Legislative Agenda Economic Development and Land Use

Land Use is a core area of Chamber efforts in local and regional policy, ordinances, regulations that affects all levels of business, industry and enterprise. The City Council, City Planning Commission, County Board of Supervisors, County Planning Commission, Design Review Boards and other departments and commissions make policy and enforce regulations that have major economic impact on business community and are a focus of continued Chamber monitoring, liaison and collaboration.

Permitting & Development

Permitting and new real estate and business development at both City and County levels has historically been challenging. The Chamber encourages collaboration between City departments and related commissions/boards including Design Review and Planning. The intent is to make the City and County business friendly governments with business friendly department staffs as well as to develop a more collaborative relationship with those staffs in part by increasing understandings of processes by the Chamber staff. Additionally, permitting issues, including delays, costs and restrictions occur at both the Santa Rosa City and Sonoma County. The Chamber is committed to working together with City and County officials to improve their processes to include expedited permits, lower impact fees, advocate against commercial linkage fees and minimize unnecessary delays.

Housing

Support initiatives that increase all housing, but particularly our stock of workforce housing. One of the key elements of growing our economy is our ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce. Current housing costs are put that that goal at risk and we need to develop mechanisms that encourage the private sector to build housing so that the housing market will not be a reason that local companies are unable to hire a competitive workforce.

Roseland Annexation

City of Santa Rosa annexation of the Roseland and several other smaller areas. There is a 3-year timeline for the potential annexation of the large and important Roseland area. However, the City needs to submit their application to LAFCO. Prior to submittal, the City Council must approve continued support for this effort, based in large part on the financial costs of the annexation. City staff, with consulting help, will provide cost estimates to the Council in early 2015.

Additional items

Support a winery permit ordinance that is supportive of economic retention and growth for the wine industry.

Monitor and provide input as needed on issues affecting the tourism industry, including an increase in TOT and/or regulations surrounding vacation rentals.

Monitor and provide input to Sonoma County’s Community Separators.

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