October 28, 2007 Town Meeting
by Richard Naegle, FPA President
About seventy people attended the recent, lively Town Meeting.
Because of increasing traffic through Town, the County has proposed a four way traffic signal with left turn lanes at the intersection of Mirabel and 116. Allan Tilton reported on an alternative to such a traditional signal. With extensive experience in creating and building roundabouts, he showed a design for one at the same intersection.
According to research on existing roundabouts, not only would a roundabout here be more aesthetically attractive and cause less pollution (e.g. quarry trucks not having to stop and start), but it would also be safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles, and trucks than a traditional signal. Plus, it just seems more West County.
If you like this idea for Forestville, it would be very helpful if you would communicate your support to the following:
Mike Reilly, County Supervisor
575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Phillip Demery, Director of Transportation and Public Work
2300 County Center Drive, Suite B 100, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Bijan Sartipi, Director Caltrans District 4
P.O. Box 23660, Oakland, CA 94623-0660.
And thank you Allan Tilton not only for your excellent and informative report but for your untiring work on behalf of Forestville.
The Green Valley Creek Restoration Project
We celebrated the completion of the Green Valley Creek Restoration Project, which began under the auspices of the Forestville Chamber of Commerce and continued under The FPA. All praise goes to Cam Parry and Dean Martinelli without whose vision and unflagging efforts the project would never have been done.
Congratulations and gratitude go especially to Larry Hanson, Project Coordinator. Larry writes: “I would like to give special thanks to Richard Miller for his expertise and guidance on tree plantings and other restoration activities. Others who have put in extra time and devotion have been Tom Veader, Susan Wielk, John Roberts, Bob Pakes, and my wife, Kimberly Burr.
Others who have put in special skills have been Bob Rawson for the aeration system, Tom Cruckshack for irrigation expertise, and Darrell Sukovitzen for some cutting services. Dean and Tara Martinelli, who live on the ranch, have been integral to the project and provided water at crucial times.
There have been more than 50 volunteers from several community organizations and as individuals that have come once or more to the site to dirty their hands and come away with an appreciation for the flow of water, the living systems in and around it, and the work it takes to restore and maintain the restoration work. This was truly a community project and this is truly a good community.”
The Proposed Thiessen Development
Orrin Thiessen presented his current plans and fielded questions.
(1) Solar panels as a source of energy were a popular topic. Orrin said he plans on including solar energy, the extent to which would be determined by the suitability of specific buildings and by related tax credits.
(2) Concerns were raised about impervious (pavement) and semi-impervious (gravel) surfaces and their effect on runoff. Orrin has included in his design the use of bioswale as a good source of drainage, filtration and retention. He is also exploring with the County the possibility of establishing a small wetland at the bottom of the property.
(3) Maintenance of the square. This will be the responsibility of the owners’ association.
(4) Architectural design. Some spoke up about in favor of a more current design, as opposed to all Mission Revival and Victorian. Orrin responded that he has invited and included design input for the last three years from the community. At this point, he needs to submit his plan to the County.
New Updates Since the Town Meeting
A preliminary design review by the County was held on 11/7. The official design review hearing has not yet been scheduled. This column and the Gazette will let you know when and where that hearing will be held — and to whom you can write your opinions as input for the hearing.
Update on The Town Square
Ken Smith, acting chairperson of the Downtown Planning Committee, reports on their recent meeting: We had a quite productive meeting today. Orrin showed us his revised Forestville Downtown Square drawing which he went over in detail, including tree locations and types, as well as bench and arbor locations, etc. In my opinion Orrin is on the right track.
Rachel Vail brought her computer laptop and showed us great pictures of trees Orrin was recommending, and also trees that she felt would be good choices for the Square — very helpful! Orrin will revise his planting design to reflect the discussion we had this evening.
I brought many photos showing examples of bench designs, arbor designs, and other features of the downtowns of Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg and Cloverdale. We expressed our opinions on just about all that will make up the square, including choice of trash container, park lighting, etc.
Orrin has an idea for the arbors which we think may work and I asked him to bring it to the next meeting. He hopes to have a drawing of the fountain design as well. He verbally described a simple roof for the stage at the amphitheater, a simple unpretentious structure.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 20th, 6 PM at the storefront next to the bead store on 1st Street. The meeting should end at 7 PM. We hope to finalize the design, or at least come close to this goal. All are welcome at this meeting. We need your input!