What they’re saying: Next steps for Sonoma County’s Chanate Road campus

Here are excerpts of what developer Eddie Haddad and county and city officials had to say in interviews with The Press Democrat about the pending sale and future of the Chanate Road site.|

Las Vegas developer Eddie Haddad is poised to acquire the 72-acre Chanate Road campus in northeast Santa Rosa after topping all other bids in an auction sale for the county property earlier this month.

The $15.05 million sale, the county’s fifth attempt to offload the property, is set to be finalized on Dec. 22.

Should the sale go through, Santa Rosa officials, including the City Council, will have final say over any proposed development – except for a tribal casino, which would require only state and federal approval.

Here is what Haddad and county and city officials had to say in interviews with The Press Democrat about the pending sale and future of the Chanate site.

Eddie Haddad, real estate broker and developer

“We have to come together to talk these things through. If everybody's comfortable with a nice resort, even a casino — I don’t know.”

“We definitely want to reach out to the neighborhood and start talking about whether there’s any desire for commercial (development), or is it going to be residential only?”

“My timeline is as soon as possible. But I hope the city is proactive in seeing this through.”

Victoria Fleming, Santa Rosa councilwoman

“The safety of the surrounding neighborhoods and the residents who inhabit those neighborhoods is paramount. I will be monitoring this situation as it develops very closely.”

“If there is a Tubbs fire like event in the future, and it’s probably more of a ‘when,’ we have to ensure that residents can get out safely.”

“I think it’s a big stretch to imagine the neighbors or the community more broadly getting to a place of welcoming a casino. I just think that is unimaginable.”

Chris Rogers, Santa Rosa mayor

“There are going to be many reasons for folks that live in that area to oppose. I think the list will be long and that’s without even knowing what the project looks like.”

“We’ve always known that we had the ultimate land use authority on it and that it would land in our lap. It was always just a question of when and in what form.”

Chris Coursey, Sonoma County supervisor

“The decisions here are not in my hands once the escrow is closed.”

Andrew Graham

Business enterprise and investigations, The Press Democrat 

I dig into businesses, utility companies and nonprofits to learn how their actions, or inactions, impact the lives of North Bay residents. I’m looking to dive deep into public utilities, labor struggles and real estate deals. I try to approach my work with the journalism axioms of giving voice to the voiceless, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable in mind.

Emma Murphy

County government, politics reporter

The decisions of Sonoma County’s elected leaders and those running county government departments impact people’s lives in real, direct ways. Your local leaders are responsible for managing the county’s finances, advocating for support at the state and federal levels, adopting policies on public health, housing and business — to name a few — and leading emergency response and recovery.
As The Press Democrat’s county government and politics reporter, my job is to spotlight their work and track the outcomes.

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