President’s Message

President’s Message, September 2023

First, let’s acknowledge the folks who are behind our success. Your FPA Board members are awesome. You can learn more about them by clicking on the Board of Directors page. Highly skilled, community focused, willing and able are the descriptions that come to mind. If you know them, thank them. If you don’t know them, check them out.

There are also volunteers not on the Board who pitch in to care for our Downtown Oaks Park. Litter pick-up by Grace Thatcher and mowing by Max Broome and Sean from Sonoma Mow Man. I’m also grateful to the Chamber of Commerce for hosting Farmers Markets, Fourth of July celebrations and new this year a Community Yard Sale.

Thanks to the Trash Committee of the Municipal Advisory Council (Mac) for a memorable Dump Day whereby hundreds of households had help getting rid of yard waste, mattresses, and old appliances to name a few. I think this should be a yearly offering to our community.

We were faced with a big issue recently with the State mandating the County provide rezoning to substantially increase low income and affordable housing in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County. While most of us are in favor of affordable and workforce housing, the initial plans would have increased little Forestville’s population so rapidly we questioned our ability to handle an extra 1,400 folks in the next few years. With considerable community input the plans were “resized” at an August Board of Supervisors meeting.

Housing Element Update August 2023: The Board of Supervisors recently approved the 2023 Housing Element and EIR after much input from the public, and land holders of some of the proposed properties. Here is a synopsis of their decision for Forestville.


  • FOR-2   6898 Nolan Road (14 acre orchard between Nolan, Mirabel, and Giusti Roads)
  • FOR-5   6475 Packing House Road (area around the old County Corp Yard)
  • FOR-4  6090 Van Keppel Road (off of Covey Road)


  • FOR-1 6555 Covey Road (Electro Vector)
  • FOR-3 6220 Hwy 116 N (Between the County Corp Yard and Hwy 116)
  • FOR-6  6250 Forestville Street (near Pajaro Lane which includes space for a skate park)

Please note these are not final numbers but as it stands there will be less than 160 units with a potential increase in population for Forestville of under 400 should all sites on the Inventory List be developed. These properties must pass an Environmental Review, which for the Electro Vector site is a big question mark!

Thanks to everyone who wrote in comments to Permit Sonoma, attended meetings, walked neighborhoods, and became involved. It DID make a difference, so know your voice counts.

Sidewalks and Crosswalks Update
Engineered plans to repair downtown Forestville’s notoriously bad sidewalks, along with putting in new crosswalks and extra lighting, are currently with Cal Trans waiting for approval. There was talk about starting this major project in 2024 once approved by Cal Trans. That project is now on hold as the Forestville Water District also has plans to install an upgraded sewer system along Front Street and it made no sense for the County to spend the money on this project only to see their work torn up to lay water and sewer pipe later.

The Water District has funding with grants but is still working on the engineering component of their design. It’s frustrating to wait for years for a needed project only to have to wait another year or two before it begins, yet it only makes sense to tear up our streets once by combining the two needs for the community. I’m just hoping it happens in my lifetime!

Hometown Heroes
We encourage you to nominate someone you feel contributes to the quality of life here in Forestville, whether it’s within your own neighborhood or it’s someone you’ve noticed doing extra for the community. Check out who’s been nominated already at Hometown Heroes. These are the people who make a difference here in town. It isn’t a contest, just an acknowledgment that we are surrounded by caring, engaged, dedicated folks who love the town and make it the funky, friendly, inclusive, and special place it is here on the planet. There is a handy form in this Hometown Heroes section to submit your Forestville Hometown Heroes.

Our Thriving Business Community
It’s thrilling to live downtown and see the vibrancy that’s happened in the last two years. Sonoma Pizza Company keeps coming up with fun events like music on Thursday and Sunday nights and a weekend brunch menu. Brew has Trivia Fridays and Angela’s Ice Cream has folks coming from all over to try their incredible offerings. Couple that with Nightingale breads and La Rosa’s Mexican Cantina and we are becoming a destination. The Record Store and Bike Shop are added draws. The next challenge may be to find enough parking for our guests!

Stay engaged. Shop and eat downtown. Buy local. It matters!

– Lucy Barnett Hardcastle, President of Forestville Planning Association
Contact the FPA President

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.