Santa Rosa wants your help drafting new downtown plan

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As Santa Rosa revamps its downtown development plan, the city is looking for advice.

It’s forming a citizen’s committee that can provide feedback and vet early ideas as the city reworks its plan for the half-mile area surrounding the Railroad Square train station, an effort spurred by a lack of progress in meeting housing development goals outlined in its downtown plan from 2007.

A city staff report calls for a 25-member committee, which will include someone from each of the seven City Council districts, downtown property and business owners, a downtown renter, two future downtown residents and a real estate developer. It also seeks a student or young person, someone who uses public transit, representatives of local community and advocacy groups and six people from the city’s downtown historic preservation districts to serve on the committee.

“The (Community Advisory Committee) is not a decision-making body and will not have access to information or take action that differs from the opportunities made available to all outreach recipients,” city officials said in a news release. “Instead, CAC members will act as project ambassadors and encourage those who live and work in the project area to attend community workshops, events, and public hearings.”

Applicants will be asked to describe why they are interested, as well as discuss their connection to downtown Santa Rosa and ability to disseminate information and encourage community participation.

Generally, these types of appointments are made by the City Council and are limited to Santa Rosans. However, the council earlier this month delegated selection authority to David Guhin, director of planning and economic development, and opened the door for downtown business owners and other interested parties living outside the city to apply.

The Community Advisory Committee will hold four meetings. Members also will be expected to attend community events.

Applications and more information are available online at plandowntownsr.com. The deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 6, with appointments expected to be made by Feb. 8.

You can reach Staff Writer Will Schmitt at 707-521-5207 or will.schmitt@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @wsreports.

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