Transit Hubs: A Growing Lure for Developers

The New York Times recently published an article about how attractive transit hubs are for developers. Rents for office space near transit can be 80% more than rents not located near transit. As our work with Urban 3 has shown, development in these areas also produce wealth for our communities and realize other social and environmental benefits. UCP has been working to encourage appropriate development in the SMART station areas. With service scheduled to begin soon we hope development will follow in these areas to create people-oriented neighborhoods around the train stations.


Midtown 4th Parklet Party Planning

The good folk at Quadriga landscape architecture have initiated the Midtown 4th YIMBY group and they want to do a Parklet Party!

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Case Study Story Map

Urban Community Partnership, in partnership with Urban 3, has been working with the City of Santa Rosa and the Town of Windsor to undertake several case study projects to understand the impacts of land use and planning decisions have on creating resilient communities. The case study sites include two located in the downtown Santa Rosa station area plan, one in downtown Windsor and one in the Shiloh Road area of Windsor. Different scenarios were analyzed to help understand the property tax implications of different development intensities. We are happy to announce the release a Story Map which explains the results of the case study sites. The Story Map can be reviewed here.

Santa Rosa Storymap and next steps

sonoma_county_heat_map.pngWe are happy to announce that the story map of the Santa Rosa study has been released. The story map summarizes in text and graphics the economic productivity of Santa Rosa neighborhoods revealing the financial benefits of traditional downtown development. Urban 3’s tax value per acre analysis helped the Santa Rosa City Council, and the community, understand the source of the City’s economic potency, and the value of utilizing our significant existing infrastructure investment, rather than expanding our long-term liabilities, by growing beyond our current infrastructure limits. 

Our next goal is to take the methodology that Joe presented and look at case studies around the county with a focus on the SMART station neighborhoods. This is a great opportunity to understand how the message of productive growth can be applied to these transit oriented neighborhoods. We need to make sure these develop as socially equitable and economically resilient mixed-use neighborhoods that will provide train riders with opportunities for housing, entertainment, education, retail and commercial activities near the train stations, at the same time protecting the open space we all treasure from pressures of outward expansion. We will also be looking at case studies in those cities without train stations as this message of productive growth has applicability in all our communities. 

We plan on bringing Joe and Chuck back to Sonoma County for round 2 in late September. In order to do so we need to raise $100,000 between now and then to bring them back and support our work. We will be reaching out to jurisdictions, professionals in the development and construction industry, environmental organizations and individuals.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank those of you that already made donations to Urban Community Partnership. We are a 501(c)3 organization and your donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to contribute, please go to our donate page

And finally, we are looking to expand our team. If you are interested in participating more directly with out work and helping out as a volunteer please visit our volunteer page.

Chuck Marohn Transportation Talk

Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns made a presentation on transportation as part of the Urban Community Partnership events in Santa Rosa. For those of you that were not able to attend Chuck's presentation on January 21st, or those of you that want to see it again, the link below will take you to a video of a similar presentation. It is an interesting look at our transportation system, how it came to be, how it is funded, how much money we need to maintain what we have, and what is wrong with it. It's very interesting. Enjoy.


Jennings Crossing

There has been  an unofficial pedestrian railroad crossing at Jennings Ave. in Santa Rosa for years. With the work that has been occurring along the SMART right-of-way the crossing has been fenced off. The City of Santa Rosa along with neighborhood groups are petitioning the California Public Utilities Commission to install a safe at-grade pedestrian crossing at Jennings Ave. It is an important pedestrian link for the neighborhoods west of Coddingtown that should be maintained.

Join us at the upcoming public hearing on Monday, February 1:

Public Hearing Details

Date: Monday, February 1, 2016
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Helen Lehman School, 1700 Jennings Avenue, Santa Rosa (Google Map)

 More  information may be found on the Greenbelt Alliance website:

KRCB Interview - Rethinking Urban Development

Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns and Joe Minicozzi of Urban 3 were interviewed by KRCB's Bruce Robinson for his North Bay Report. You can listen to the broadcast interview and a couple other clips from the longer conversation at KRCB's website.

Memphis Curbside Chat Video

For those of you that were not able to attend Chuck Marohn's Curbside Chat in Santa Rosa last night, or those that want a refresher, this video, is from a Curbside Chat Chuck did in Memphis.  



Solution: high-density and mixed-use

Who knew that the sprawling nature of suburban development could bankrupt communities? While new homes contribute development impact fees to fund the infrastructure they require — including roads, utilities and parks — the true cost of maintaining infrastructure has never been accounted for. The reality is that the extensive infrastructure that knits a sprawling community together is inherently more expensive to maintain than in a compact community.

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