Durable Growth

Taking the next step – Opportunities to get involved during the week of June 19

Theatre district in London

Theatre district in London

Another week is nearly upon us, with yet more chances to publicly advocate for urbanist-oriented solutions.  It’d be a great week to get involved.

Meetings this Week

Rohnert Park Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Monday, June 20, 5:30pm, Rohnert Park City Hall, Conference Room 2A, 130 Avram Avenue, Rohnert Park – The BPAC will consider the ongoing construction of the SMART multi-use path and the potential for a bike-share program, along with parking and sharrow  design decisions.

Petaluma City Council, Monday, June 20, 7:00pm, Petaluma City Hall, 11 English Street, Petaluma – The Council will consider appointments to several bodies, including the Planning Commission and the Pedestrian Bike Advisory, bodies that can facilitate or impede urbanist concepts.  It takes a real geek to watch as Council appointments are made.  I’ll be there.

Meetings Further Out

Petaluma Planning Commission, Tuesday, June 28, 7:00pm, Petaluma City Hall, 11 English Street, Petaluma – The Adobe Road Winery is seeking to establish a wine-making footprint in downtown Petaluma.  But the permitting and construction steps toward that goal will be long and slow.  To make the Adobe Road name more familiar in Petaluma as the bigger project creeps ahead, the winery is seeking approval for a tasting room in the Great Petaluma Mill, at the corner of Petaluma Boulevard and B Street.

Petaluma has long been perceived as on the fringe of the Sonoma County wine scene, although the pending approval of a Petaluma Gap appellation could change that perception.  The proposed tasting room, to my knowledge only the second winery-branded tasting room in downtown Petaluma, would be another step on Petaluma’s path to the wine mainstream.

While a wine tasting room on its surface may not be urbanist, any land uses that pull people downtown, creating a sense of activity and place, is urbanist.  A wine tasting room meets that standard.

Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit, Monday,  July 11, 9:00am, Santa Rosa City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa – SMART staff will introduce the proposals received for transit-oriented development on the SMART-owned parcels adjoining the Downtown Santa Rosa station.

Rail~Volution, October 10-12, Hyatt Regency, San Francisco – The leading conference on the use of rail for community building is coming to San Francisco this fall.

Other Opportunities to Get Involved

Petaluma Boulevard South – Bikeable/walkable revisions to Petaluma Boulevard South recently flickered onto and off of the Petaluma City Council agenda.  A group of citizens was energized by the flicker and is organizing to bring the subject of calming Petaluma Boulevard South back to the City Council with enough votes to approve it.

If you’re interested in advocating for improvements to Petaluma Boulevard South that will make the street more friendly for non-motorists and will allow better connectivity between the residential areas southwest of the street and the retail/recreational opportunities to the northeast, let me know.  I’ll get you in touch with the forming group, of which I’ll be a member.

Urbanist Visitors:  Many readers attended a series of talks by Chuck Marohn of StrongTowns and Joe Minicozzi of Urban3 last January in Santa Rosa.  They spoke about the theory of why sprawl often fails and the numbers that support the theory.  Initial conversations are underway for a return visit by Marohn and Minicozzi later this year, a visit that may include time in Petaluma along with other Sonoma County communities.

Petaluma was well-represented at the January meetings, but it was largely urbanists who were already familiar with the work of Marohn and Minicozzi.  If we organize properly, having them visit Petaluma might be an opportunity to educate others who hold positions from which they can make a difference.

I’ll need folks to help with organizational and fund-raising efforts.  Please let me know if you’re willing to lend a hand.

Lots of opportunities to get involved.  Please grab at least one and hopefully more.

When I next publish, I’ll continue telling of my experiences with CNU 24, specifically the built environment of Detroit.

As always, your questions or comments will be appreciated.  Please comment below or email me.  And thanks for reading. – Dave Alden (davealden53@comcast.net)

Written by Dave Alden

Dave Alden

Dave Alden is a Registered Civil Engineer. A University of California graduate, he has worked on energy and land-use projects in California, Oregon, and Washington. He was also the president of a minor league baseball team for two seasons. He lives on the west side of Petaluma with his wife and two dogs. The blog that he writes can be found at http://northbaydesignkit.blogspot.com.

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