Council's "Gateways" redevelopment project
A reader commented this morning,
"Geoff, what do you think about the Gateways Redevelopment Project that includes 1,400 acres going through the center of Santa Rosa?"
Here's a quick answer:
One way developer/business interests use local government to make money, is to have their friends at City Hall create a redevelopment area for their private benefit.
The SR City Council works primarily for local developers, and the leaders of the Downtown/Railroad Square business community.
The current Housing Authority/Redevelopment Agency amounts to a second city government for those special interests. The Council recently renamed it the Department of Economic Development and Housing, to emphasize that it's about making money.
The Council created a Downtown Partnership Committee in 1996, which resulted in the 1998 R/UDAT visit. Since the late '90s, the Council has funded two private lobbies (CityVision/Santa Rosa Main Street) to lobby them to improve Downtown/Railroad Square. The Council has obliged by spending millions of federal/state/local dollars, on projects including the Vineyard Creek Hotel, Spa and Conference Center; the Prince Memorial Greenway, and the proposed White House garage/condo complex.
Looks like the Council intends the proposed Gateways project to create major north/south entrances to a "revitalized" downtown; and to make money for their developer/business friends, by overbuilding the Highway 101 corridor.
To learn more about the Council's Gateways Redevelopment Project, go here: http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/default.aspx?PageId=1675