The former Highway 12 right-of-way property, now known as the Santa Rosa Southeast Greenway, must be incorporated into the City of Santa Rosa’s General Plan before the City and Sonoma County Water Agency can acquire the land from Caltrans.
Introduction and Mission
Started in 2009, the Southeast Greenway Campaign is a community effort to transform the vacant two-mile corridor of open space connecting Spring Lake Park and Farmers Lane into a vibrant urban greenway that will serve as a strategic link in our regional non-motorized transportation system and improve our quality of life.
The Campaign consists of a volunteer steering committee, a circle of advisors, and more than 2000 supporters. We are working to bring the community together to acquire, develop and care for the Greenway.
The campaign is committed to shaping the Southeast Greenway based on principles of sustainability: respect for the environment, economic vitality, social equity, and community engagement.
The Southeast Greenway Campaign envisions the Greenway as a valuable community, regional, and economic asset that will include:
Separated trails for walking and bicycling
Parks and places to picnic and play
Open spaces with restored natural habitat
Community gardens and art
Educational opportunities for children and youth
The Southeast Greenway will provide a key link in our community’s non-motorized transportation system. It will connect Spring Lake Park with Sonoma Valley to the east, to SMART downtown and to the Prince Memorial Greenway and West County trails.
This approximately 2 mile long, 52-acre strip of land is currently owned by Caltrans and has been unavailable for public use for over 50 years. It was originally intended for a state highway extension that would have required a bridge over Spring Lake. Citizens resoundingly opposed this plan.
In 2014 the California Transportation Commission rescinded the freeway designation for this property, freeing Caltrans to dispose of the property. With the exception of a Class 1 Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail, this property has no current land use designation in the City of Santa Rosa’s General Plan.
Now is the Time!
Our community has a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to acquire the land and create an urban greenway for residents and visitors to enjoy for years to come. In 2014 the City of Santa Rosa, the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department, LandPaths, and the Southeast Greenway Campaign Committee signed a Mutual Letter of Intent, which outlines each organization’s role and responsibilities to secure the property for a Greenway, and to establish a program to plan, develop and manage the property.
In August 2015, Caltrans and the Community Partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets forth a process for working together to establish a fair price for the property. The MOU gives the Community Partnership the first right of refusal to purchase the property, ensures that the property will remain intact, and provides adequate time for performing due diligence and fundraising.
In 2016 the Santa Rosa City Council authorized the Community Planning and Economic Development Department to initiate a process to amend the City’s General Plan, establishing land uses and zoning for the Greenway property. The City has hired a planning consulting firm, PlaceWorks, to lead the planning process and conduct the environmental studies needed for the General Plan Amendment. The planning process in underway and offers many opportunities for community engagement.
A successful effort to acquire and develop the Greenway for community benefit will require the active involvement of individuals, community groups, non-profit organizations, the business community, and local, regional and state agencies.
We Need You!
To find out how you can be involved in the Greenway Campaign, please check out our volunteer opportunities. We need volunteers to staff information tables, canvass neighborhoods, connect us with local businesses and community organizations, and help at community events.
Become a Friend of the Southeast Greenway!
Make a tax-deductible donation online by clicking Donate or write a check payable to the Sonoma Land Trust, with a notation on the memo line that the funds are for the “Southeast Greenway Campaign.”
Mail your check to:
Southeast Greenway Campaign
P.O. Box 9122
Santa Rosa, CA 95405