Background

Project Description

The Southeast Greenway is comprised of approximately 57 acres of undeveloped land owned by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) located in southeast Santa Rosa. The land follows a linear 1.9-mile long path extending from Farmers Lane to Spring Lake Regional Park.
On October 6, 2015, Santa Rosa City Council adopted Resolution No. 28696 to initiate a General Plan Amendment and Rezoning for the 57-acre site. The project includes:

  1. Develop a land use concept plan and adopt a General Plan Amendment for the entire 57-acre site to:
    • Enhance the site, surrounding neighborhoods, Santa Rosa, and the region.
    • Facilitate improved connections between neighborhoods, schools, parks, and shopping centers. Connections include enhancing the existing circulation network for motorized and non-motorized transportation, new and improved street crossings, safe routes to school, and creek crossings.
    • Explore potential new land uses. Some ideas under consideration include a combination of:
      • Parks and open space
      • Recreational facilities
      • Neighborhood retail
      • Housing
  2. Engage the public and ensure that public sentiment is reflected in the land use concept plan and General Plan Amendment to a high degree.
  3. Rezone the property consistent with the General Plan.
  4. Develop an Environmental Impact Report that covers the General Plan Amendment, Rezoning, and acquisition of the property.

Project History

2015

On October 6, 2015, the Council accepted the report and adopted Resolution No. 28696, initiated a General Plan Amendment and Rezoning for the 57 acre site, and directed staff to proceed with an initial land use vision.

On July 7, 2015, the Santa Rosa City Council authorized the City Manager to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Santa Rosa, California Department of Transportation, Sonoma County Regional Parks, Sonoma County Water Agency, LandPaths, Southeast Greenway Campaign, and Sonoma Land Trust to collaborate and work toward transferring the land to local public ownership.
On September 15, 2015, City staff completed a report titled, “Southeast Greenway Existing Conditions, Opportunities, and Constraints.” This report provides extensive background information about the subject site and planning efforts to date. The report is available on the City’s web page: www.srcity.org/southeastgreenway

2014

On August 20, 2014, the California Transportation Commission adopted a resolution to rescind the freeway adoption due to lack of operational need, local support, and funding. This means that the land may be transferred or sold.

The City of Santa Rosa is part of the Southeast Greenway Community Partnership consisting of the City, Sonoma County Regional Parks, Sonoma County Water Agency, LandPaths, Southeast Greenway Campaign, and Sonoma Land Trust. The Partnership has been engaged in a collaborative effort to facilitate and achieve the transfer of the Southeast Greenway to local ownership and control for public uses. The Partnership intends to work together to plan, develop and manage the proposed Greenway should the property be acquired. The Partnership has been coordinating with California Department of Transportation staff along the way and wishes to maintain a productive and positive working relationship.
The Partnership has developed a shared vision that the area of the site west of Summerfield Road would eventually be owned by the City of Santa Rosa and the area of the site east of Summerfield Road would be acquired by the Sonoma County Water Agency for operation and management by Sonoma County Regional Parks. Future land uses are not determined yet, particularly because the site does not have a General Plan land use designation, but the initial vision is an urban greenway across the length of the property encompassing a variety of public and quasi-public uses, with potential for additional land uses.

Pre 1960

The land within the project area originally consisted of 65 parcels that were acquired beginning in the late 1950s through the early 1970s by the California Department of Transportation for future development as an extension of Highway 12 (SR 12). In 1957, the California Highway Commission declared Highway 12 a freeway between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, adopted a new alignment for the freeway to extend to the east parallel to Hoen Avenue, through undeveloped land that was developed as the Santa Rosa Creek Reservoir in 1964 as part of the Central Sonoma Watershed Project and then became Spring Lake Park in 1974, and reconnecting with existing Highway 12 at Melita Road. In the late 1950s, freeway agreements for the future use of the land were executed with the City of Santa Rosa. The Highway 12 extension was removed from the General Plan in 1991.