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Roseland annexation details ready in July
SR, county officials plan hearing on boundaries of area to be added to city

Santa Rosa and Sonoma County officials are focused on how many of Roseland's 900 unincorporated acres and approximately 6,000 residents could be part of the city by year's end.

Officials told the City Council and the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that details of annexation boundaries should be ready to unveil at a public meeting to be set for mid-July. They said council members and supervisors are likely to get an annexation proposal to consider by the end of the summer.

"Our meetings have been very productive," deputy county administrator Lori Norton said.

Even if a proposal does move forward, city planner Ken MacNab told the council it will be "multiple years" before all of Roseland and other smaller unincorporated islands in the southwest area are annexed.

David Rosas urged the city to move as quickly as possible to annex his Roseland neighborhood so it can begin receiving a more urban level of services.

"My dream is you annex all of Roseland at once but I realize it is not cost-effective," said Rosas, who hopes it can occur within two to five years.

The main stumbling block to the speed and scope of annexation is money. A consultant estimated Santa Rosa would run up a $29 million deficit over 10 years if it annexed all of Roseland and upgraded the level of service, mostly police.

But Norton said the city and county are now only about $9 million apart in their estimates of a 10-year deficit.

Steve Sharpe, executive officer of the Local Agency Formation Commission, the agency that rules on annexation proposals, said it is prepared for quick consideration by holding public hearings and, if necessary, calling an election.

Sharpe said LAFCO officials are firmly committed to abolishing the patchwork of unincorporated islands left behind as city limits have enveloped much of southwest Santa Rosa.

Roseland is the county's largest unincorporated island.

LAFCO officials maintain that piecemeal annexations generate confusion among residents and business owners when it comes to authority over everything from police calls to building regulations.

Staff Writer Mike McCoy contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Bleys W. Rose at 521-5431 or bleys.rose@pressdemocrat.com.

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