County eyes Vailetti site
THE VAILETTI PROPERTY occupies a little more than 6-acres bounded on the east by Sonoma Highway and on the west by Malek Road.
Map courtesy Google Maps
The county's Community Development Commission will ask the Springs Redevelopment Advisory Committee if it wants to pursue the possible purchase of the Vailetti property on Highway 12 adjoining the Sonoma Charter School.
And if it does want to look into buying the property, the Redevelopment Agency wants the panel's support to go to the Board of Supervisors on April 12, asking for up to $175,000 for due diligence.
According to a memo to the RAC from Al Lerma, the redevelopment associate, recent discussions with Marco Vailetti reflect a renewed interest in developing the six-acre parcel.
"As the CDC recognizes its unique position with the property owner, we would like to proactively enter into negotiations with the property owner to acquire the property, so that we can direct future development activities on the site," Lerma's memo says.
"Staff is requesting authorization to provide housing funds not to exceed $175,000 for the CDC to conduct due diligence activities, including but not limited to real estate appraisals, environmental and traffic studies, relocation costs, legal and staff costs, and any other activities necessary to negotiate a purchase agreement at fair market value for this site," the memo continues.
Steve Cox, chair of the RAC, Monday said the committee is very interested in the property.
"It's one of the largest contiguous plots in the Springs," Cox said.
He said the six-plus-acre lot could be used as affordable housing or mixed use with affordable housing and a potential health center.
"We'd hate to see it languish or go on the open market," Cox said.
In past meetings, the RAC has asked if it would be possible to buy the property which reverted to the Vailetti Family Trust after the Las Palmas housing development fell apart due to a lack of funding.
After the Las Palmas project collapsed, the CDC retained first right of refusal should the Vailetti Family Trust find a potential buyer for the property.
In February, the RAC asked if it would be proper to buy land to "bank." Informed that it would, at that point the RAC started the paperwork for due diligence in an attempt to buy the remains of what used to be the Clemente Inn.
Back in November, redevelopment manager John Haig said the county is still interested in seeing the Vailetti property developed, as it is the largest undeveloped parcel in the redevelopment area. "We see it as a site for some sort of redevelopment," Haig said. "It's a property of interest for a variety of uses."
The property is located at 17301 Sonoma Highway.
The RAC meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Sonoma Valley Grange Hall, 18627 Sonoma Highway.