Local and State Policy Platform - Downtown Santa Rosa
A vibrant downtown is crucial in recruiting a high-quality workforce and for new business development, providing recreation and retail opportunities for residents, and providing attractions for tourism. A vibrant downtown should include a mix of dense residential and active street level use, including retail, and should offer a safe and visually appealing customer experience. Economic studies conducted by the City of Santa Rosa demonstrate the highest tax return and property value are in the city’s downtown areas, providing the highest economic return on investment.
To capture the return on investment to develop Courthouse Square, we support using City resources in the form of land and/or incentives to encourage critical housing and commercial developments downtown.
We support the updating and implementation of the Santa Rosa Downtown Station Area Specific Plan to support development needed to create a vibrant downtown core.
We support initiatives to expand the employment base in the downtown and efforts to retain City/County employment downtown, including support of events, cultural opportunities, and beautification, and the redevelopment of city and county facilities in downtown.
We support Community Benefit Districts (CBD) to enhance the greater Downtown Santa Rosa area and Railroad Square area by improving cleaning, safety, orderly, attractive, and well marketed with special events and programs, and to increase commerce within the boundaries.
We support the creation of Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFD), reconstituted Redevelopment Zone mechanisms, and other funding opportunities that do not increase the local tax burden while channeling funding to critical housing and infrastructure projects.
Opportunity Zones are critical for investment in housing and other projects that directly benefit the economic development of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. We support eliminating the deadline for investment in opportunity zones along with the ability to adjust the existing opportunity zone boundaries now that we have had experience courting investment in these areas.