Greenbelt Alliance recently made a historic pact with business leaders to forward a bold new vision for a Sonoma County Civic Center in downtown Santa Rosa. The action was timed to coincide with the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors’ upcoming review of its facilities redevelopment plan.
Regional Director Teri Shore and board member Dee Swanhuyser joined with Peter Rumble, the new CEO of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, and Craig Nelson, Board Chair of the North Bay Leadership Council in calling on county supervisors to consider moving from their existing outlying campus to the city center. Executive Director Kerry Fugett of Sonoma County Conservation Action also supported the platform. See the full letter here.
While moving the county’s headquarters is still a long ways off, a more central location would make it easier for workers and people needing services to get to and from the county facility using public transit or walking or biking. They could also shop or eat lunch nearby.
Investing in such a flagship development is likely to also grow business and housing in downtown Santa Rosa, in line with Greenbelt Alliance’s mission to encourage the right development in the right places. More people working and living near jobs, shops, services and transit would help both the city and county achieve environmental and climate goals of reducing solo car travel and boosting walking and biking.
Moving the Sonoma County Civic Center downtown also opens the door to building new homes and mixed-used developments at the site of the aging county facilities at 575 Administration Drive.
This innovative environmental and business collaboration to foster a new civic center and bolster downtown development is an exciting example of how we are all exploring new ways to work together as we recover and rebuild after the tragedy of the North Bay fires.
Photo: Steve Shupe via Flickr