Sonoma Planning Commission studies affordable housing project

Housing units for low-income seniors, families and veterans will become available when the 20269 Broadway project is completed.|

Some meetings of the city’s Planning Commission play to an empty house, but that’s not likely to happen this Thursday evening, Sept. 8, with at least two agenda items coming up for discussion that could affect the temper of life in Sonoma: a 49-unit affordable housing complex on Broadway and a nine-unit hotel right downtown.

The commission will conduct a study session on the affordable housing project at 20269 Broadway, as revised by Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) in response to their community outreach process. The update includes a modified site plan that relocates the community building to the Broadway frontage, with primary access to the development from Broadway and not from Clay Street as originally proposed.

“Study sessions provide an opportunity for early feedback on a project concept by the Planning Commission and the public prior to the filing of an application,” Planning Director David Goodison reminds us. “No final action on the project can or will be taken at the study session.”

The 49 units will be grouped in eight two-story building clusters, along with the single-story community building and office. Housing units for low-income seniors, families and veterans will become available when the project is completed.

The development incorporates a play area for children, as well as raised garden beds available for resident use. Pedestrian paths provide access throughout the site. The main parking lot would be placed along the northern edge of the site, with a smaller court, designed to meet fire department turn-around requirements, projecting off of it.

SAHA won the bid over a number of other applicants, including Burbank Housing and MidPen Housing. SAHA’s most recent project in Sonoma was Valley Oak Homes on Lyon Street, completed in 2014.

The SAHA report is the second item on the agenda; item number six is the consideration of a use permit to develop a nine-unit hotel at 158-172 W. Napa St., in a set of structures being either remodeled or rebuilt by Michael Marino. The location includes the substantially rebuilt Hawker Home, formerly newspaper offices for the Sonoma Sun and a nearby house where KSVY radio and television had their studios.

An earlier proposal for the properties suggested they would become vacation rentals.

Other agenda items include a study session on proposals to develop two hillside properties off Fourth Street East and Brazil Street each with a single-family home and related accessory structures. The complete meeting agenda and packet can be found on the city website at

The Planning Commission meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the Community Meeting Room, located at 177 First St. W.

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