When completed, a two-mile-long Class 1 bicycle path will run through the Greenway. The path will provide a key link in our County’s trail network, connecting with Sonoma Valley trails to the east, SMART and its associated trails north and south, the Prince Memorial Greenway and West County trails reaching all the way to Forestville.
NEWS AND EVENTS
Greenway Acquisition Moves Ahead
Good news! On July 7th, the Santa Rosa City Council approved a five-year extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Southeast Greenway Community Partners. This MOU was first signed on July 7, 2015, establishing an agreement to work together toward the transfer of the undeveloped State Route 12 land to local agencies for the Southeast Greenway Project. During the first five-year term of the MOU, the City approved a General Plan Amendment, rezoning and Environmental Impact Report for the project.
Since those planning approvals in July 2019, the Community Partners have worked hard on everything else needed for negotiating a purchase agreement with Caltrans. The City’s Real Estate Division has taken the lead in working with Caltrans on the MOU extension and clarifying procedures for appraisals and acquisition. Sonoma Water Agency staff has completed reviewing the deeds and mapping the 40-plus parcels. Now Sonoma Land Trust has hired a local title company to prepare legal descriptions and preliminary title reports. When this information is complete, the Partners will be poised to arrange the required property appraisals. Negotiations with Caltrans for acquisition will follow.
We want to thank the project leaders at Caltrans and all of the Greenway Partners for their hard work in moving this process forward. And we want to thank all of the Southeast Greenway donors – your contributions and support make this progress possible!
Greenway PCA Nears Approval
On April 7, the Santa Rosa City Council approved a request to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments to designate the Southeast Greenway as a Priority Conservation Area, known as a PCA. PCAs are locations designated for the protection of natural habitats, restoration, public access and the preservation of open space for future generations.
Established in 2012, a program was formed to tap federal funds to maintain MTC’s commitments to regional transportation priorities while also advancing the Bay Area’s land-use and housing goals. MTC has created an opportunity to support parks, green spaces and recreation specifically in a program called OBAG (One Bay Area Grant program).
Specific projects within designated PCAs may be eligible for future funding through the OBAG program. Currently there are 17 PCA’s in Sonoma County, which are all located in unincorporated areas of the County. If ABAG approves the designation, the Southeast Greenway will be the first PCA within city limits. To date, OBAG has provided Sonoma County with $3.25 million.
We want to give a shout out to City Staff and City Council for recognizing the importance of this designation and the future opportunities it will provide for Greenway funding. We will keep you informed on the application ¬¬status. “This project is so exciting because it brings nature into Santa Rosa and gets us one step closer to creating a linked chain of parks from Taylor Mountain to Annadel.”
Taylor Mountain Park Addition to Provide Connectivity with SE Greenway
We want to share the good news reported in the March 30th Press Democrat. Sonoma Land Trust, in partnership with Sonoma County Regional Parks and Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, has acquired a 54-acre addition to Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve, extending the park closer to neighborhoods in South Santa Rosa. In addition to providing people with an easy access to Taylor Mountain, it will also protect important wildlife habitat near Cooper Creek, a tributary of Matanzas Creek.
According to Regional Parks Director Bert Whitaker, future park plans call for 17 miles of trails in Taylor Mountain Regional Park including a mile-long connector to the Cooper Creek addition. In the article Whitaker says that he is “particularly excited” about the long-term prospects of how the addition might fit in with the Greenway Project. “In my mind, that’s one of the really big things about this, is it really fulfills that goal we have of connections between open spaces throughout the county, with good regional trails.” Read the full article here and be sure to watch Sonoma Land Trust’s wonderful short video, which is embedded in the article: https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/10862729-181/addition-to-taylor-mountain-park?artslide=1&sba=AAS.