Town Hall Meetings

September 26, 2002 Town Meeting

(Unedited Notes)
The meeting attendees were split up into six groups, each identified by color. The below statement was developed from the input from all the groups. Following this are categories each group identified.

Forestville Statement of Identity
Forestville is a family-oriented, semi-rural small town. Economically and culturally diverse, our caring citizens value our natural environment, clean air and water and seeing the stars at night. We treasure our lack of commercial development, our Youth Park, the West County Trail, our excellent schools, and the small businesses that serve our community.

Common among unincorporated towns, Forestville lacks, yet desires a plan for the future. Our goals are to create a more cohesive downtown that invites citizen interaction on a daily basis as well as a central plaza and community events. We hope to reduce traffic congestion and noise as well as make our town more pedestrian friendly and a safer and more enjoyable place to be for children and young people.

As we move into the future we wish to maintain our small town atmosphere so that we can continue being the kind of community we currently enjoy while realistically facing the challenges of growth and change. Our common goal is to move forward with our environmental and social ideals shaping decisions well into the future of Forestville.

Black Group

Likes
Tolerant, diverse community with sense of “family and community.”
Quiet, small-town feeling
Local pharmacy, hardware, other stores
Limited traffic, industry, agricultural development
Clean environment
Scenic, open space
Scenic highway designation
Dislikes
Quarries in our midst
Quarry trucks
Indifference to, and impairment of natural environment
Use of pesticides close to schools and homes
Upcoming industry in town
Difficulty crossing street in town, River Road
Vision for Future
Tree lined, pedestrian friendly, more coherent look and feeling of downtown
Locally owned stores that support the community
One or both quarries, and quarry trucks, gone
Place to congregate (town square, youth center, community garden, bike and walking paths in and around town
River and creeks protected
New housing that is economically diverse, and encourages shared communities

Green Group

Likes
Stars
Trails
Youth Park
Small town family
Clean Air
Community Identification
Forestville Club
Chez Marie
Schools
Caring community
Nature
Natural beauty
Rural small town
Quiet
Dislikes
Traffic
Quarry
Not enough safety for Bikers and Pedestrians
Big Wineries
Poor Public Transportation
Cemetery Clean up
Ugly Store Fronts
Break Out Session Conclusions
Downtown – Commercial – Clean, well maintained, architectural
integrated with place such as Town Square. No strip malls.
Residences – Purchase/Rent Units including low-income housing. Minimum
regulated, sustainable mixed-usage housing; no apartment complexes. downtown & Residential New Building – Downtown and residential should be landscaped; sprawl discouraged; too close housing discouraged.
Green Belt – Presentation of what we presently have – riparian restoration. Define our place on the land boundary,
Environment – Protecting, preserving, riparian of our environment, clean river.
Local Business – Community support for present services (services needed include doctor).
Transportation – Better Public Transportation
Tourism – Agriculture tourist destination (emphasize apples, wines, crafts, etc., River tourist destination; trail tourism.
Master Plan for Projects – Master plan for projects.
Town Meetings – Community Relations; regular town meetings; town social meetings.
Brown Group
Forestville is a diverse community that works with cooperation rather than competition for the healthy lifestyle and well-being of the people, wildlife and environment. The commercial development is wisely planned and aesthetically pleasing supporting cultural arts and the semi-rural environment.

Community cohesiveness
Community services
Wisely planned and aesthetically pleasing
Environmentally responsible agriculture
Maintain natural beauty that honors town history
Locally owned businesses that serve community
Commercial development that reflects environmental awareness
Support health, well-being, and lifestyle
Vision
Integrative Health Center- Prevention oriented
Town Square/focal point
Indoor community sports bldg
Swimmingg pool- high school
Skate park
No car zone
Cohesive look (cleaned up with landscaping_
Waterfall/fountain/trees/flowers in square (improve aestetics)
Bike trainls/lanes
Maintain open space/natural habitat
More restaurants – health oriented
Bookstore/cafe
Farmer’s market- diversity
Small healthfood store
Civic infrastructure
Community volunteer Center / carpool service
Community outreach
Restoring creeks and wildlife corridors
Living coops
Lower spped limits
More local retail businesses
Sustainability guidelines
Honor historic aspects
Teencenter
Affordable housing
Co-housing
West County music destination – dance/music center/playhouse
Shuttle service to SR
Feng Shui town
Diverse planning group
Coordinated mixed-use, centralized granny units

Yellow Orange Group

Likes
The following received votes (listed in order):
Small town atmosphere
Economic & cultural diversity
Trees, wildlife, natural environment
No Safeway’s, etc.
Small scale
Social aspect of the trail
Excellent schools
Healthy ground water system
Weâre not a tourist destination
No wineries visible to downtown
Interesting buildings in downtown
Can see stars, few bright lights at night
Community effort that connected library to school
No fast food places
Art galleries downtown
Lively coffee shop
Pharmacy & pharmacist
Great hardware store
Caring involved citizens
Great Fire Dept.
The following received no top votes but were additional likes:
Youth Park is used
Public transportation here
Dislikes
The following received votes (listed in order):
No conscious plan for FV
Gravel trucks
No sidewalks
Little or nothing for children beyond sports at Youth Park
Traffic congestion on Mirabel, 116, Covey
No downtown center to meet neighbors, for music, etc. and fractured downtown
No town meeting place or town hall
No crosswalks
Traffic noise on 116 and River Rd.
Community bulletin board too small
No longer have a doctor or PA
Lack of shop Forestville first attitude
Public transportation schedule – not enough buses
Not enough affordable housing
The following received no top votes but were additional dislikes:
Signage on 7-11
Summary
We like the small town atmosphere with no Safeway’s, etc. and the caring and involved citizens who are economically and culturally diverse.
We like the trees, wildlife, and natural environment with a healthy ground water systems and the environmental as well as social aspects of the West County Trail.
We dislike the lack of a conscious plan for Forestville, a fractured downtown with no town center for meeting neighbors and socializing.
We dislike traffic congestion on 116, Mirabel, and Covey.
We dislike the fact that there are too few activities for children beyond sports at the Youth Park.
We dislike the gravel trucks.
Vision — Forestville in 10 years
Downtown (in order of priority)
We would like an alive town center that’s planned, child & family friendly, and compelling, with a visually appealing look:
Perhaps with a median strip with trees.
A unifying element (like Cotati) motif with landscaping (trees, gardens, shade, fountains)
OK to have eclectic variety put together in a clean, nice, attractive way (not homogenized!)
Create a timeless architectural style based on historical elements (1975 FV Specific Plan took that into consideration), which is “charming but not cute.”
We would also like:
Bike rentals
Farmers Market
Outdoor cafe
Music in Sunday
Bulletin board
A great breakfast place
Natural park, grass, gazebo with sidewalk around it
Outdoor amphitheater for Summer shows
The West County Trail is one of keys to economic vitality. Users at end of trail want to buy picnic, rent a bike, drink.
We would like less traffic downtown with a sign City Center to the Left” at Mirabel & 116 if bypass built.
“Shop Forestville” is a vital part of the community culture, to support local business. Shops are full & parking is safe and not an issue.
Develop an assessment district to buy land for parking downtown designated parking areas.
15-20 minute parking zones for parking & shopping?
Live-work units are a possibility.
Form a committee to study geographic trade area to plan downtown & shopping center?
Social/Community
Our community is economically and culturally diverse, with low, mid, and high-cost housing.
Services
(in order of priority)
We would like nice restaurants, with opportunities for eating outdoors (but some would not like Forestville to be a destination spot).
We would like a movie theater/community art center.
Having a bakery and ice cream shop also received several votes.
Another popular service would be a self service business services center and copy shop.
We would like a Doctor’s office and possibly to create our own health district with own health insurance & work with Palm Drive Hospital.
It would also be nice to be able to shop for office supplies, clothing, building materials, shoes, and to buy/rent water toys like kayaks.
It would be important to have maintenance available for landscaping and garbage.
Environment
We have a Nature/Ecology Education Center focusing on the local environment and gardening, which also involve kids. A community garden could be part of this.
We preserve a healthy ground water system with many native plantings.
We have an urban growth boundary — and deal with urban sprawl

Blue Group

Likes
The following received votes (listed in order) when group voted for top 3:
Small town quality
Amount of open – space around us
Rural quality
My privacy — space & quiet
Low population density
Sense of community (represented by this FPA process)
Great community minded local businesses (e.g. pharmacy, Speer’s)
No chain stores or strip malls
NOT a destination
The following received no top votes but were additional likes:
Proximity to cultural resources in Bay Area
Air quality
Walk/bike trail
Bypass
Not having to lock my door
Minimal number of streetlights (can see the stars)
That 116 is a scenic highway
Mike Reilly
Elementary and high schools are great
Proximity to Russian River
No lines at Post Office
Lack of services to outlying areas
Dislikes
The following received votes (listed in order) when group voted for top 3:
Growth — in people, industry, quarries, vineyards, storage facility, etc.
Increasing traffic
Lack of cosmetic unity downtown (the look)
Compromised watersheds
Pocket Canyon “clearcut” (coming soon)
Quarries (their existence near town)
Bypass
High school esthetics (fences, signs make it look like an institution)
The following received no top votes but were additional dislikes:
Lack of local employment
Lack of local cultural stuff
Lack of services to outlying areas (e.g. water, sewer)
Lack of voice in the county
Summary
FV is a small, friendly, rural community with locally-owned business, open space, and peace and quiet. We desire slow, sustainable growth that preserves our quality of life.
Vision — Forestville in 10 years
Continuity (cohesiveness) of physical (architectural) look- not rigid, but based on guidelines
Trees & landscaping downtown
Central plaza, with stage
Open space
Activities and places for youth (e.g. skatepark)
Keep Forestville basically as it is now (quality, size)
Include youth, seniors, diversity in our planning process
More pedestrian-friendly town (minimize traffic, possibly with roundabout or bypass)
Encourage connection between communities within FV (e.g. high school, business, seniors, etc.)
NOT a wine industry-based community
Jobs and activities for our youth
Bistro(s)
Local business primarily to service local community (income generated stays in our community)
Senior services
FV has more control over its destiny as a community
Community swimming pool
Movie theater
Diversity in who (can) live in our community (e.g. lower income housing)
Rivers and streams are healthy, accessible and sustainable
We are stewards of our environment (work toward sustainable energy community)
FV has a Town hall
Infrastructure appropriate to our vision
Public transportation
NO dumping (including on resident1s own land) – beautification

Purple Group

Likes
Small ( Intimate, personal, private)
Undeveloped
Eccentric
Diverse (personalities more than ethnic origin or race)
Youth Park
Trees
No street lights — no city glow
Safe
West County Trail
Russian River
Close to everything
Designer wineries/wine
No “architectural theme”
NOT inviting
Annual Holiday tree
Lots of artists
Green (ecological) mind-set
Dislikes
Ugly downtown
Trucks/traffic
No “there” here
Wine use of ground water
Downtown parking
Not inviting
Disconnected shopping areas
Loud noises (effects outside dining/conversation)
No decent food
No breakfast place
No public center/square
Bad traffic flow/circulation
No significant entry
No demand for business
Lack of local business support/shop locally
Human diversity (ethnic/racial)
Not sustainable
No reason/draw to be here.
Top Likes
Small town
Local Youth Park
West County Trail
“Green“ mind-set (ecologically conscious)
Top Dislikes
Trucks/traffic
Insufficient support of local businesses
No draw to be here
No public gathering place

Vison

Roads
Maintain bike/ped lane-lighted crosswalks — with all road construction
Round a bouts

Housing — Commercial — Industrial
Diverse usage — economic
Design review for downtown
“Green” architecture
“Green” business practices
Live/work units
Maintain small town atmosphere
Pedestrian byways
Open space/tress
Outdoor gathering place

Downtown
Town Round (instead of square)
No Big Chain stores/franchises

Services
River edge sewer service
Recreation
Entertainment
Community Relations
Sustainable development

Monthly
Board Meetings

• 1st Tuesday of mo.
• 5:30 – 7:30 PM
• In-Person at:
6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville
• Via Zoom: Get Link
• For more info, contact:
Board President,
Lucy Hardcastle
Everyone welcome.