Public invited to workshop on old Patten Street fire station
This is an open letter to Sonoma citizens and neighbors of the old Patten Street fire station, to provide an update on the current status of the redevelopment being considered on the fire station site.
The building is currently owned by the city's Community Development Agency (CDA), which is working with a Sacramento developer, Foothill Partners, on plan's to create a commercial project on the site.
The developer is hosting a community workshop on the proposed redevelopment of the property on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the fire station (32 Patten St.). It is hoped interested citizens will attend the meeting, as it is an important opportunity for the public to express thoughts and ideas as to the appropriate use of the site.
Workshop objectives are to:
• Review existing site conditions and applicable zoning regulations.
• Review the history of the site, including previous public forums and actions and CDA objectives for the site.
• Provide the developer with feedback and suggestions from neighbors and other interested members of the community as to how the site should be re-used and redeveloped.
• Additional background information will be available at www.sonomacity.org starting Sept. 30.
According to Doug Weile, representing Foothill Partners, "We're intending to come that day with photos of buildings indicative of local character, and blank paper and pens. I hope we get some ideas out of the time together."
For those who were not able to attend the August Planning Committee study session on the project, the general consensus among commission members was that the currently proposed design was "placeless, generic and ugly," and that there was insufficient parking for a project of that size and scope. They also suggested that a residential and office development would be more appropriate to the site than a shopping center.
A rendering of the currently proposed plan envisions two restaurants, a coffee shop, three retail shops, an office loft and multiple "towers." Parking is proposed to be 24 spaces situated in a perpendicular fashion, on Patten Street, with nine spaces on the First Street East side of the lot. No provision is made for commercial delivery vehicles or dedicated off-site employee parking.
The Planning Commission also commented that there had been little to no contact between the neighbors and the developer, so the Saturday meeting is an opportunity to bring forth ideas for what kind of development should be constructed on the site. Suggestions to date have ranged from a small park to town houses. Anyone interested in proposing ideas can contact Sonoma Planning Director David Goodison, at 933-2201, or Doug Wiele at Foothill Partners, 916-939-9890.