07/08/2022- City Manager Darrin Jenkins: Downtown
Posted on 07/08/2022
So let’s talk about downtown. It's not really a project, it is a whole different lifestyle for our city. Our city was built in the era of the automobile so everything was basically car oriented. And we’re missing a place where you can hang out with your friends, and enjoy outside restaurants and shopping. In this area we seek to shift our focus to the people that make up our community. 

We are going to have a special place where people can arrive by vehicle, on foot, by bicycle, or aboard the SMART train, to enjoy downtown. A place where it's comfortable to be outside spending time and chatting with friends. We're talking about our ‘Friendly City.’ A place that creates a 21st Century vibrant feel. 

Have you experienced the excitement of Party on the Plaza on Friday nights? You can find people walking, eating, smiling, and shopping. We hope to create that same type of excitement in our downtown. Thousands of people enjoying themselves. 

We’ve done extensive meetings and surveys to gain public input over the last decade. The number one ask of our residents continues to be an accessible downtown with unique dining and shopping experiences. The demand for a downtown has been consistent. 

We want to build on the planning and public outreach we’ve done to date. Take a “post-Covid” look at what the city has already completed. Align planning and outreach efforts with City Council’s direction for downtown Rohnert Park. City Council wants high quality amenities such as streetscape, fountains, benches, art, and landscape. Planning for 400-500 units for housing, including a minimum of 69 affordable houses. Affordable housing is for people that earn 80% of the median income. 

Construction of backbone infrastructure is projected for the summer of 2024. We’re planning ahead for the following: 

- Fall 2022 Parks and Recreation commission to revise Final Development Plan
- Fall 2022 Planning commission to review revised Final Development Plan
- Fall 2022 City Council reviews revised Final Development Plan
- Early 2023 Technical amendments to the Form Based Code. 
- 2023 Project design and property disposition.

We are delivering an amenity for the community and look forward to creating a downtown that we’ll all enjoy. Stay up-to-date on downtown updates at www.rpcity.org/downtown