Future of Sonoma and Roseland redevelopment projects at stake

The future of high-profile development projects north of Sonoma and in Roseland could be in jeopardy depending on what seven members of a county oversight board decide today.

The projects would transform a former shopping center in Roseland into a commercial and residential complex with a community plaza and bring upgrades to Highway 12, including sidewalks, lighting and parking improvements in the stretch north of Sonoma the agency calls "The Springs."

Both projects, as well as several smaller ones, will be on the agenda during today's meeting in Santa Rosa of an independent oversight committee that was formed after the demise of redevelopment agencies.

"It's shaking the tree and figuring out which projects are a priority, and leaving out the ones that aren't," said Supervisor Valerie Brown, who is chairwoman of the the committee.

She said she will push to make The Springs and Roseland projects the group's highest priorities.

"The Roseland area is one that's been planned for so long. It makes so much sense to renovate and clear blight in that area," she said.

"And Highway 12 makes sense because we already finished phase one, and you can see the difference," she added.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors dissolved its redevelopment agency on Jan. 31 to meet a state-ordered shutdown of redevelopment agencies.

The oversight committee formed in the wake of that move is charged with winding down redevelopment. The group's members include city and county officials, school representatives and a member of the public.

The board's action in January transferred $18 million of the county redevelopment agency's cash to the county. Some portion of that money is to be used to pay ongoing obligations and work authorized in third-party contracts before August 2011, when the state Supreme Court halted further redevelopment activity.

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