes, were implemented to help Santa Rosa recover from the devastation of the North Bay fires. Narrowing fast-tracking under the Resilient City Measures to downtown Santa Rosa and other areas of the city already prioritized for housing will ensure homes are built near transit, services, and jobs. This will help revitalize the city’s core, benefit the environment, reduce fire risk, and avoid sprawl on the edge of town.
The decision to fine tune the measures before final adoption resulted, in part, from the historic alliance between business and environmental organizations on the importance of centering future development downtown. The revised Resilient City Measures were recommended to the City Council by the Director of Planning and Economic Development, David Guhin, after receiving comments from Greenbelt Alliance, several allies, and residents. The City Council agreed with a 7 – 0 vote in favor.
Photo: Steve Rhodes via Flickr