June 27, 2012 Town Meeting
Held by the Forestville Planning Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
Over 75 people attended the meeting, including Efren Carrillo, our County Supervisor, and Kevin Howze from the County Transportation Department.
I. Possible Acquisition of Downtown Open Space
About 8 acres of undeveloped downtown property across from Quicksilver Gallery.
Bounded by 116 and what will be the Forestville Bypass.
As part of the larger 80 acre Crinella property, development proposals have included a golf course and high density housing among other things.
Most recently, the 8 acre Thiessen Project planned townhouses, commercial space, a hotel, and a town square.
Property immediately adjacent to 116 has been used by the Town for Holiday Tree Lighting celebrations, town socials, business expos, a farmers’ market, and overflow parking for local businesses.
Once in a lifetime opportunity for Town to acquire some or all of the 8 acres.
Thiessen Project went bankrupt; Summit State Bank took over the property — the Bank has been asked to donate a portion of the value of the property.
Matching funds from Sonoma County Open Space District to purchase a downtown park area may be available (grant application submitted by FPA on Town’s behalf).
Spontaneous Ideas for Use of All or Some of the Space:
Trail head for Radota Trail + parking for Trail
Open classroom for local schools re: ecology & wildlife management
Overflow parking for downtown businesses
Playing fields (perhaps expansion of Youth Park)
Bike friendly hostel
Use 1 ½ acres for Town Square—leave rest open for other opportunities
Outdoor eatery overlooking the Town Square
Peaceful place to rest
Beautiful benches, perhaps of mosaic
Art and beauty
Community swimming pool
Park-and-ride lot for bus system and car pooling
Staging area for bike trail
Keep as many trees as possible
Good lighting for night use
Space for a farmers’ market
Temporary homeless shelter
Need to create overall plan for Forestville—our own vision
Property currently listed at $2,000,000. However, defaulted bank loan from previous project $1,200,000.
Maintenance: unknown costs, although present open space upkeep is minimal.
Taxes and insurance minimal under State law if property designated for public use.
Open Space application pending re: matching grant.
Possible contribution by Summit Bank of a portion of the value of the land.
Possible individual contributors who would like to leave a lasting legacy to Forestville.
Possible financial backers to help carry loan.
Suggestions: Banner, “Save Our Square;” a fund-raising barometer like that used in Graton; fund-raising letter to all in 95436; apply to Schultz Foundation
Call for Helpers/Volunteers—10 people stepped forward:
To refine ideas and generate specific proposals.
To make cost analyses of different components.
To further engage Summit State Bank to donate a portion of the value of the land.
To research past similar projects and how successful they were.
To help find people and organizations willing to donate money and make the project happen.
Contact Board President, Max Broome if you are interested in helping.
A straw vote was taken at the end of the meeting. There was unanimous support to continue exploring the possibility of acquiring this land for the Town.
The Roundabout will be constructed at Mirabel and Front Street (Hwy 116) starting next summer and will be completed in 2013-14; the roads will stay open with only minor closures during construction; Hwy 116, a State highway, will always be open
County plans to complete an environmental document in October and hopes it will be approved by January
All funding is in place; it comes from mitigation fees and will not effect taxes
The Roundabout will accommodate gravel trucks even with oversize trailers
The leading design for the center of the Roundabout was presented. It was generated via previous Town Meetings and numerous public meetings of the FPA’s Roundabout Design Committee. Design includes trees and large rocks to fit in with general natural appearance of area.
For further information about roundabouts and roundabout design go to Roundabout design on the FPA website.
III. Forestville Community Fund
10 applications have been made
$16,000 currently available for grants
Recommendations for funding are made by the FCF Advisory Committee, composed of representatives of local organizations (such as the Youth Park, schools, Prime Timers, and Chamber of Commerce) as well as interested local artists, businesspeople, and residents.
Grants should be announced by the end of June.
For further information on the Community Fund, its history and procedures, click Community Fund in the right column.