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Housing and Real Estate

Affordable Housing is a hot topic just about everywhere - Homelessness for those who don't have shelter, and real estate from land use policy to Plan Bay Area 2040...where to plant our feet to call HOME is on our minds.

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2018-10-16Oct 16, 2018

Our local government, if it wants to show it’s working for people, it needs to start with making a real impact on our most dire social issue and that is housing by taking it out of the hands of commercial developers, landlords, and real estate investors and making it affordable to everyone.

2018-09-21Sep 21, 2018

After several months of discussions, labor and business representatives failed to find to find common ground about how to best spend the money from an affordable housing bond on Santa Rosa's November ballot. 

2018-09-10Sep 10, 2018

Santa Rosa city staff will present a plan to incentivize taller residential buildings downtown at the City Council's September 25 meeting. 

2018-09-10Sep 10, 2018

Since the October 2017 firestorms, the University of California Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County (UCMGSC) has worked to develop a series of recommended actions property owners can take to create more fire-resistant landscapes and properties.

2018-09-01Sep 1, 2018

Back when I was a professional gardener, I had clients who insisted on having me lay down landscape fabric then putting bark on top of it to discourage weeds. I hated this practice and tried to talk them out of it. Weeds come anyway because seeds find any crevice to tuck themselves into and bark has plenty of crevices.

2018-09-01Sep 1, 2018

Local environmental groups in the San Francisco Bay area and Sonoma County often point to the successes of this resident-led initiative as proof we in the North Bay are a “Green” community. As a matter of fact, many of the organizations promoting tourism to the North Bay and Sonoma County invoke the natural beauty and conservation as marketing tools to get the visitors to come to the “Sonoma County Wine Country”. Going green has become a profitable approach now.

2018-08-31Aug 31, 2018

The County of Sonoma is updating County regulations for septic systems in order to meet state-mandated regulations that protect water quality and public health. Permit Sonoma invites the public to attend upcoming community meetings to share feedback on the proposed Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Manual.

2018-08-31Aug 31, 2018

The Sonoma County Office of Resilience and Recovery's five year Fire Recovery Plan and the Sonoma County General Plan Update will prioritize land-use altercations and other policies with the goal of reducing fire risk, improving emergency preparedness, and making our communities and lands more resilient, healthy and climate-smart.

2018-08-31Aug 31, 2018

We all know that fire is one of the oldest and most powerful tools that humans have but what we often forget is that most of the landscapes we know and love have also been shaped by fire, and in many cases, by fires that humans have started.

2018-08-30Aug 30, 2018

Hot dawg! The ambitious proposal to spruce up the Springs and give it pizazz is moving forward.Evidence of the community’s interest can be seen by active citizen attendance at the Springs Community Alliance meeting in mid-August. Chair Rich Lee introduced County Representative Yolanda Solano who moderated the meeting. 

 

 

2018-08-24Aug 24, 2018

The legislative Conference Committee on Wildfire Preparedness and Response on Friday discussed key elements of a proposed committee report that includes provisions for protecting Californians from future wildfires and preventing electric utility ratepayers from bearing unfair costs.

2018-10-09Oct 9, 2018

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to reshape the county's homeless support system in an effort to qualify for state funding and approved a plan to attempt to sell an 82-acre property county-owned property at the board's October 9 meeting.

2018-08-22Aug 22, 2018

Nearly a year after the Sonoma County Complex Fires destroyed 5,300 homes and ten years after the last housing crash slowed Sonoma County’s economy to a crawl, discussions about the future of housing, transportation and the economy are proliferating.

2018-08-22Aug 22, 2018

The UC Cooperative Extension Sonoma County is hosting an all-day symposium on fire resilience this Friday, August 24, at Shone Farm. Attendees will learn how wildfires operate in Sonoma County’s wildland urban interface, how to maintain a fire safe community, and what natural resource management strategies best improve the survivability of people, property, and homes.

2018-08-20Aug 20, 2018

Faced with an unprecedented wildfire season in 2017 and an extremely challenging start to the 2018 season, California lawmakers approved $26 million to fund wildfire prevention and forest health grants to be spent in Northern California.

2018-08-19Aug 19, 2018

Local not-for-profit Community First Credit Union has crafted a new real estate loan to help local residents purchase lots burned out during the recent firestorms. The funding allows them time and money to pursue plans, permits and people to rebuild on the property.

2018-08-14Aug 14, 2018
2018-08-13Aug 13, 2018

The County proposed a $300 million bond issue to address the housing crisis. Those funds would have been leveraged two or three times and generate enough funds to make a significant impact. The surveys showed that the vast majority of residents supported the measure. BUT…a few wealthy and well-connected people felt compelled to put their greed and bias ahead of what is good for the county.

2018-08-01Aug 1, 2018

On July 10 County Planning conducted an Environmental Review Report (EIR) as Step 6 in the development of the Springs Specific Plan. Once the final EIR and financing is set, the County will move toward final plan adoption. Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the SSP or submit recommendations may do so by contacting Yolanda Solano (707-565-7387) or yolanda.solano@sonoma-county.org.

 

2018-07-31Jul 31, 2018

Well, do ya? It is a good question and a lot of people who think they want to buy a fixer end up not doing so and others who stumble onto a fixer end up taking it on and loving it. It will be a lot of work, period. It could also end up being one of the best things you ever did. I feel like it is my job as a mortgage advisor to help people ask themselves the proper questions so they can determine if this is the right thing for them.

2018-07-31Jul 31, 2018

Faced with a rapidly worsening affordability crisis, twelve labor, tenants rights and environmental groups proposed a slate of actions to lead an“equitable, just and sustainable recovery” from last year’s wildfires.

2018-07-30Jul 30, 2018

It’s the last weekend in June and women in the U.S.A. are protesting with all their might against the separation of children from families seeking asylum at our southern border.

2018-10-09Oct 9, 2018

The past year has been one of the most taxing that we’ve faced together. The October fires took 24 lives from us. It burned more than 173 square miles and rendered almost 7,000 homes and businesses into ash. It was a disaster in every sense. Last October, I was devastated by the losses of my friends, family and neighbors throughout Sonoma County.

 

2018-06-30Jun 30, 2018

The devastation of our October Fires is having an impact on decades of land-use and transportation planning. 5,000 plus homes got destroyed in the fire and now the county wants to build more than 30,000 new homes to replace what was lost, and ease the high price of housing by changing the supply vs. demand ratio.

2018-06-28Jun 28, 2018

Sonoma County is in the midst of refining our Cannabis Ordinance, addressing where it can be grown, & defining the permitting and taxing process, etc. to bring this Black Market business into compliance with all other legal businesses.

2018-05-31May 31, 2018

In partnership with the County of Sonoma, the Gold Ridge and Sonoma Resource Conservation Districts have hired an ombudsman to provide residents of the lower Russian River with assistance and support regarding changing septic system regulations.

2018-05-30May 30, 2018

The Sonoma County we know and love might never have been.

By the late 1960s, ranches and farms countywide were zoned and subdivided into 5-acre ranchettes.

Development surged as people streamed into the county on a newly improved Highway 101.

The Coast was a potential Malibu Beach with expensive homes dotting the shoreline and little or no public access.

A corridor of urban sprawl from Healdsburg to Petaluma was in the making, without consideration of environmental impacts or scenic values.

2018-05-29May 29, 2018

Our phone rang off the hook at 4:10 AM on October 9. It was a panicked friend, telling my wife that Rohnert Park was on fire, being evacuated, and that we should leave immediately, even though we live much closer to Penngrove.

2018-05-29May 29, 2018

CAL FIRE - MAY 25, 2018: After extensive and thorough investigations, CAL FIRE investigators have determined that four Northern California wildfires in last year’s October Fire Siege were caused by trees coming into contact with power lines. The four fires, located in Butte and Nevada counties, are the completed.

2018-05-29May 29, 2018

While there is a widespread understanding that our housing situation is becoming increasingly desperate, some local public policy seems to be turning away from low and very low income housing and implying that the problem that can be addressed by expanding the supply of market rate rental housing and accessory dwelling units (ADUs). 

 

2018-05-05May 5, 2018

In response to the tragic loss of homes in the October 2017 fires and the critical need for more affordable homes countywide, a slate of new initiatives to speed up development are coming forward that have the potential to quickly change the face of Sonoma County for decades to come.

2018-05-01May 1, 2018

Sonoma County is facing seemingly insurmountable Budget issues, in part, resulting from the horrendous fires last fall. Everything has been expensive, from fire fighting to cleanup and recovery.

The question now is: “How does the County move forward in coping with the immense budget disparity?”

2018-05-01May 1, 2018

The Home & Ranch Readiness Summit is a free community event being held at The Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California, May 17 through 19, 2018. The event helps pet, equine, and livestock owners prepare themselves, their families, and their animals for emergencies and disasters in a fun and informative environment and provides a forum for everyone from residents to professional first responders to connect, network, and train.

2018-10-08Oct 8, 2018

The past year has been one of the most taxing that we’ve faced together. The October fires took 24 lives from us. It burned more than 173 square miles and rendered almost 7,000 homes and businesses into ash. It was a disaster in every sense. Last October, I was devastated by the losses of my friends, family and neighbors throughout Sonoma County.

2018-10-08Oct 8, 2018

On the one-year anniversary of the Tubbs Fire, fire survivors from the Larkfield area, located north of Santa Rosa in unincorporated Sonoma County, have joined together to announce the creation of the Larkfield Resilience Fund(LRF).  The LRF is a 501 c(3) non-profit formed with a seven-member board of directors made up of fire survivors from Larkfield with a mission to generate funding to help rebuild resilient neighborhoods. 

2018-10-06Oct 6, 2018

 

 

These wonderful people gathered in Larson Park on the shores of Sonoma Creek to gather bottles, trash, and other debris on Coastal Clean Up Day (9/15/18). Families and Mission Inn workers spoke with pride about improving the environment on Sonoma’s central water way. County proposes changes to housing density rules. In late August a staff report from the County Planning Commission was revealed that proposes several changes affecting the Springs.

2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018

The fire isn’t over though. Far from it. Santa Rosa is no longer like a war zone with hugs, but there is a long way to go. Fire survivors are all different, but one unifying characteristic is that none of us is past the fire.

2018-10-01Oct 1, 2018

Sonoma County DRAFT Fire Recovery and Resiliency Plan - PUBLIC COMMENT DEADLINE: October 26, 2018. As we continue to recover and rebuild a year after the North Bay fires of October 2017, the DRAFT Recovery and Resiliency Framework just released by the Sonoma County Office of Recovery and Resiliency offers a pathway for starting to look forward.

2018-10-01Oct 1, 2018

Homeless is Graton continued…As I suspected this is a huge and complicated topic. As one person wrote “The working poor are not the same as the lazy poor, disabled poor, mentally unstable poor, and drug/alcohol addicted poor. It’s a very broad range of reasons why people end up homeless.”

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