8/30/2021 Dowtown Update

The development of this site has been considerably delayed due to a number of issues, not the least of which was the unfortunate passing of one of the principals of the property.

The City, through the Code Compliance office, has been increasingly involved in enforcing property maintenance issues against those currently responsible for the property. In response to this enforcement effort, the following actions have been taken:

  • Vegetation is now being cut back and maintained on a regular basis
  • Perimeter fencing has been repaired
  • Site-wide trash pickup has started
  • Arrangements are being made to remove dead trees (and provide supplemental irrigation for those trees still living)

The City will regularly monitor this site and see that all needed maintenance continues until such time that development plans can resume.

9/25/2020 Downtown Update

In light of the many questions and comments received about the downtown status update, we would like to provide some additional details. The City of Rohnert Park is very excited about the future downtown. We have worked tirelessly, and in collaboration with the developer of the future downtown, to bring the project to fruition.
That being said, the current health crisis has left most of us feeling uncertain about the future. We hope that as the community and economy recover from the health crisis, that development of downtown will resume as planned. At this time, given the uncertainty surrounding the economy, there is no definitive agreement or immediate plan to transfer the City Corp Yard to Laulima, owners of the former State Farm site. 
We also understand that there are some maintenance and trespassing concerns related to the property. Our Code Compliance division has been balancing the eminent needs related to the health and safety issues surrounding the Covid-19 crisis with a priority on helping our businesses reopen safely. Code Compliance will continue to frequently communicate with the property owner --as they have done in the past.
Vegetation management and weed abatement are important to us. We have reached out to Laulima about the vegetation management problems on various occasions. We appreciate the additional eyes around town to help report issues. We understand that high weeds are a fire danger that can obstruct signs, cross traffic, and present an eyesore. In accordance to the City's Ordinance No. 27, commercial and residential property owners are required to annually abate weeds growing on their property. To report high weeds, visit www.rpcity.org/247. The weed abatement deadlines correspond with the weed growing season between May 1 - June 30. 
It was also brought to our attention that a potential encampment is located at the future downtown property. We have been unsuccessful in determining if an individual is related to the reported encampment. We will continue to monitor the situation. There are several programs and volunteers that are available to conduct site visits to help those experiencing homelessness. A dedicated Homelessness Task Force meets monthly to strategize solutions, identify those in need, and locate services. For concerns related to individuals experiencing homelessness or learn how you can help, visit the City's website at www.rpcity.org/homelessness.

9/23/2020 Downtown Update

What's going on with downtown Rohnert Park and the former State Farm property? That is a question we often receive. The site is owned by Laulima, a private developer. They were initially slowed because of the high construction costs when the economy was strong, before the pandemic. It will move forward when the private equity markets are confident that it can be a successful development project. While the City does not control the schedule, we will work quickly to process applications for the project when they are submitted. We have also expanded the capacity of infrastructure in the area, such as sewer lines, that are necessary for the project in the long term.

Downtown Rohnert Park is Here! 

Downtown  Downtown Map

A plan for Central Rohnert Park (PDA) was developed and approved in 2016.  The plan calls for the development of a Downtown Rohnert Park.
The overarching idea of the Central Rohnert Park PDA Plan is to create a place in the city that can be identified as the heart of the community. The PDA work effort included an extensive public outreach strategy to seek input from Rohnert Park residents, businesses, property owners, regional agency representatives, non-profit groups, City officials, City decision makers, and other key community stakeholders. Through this process, the community expressed the need for a downtown with the following qualities:  

  • Distinctive. Downtown should reflect the unique sense of place and traditions in Rohnert Park. 
    Compact and Walkable. The area around the new SMART rail station should be friendly to pedestrians and transit oriented. 
  • Active and Mixed Use. Downtown should include a mix of housing options; specialty shopping; food and entertainment uses; parks, plazas, and recreation; transit services; and public amenities. 
  • Accessible. Downtown should be easily accessible to members of the surrounding community: local residents, employees, students, and visitors.
  • Business Oriented. The Downtown should be a thriving place of business, with a focus on businesses that support an active downtown environment

A "downtown" environment requires special regulations that would govern the design of the streetscapes and buildings in the downtown district.  These could be provided by a "form-based code".