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Sonoma County Gazette
SE Greenway Project map.
SE Greenway Project map. Image:

Gov. Newsom Offers State-Owned Sites
for Homeless Shelters

Community Meeting: Thursday, March 26, Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
at Montgomery High School

Mar 11, 2020
by Vesta Copestakes


While reading the Press Democrat, many of us were greeted with the news that Governor Newsom has offered Sonoma County the opportunity to lease 49 state-owned parcels for emergency homeless shelters. They are offered as part of Newsom’s package of emergency measures meant to address the homelessness crisis. 

One prominent parcel in the City of Santa Rosa is the 57-acre Southeast Greenway. Read the full article here:

The paper quotes a spokesman for Newsom’s administration as saying…

“It doesn’t mean that we’re requiring the city to use them or that we even want the city to use them.”

Started in 2009, the Southeast Greenway Campaign is a community effort to transform the vacant two-mile corridor of open space connecting Spring Lake Park and Farmers Lane into a vibrant urban greenway that will serve as a strategic link in our regional non-motorized transportation system and improve our quality of life. Guided walks are scheduled. Image: 

This offer gives communities more choices of where to place emergency services and shelters, but it is up to local leaders - the City Council and Board of Supervisors — to select the most appropriate sites. We applaud Governor Newsom for focusing on the homelessness that is affecting so many California communities.

Where Does the Greenway Stand?

Our colleagues at the City of Santa Rosa’s Real Estate Services Department are communicating with Caltrans to find out more about how this development will affect our work on acquiring the Southeast Greenway. The Greenway Partners - City of Santa Rosa, Sonoma Water, Sonoma County Regional Parks, Sonoma Land Trust, LandPaths, and the Southeast Greenway Campaign — have a current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Caltrans that gives us the first right of refusal to purchase the property and stipulates that the Greenway property will be sold intact and not divided into parcels. 

Southeast Greenway Advisor Steve Rabinowitsh spoke in support of the Southeast Greenway project on July 19, 2019 city meeting. Image: the approval of the General Plan Amendment, Rezoning Plan and EIR for the Greenway in July 2019, staff from the City’s Real Estate Services Department, Sonoma Water and Sonoma Land Trust have been working with Caltrans to prepare the information needed to support an appraisal of the property. This process is moving forward, as is fundraising for acquisition of the Greenway land. Our goal for this next year is to finish all necessary preparations and negotiate a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) with Caltrans for the Greenway transfer. As our Co-Chair Thea Hensel was quoted as saying in the article, “We’ve been at this for 11 years and we don’t intend to change anything at this time.” 

Click on image to see the SE Greenway Project map on the City’s website at will keep you updated as we learn more.

Visit the Santa Rosa Southeast Greenway online at


Save the Date! - Measure M Parks for All

Community Meeting for SE Santa Rosa Date: Thursday, March 26, Time: 5:30-7:30 Montgomery High School, 1250 Hahman Dr, Santa Rosa.


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