President’s Message

President’s Message, November 2023

Twenty years later and here we are!
At one of the very first meetings the FPA hosted in 2002 the attendees came up with a list of what they valued about Forestville. Twenty and a half years later we pulled out that list, created a 10’ by 3’ banner using butcher block paper, wrote down those early values and asked folks at the March 2023 Town Hall to show what still resonated. Through our “sticky dot” survey (scroll down to see) we came up with an actual statement that reflects our current values and what we hope to attract to our town.

Comparing what mattered in 2002 and what still resounds, we can see we’ve made some progress. For example, having business be local got 59 votes. Most of our new businesses indeed cater to local patrons with Sonoma Pizza Company hosting specials and parties and even a Chamber meeting or two. Brew brings many folks from Forestville to town to play Trivia on Friday nights and they serve up affordable food and drink options.

Folks said Safety was an important component of living in Forestville with 52 votes. By the end of next year, we are slated to have brand new sidewalks, crosswalks and more lighting already engineered and paid for. That will happen in conjunction with the downtown water district putting in new sewer lines down Front Street. It will be messy but well worth the wait.

Click on image to see this survey larger.

The idea of a Master Plan was suggested 20 years ago, and we had 49 votes saying we’d like to finally develop one. We had several folks sign up to be on a committee to take a bird’s eye look at the town, recognize the development pressures that could be coming our way, and put forth ideas on how to grow keeping in mind most of our residents prefer Forestville stay Funky 47 votes. This committee could make recommendations about what to do with the old El Molino campus, how to bring affordable housing into town, how to incorporate more art 34 votes and honor our history 30 votes going forward.

Another value was to have a town with pleasing landscaping at 46 votes, be bike friendly 30 votes that has affordable workforce housing 12 votes. Twenty years ago, residents wanted a community gathering space 24 votes and have community input 16 votes.

In 2013 we did get the community space we wanted with the purchase of the Forestville Downtown Oaks Park through an Open Space Grant. It has been the site of Farmers Markets, the Holiday Tree Lighting along with other community events such as a recent bike-a-thon for the Elementary School. We’ve continued to have one or two Town Halls addressing our desire to have the input we asked for.

I have to say it’s heartening to see the progress we have made bringing those values and ideals to fruition while at the same time seeing there are things still to be done. Putting the communities votes together we’ve come up with our own Values Statement for the town of Forestville and it goes like this:

Statement of Forestville’s Town Values

The citizens of Forestville hereby declare that we would support a Master Plan for the town that honors our funky character, creates coherency with better sidewalks, crosswalks and lighting, has pleasing landscapes that incorporates art while honoring our history. We wish to be known as a bike friendly place that has affordable workforce and senior housing and continues to listen to community input and supports our community spaces.

If you, or someone you know would like to work on those remaining values, join a Committee. Whether it’s to bring more art into town or honor our history, or even how to become more bike friendly, we’d like to hear from you! Sign up at our Volunteer page or email and let’s keep designing what we want for our town. We can do this, and you can help make it happen!

– 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.