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NEWS

The sale and development of this property is a big deal in Santa Rosa, and the County.  It’s one of the largest locations left in Santa Rosa that can be redeveloped, and has a long and significant history. Below we share opinion columns, newspaper articles and Letters to the Editor discussing the property, its sale, its proposed development, and other issues of importance, including the question of building in high hazard fire areas.

 

current communication

In response to the two Neighborhood Meetings that County of Sonoma Board Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Caroline Judy, Sonoma County Director of General Service, held on July 24, 2019 and July 25, 2019, two letters were generated by Friends of Chanate Advisory Committe members, Sonia Taylor and Joanne and Ralph Thomas. They are:
Letter written by Sonia Taylor

Letter written Joanne and Ralph Thomas

These letters address the concerns regarding the information that was used to create the Summary Report that Caroline Judy basing her recommending that the Board of Supervisors vote to approve on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at their regularly scheduled Board o Supervisors meeting.

This meeting is being held in the Supervisor’s Meeting Chamber at 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa, CA as shown below:  According to the agenda just published, next Tuesday, October 9th, at or after 1:30 p.m., the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will be taking action with regard to the Chanate property. As we all now know, the Court order resulting from our lawsuit requires the County to rescind the existing agreement to sell the property. What happens after the existing agreement is rescinded will be discussed by the Supervisors at this very important meeting.    Please plan to attend this hearing! It is in all of our interests to monitor the Board of Supervisors’ discussions, strategy and plans of action with respect to the Chanate Campus. Your presence at this meeting is vital.    According to the agenda, the Supervisors are considering the following three options:  1. Conduct Environmental Review on Proposal Submitted by Original Developer and Pursue a new Sale Agreement with Original Developer. It is estimated that this option could take up to 24 months and could include the developer’s entire original proposal, as amended by the requirements of the CEQA laws.  2. New Surplus Process. This process offers the property for sale to other public agencies or non-profits and will likely include a component for construction of affordable housing.   3. Explore Combining with County Government Center Process. The City of Santa Rosa and the County have recently begun exploring the possibility of construction of a joint governmental campus which would include linking the sale of the Chanate property for that purpose. The time involved with this type of development has yet to be determined.   County staff is also recommending that the Supervisors direct staff to explore how to protect Parcel J as an open space resource.   We are delighted that Parcel J might ultimately be permanently protected,and will be monitoring that process closely!   We are not certain which of the above options, or possibly other options, the Board of Supervisors will select for moving forward but we fully intend to pay very close attention to the process.    Please plan to attend this meeting. All of our presence at this important meeting matters.    We truly cannot adequately express our gratitude to each and every one of you who has been supporting us both financially and in other ways. There is a long road ahead but together we can make a difference!   Thank you for your continued support!

This meeting is being held in the Supervisor’s Meeting Chamber at 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa, CA as shown below:

According to the agenda just published, next Tuesday, October 9th, at or after 1:30 p.m., the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will be taking action with regard to the Chanate property. As we all now know, the Court order resulting from our lawsuit requires the County to rescind the existing agreement to sell the property. What happens after the existing agreement is rescinded will be discussed by the Supervisors at this very important meeting.

Please plan to attend this hearing! It is in all of our interests to monitor the Board of Supervisors’ discussions, strategy and plans of action with respect to the Chanate Campus. Your presence at this meeting is vital.

According to the agenda, the Supervisors are considering the following three options:

1. Conduct Environmental Review on Proposal Submitted by Original Developer and Pursue a new Sale Agreement with Original Developer. It is estimated that this option could take up to 24 months and could include the developer’s entire original proposal, as amended by the requirements of the CEQA laws.

2. New Surplus Process. This process offers the property for sale to other public agencies or non-profits and will likely include a component for construction of affordable housing.

3. Explore Combining with County Government Center Process. The City of Santa Rosa and the County have recently begun exploring the possibility of construction of a joint governmental campus which would include linking the sale of the Chanate property for that purpose. The time involved with this type of development has yet to be determined.

County staff is also recommending that the Supervisors direct staff to explore how to protect Parcel J as an open space resource.

We are delighted that Parcel J might ultimately be permanently protected,and will be monitoring that process closely!

We are not certain which of the above options, or possibly other options, the Board of Supervisors will select for moving forward but we fully intend to pay very close attention to the process.

Please plan to attend this meeting. All of our presence at this important meeting matters.

We truly cannot adequately express our gratitude to each and every one of you who has been supporting us both financially and in other ways. There is a long road ahead but together we can make a difference!

Thank you for your continued support!

As you may have read in the Press Democrat ( http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8551939-181/lawsuit-over-sonoma-countys-land ), last Friday Friends of Chanate was in court for our trial.  It was obvious that Judge Chouteau had read all of the briefs, and had very specific questions that he wanted answered. Our attorney, Noreen Evans, was very effective in her explanations and arguments.  We don’t expect a decision for 2 or more weeks, but are cautiously optimistic.   No one wants to file a lawsuit – they’re expensive and time consuming. But after Sonoma County’s behavior with regard to this property, we had no choice.   Our lawsuit has three causes of action: failure of Sonoma County to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act; failure of Sonoma County to comply with the Brown Act; and gift of public funds for selling the property too cheaply.  Under the best circumstances, we would prevail on all counts, but even if that doesn’t happen, a win on any one of our causes of action could cause the sale of this property to be voided and require the County to start the process over.  We will let you all know as soon as we hear anything, of course!  No matter the outcome, the County and City now know that Friends of Chanate exists, that the neighbors and community members are organized, mobilized, will take action, and we will not be ignored!   Our greatest need right now is for donations to help Friends of Chanate succeed in our legal battle with the County and prepare for the battle with the City.   We are deeply grateful to all of you who have contributed, both financially and through your support of Friends of Chanate.  We have paid our legal bills and costs through May, thanks to your generous donations. Now we face our final legal bills through our trial, which we estimate will be $9000.00. Your support will be appreciated!    Please help us by making a tax-deductible contribution today!   Friends of Chanate is a fiscally sponsored nonprofit project of Inquiring Systems, Inc., 94-2524840. Visit  www.FriendsOfChanate.org  to make a secure, tax deductible contribution, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “ISI/Friends of Chanate” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.   Thank you again for your generous contributions to support our efforts to ensure only the best possible dev

As you may have read in the Press Democrat (http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8551939-181/lawsuit-over-sonoma-countys-land), last Friday Friends of Chanate was in court for our trial.

It was obvious that Judge Chouteau had read all of the briefs, and had very specific questions that he wanted answered. Our attorney, Noreen Evans, was very effective in her explanations and arguments.

We don’t expect a decision for 2 or more weeks, but are cautiously optimistic.

No one wants to file a lawsuit – they’re expensive and time consuming. But after Sonoma County’s behavior with regard to this property, we had no choice.

Our lawsuit has three causes of action: failure of Sonoma County to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act; failure of Sonoma County to comply with the Brown Act; and gift of public funds for selling the property too cheaply.

Under the best circumstances, we would prevail on all counts, but even if that doesn’t happen, a win on any one of our causes of action could cause the sale of this property to be voided and require the County to start the process over.

We will let you all know as soon as we hear anything, of course!

No matter the outcome, the County and City now know that Friends of Chanate exists, that the neighbors and community members are organized, mobilized, will take action, and we will not be ignored!

Our greatest need right now is for donations to help Friends of Chanate succeed in our legal battle with the County and prepare for the battle with the City.

We are deeply grateful to all of you who have contributed, both financially and through your support of Friends of Chanate.

We have paid our legal bills and costs through May, thanks to your generous donations. Now we face our final legal bills through our trial, which we estimate will be $9000.00. Your support will be appreciated!

Please help us by making a tax-deductible contribution today! Friends of Chanate is a fiscally sponsored nonprofit project of Inquiring Systems, Inc., 94-2524840. Visit www.FriendsOfChanate.org to make a secure, tax deductible contribution, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “ISI/Friends of Chanate” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

Thank you again for your generous contributions to support our efforts to ensure only the best possible dev

The Neighborhood Meeting:    There was an overwhelming attendance at Santa Rosa’s “neighborhood” meeting on June 25th – probably 400 people, standing room only, and excellent questions were asked of City Staff and the developer about the proposed project on the Chanate property.  Thank you all for attending, asking great questions and making certain that Santa Rosa and the developer know we all are paying attention!  Santa Rosa has posted the video of the meeting at    https://srcity.org/2881/Chanate-Village    if you were unable to attend or want to refresh your memory of what was said.  SAVE THE DATE – AUGUST 2nd:  Santa Rosa has scheduled a Concept Design Review hearing about the proposed project for this property on August 2nd. Save this date – your attendance at this meeting will continue to put pressure on Santa Rosa and the developer!  We will update you on the time and location of this meeting, as well as send you suggested talking points, as the date gets closer. It is essential that our voices continue to be heard, and that we are able to get a much better project.  Our Lawsuit:  Our lawsuit is entering the final stages: we have filed our trial brief, the County has responded, and our final reply will be filed in just a few days (see our website if you’d like to read these documents --    https://www.friendsofchanate.org/our-lawsuit/   )  Our trial will be held in July, and we expect a decision within a month after that.  Our goal with the lawsuit is to void the sale agreement and require the County to comply with the law, including holding hearings allowing the community to more fully participate in the terms of the sale of this property and any future development.  Our greatest need right now is for donations to help Friends of Chanate pay our legal costs. We are in the home stretch now!   Thanks to those that have already contributed! Our needs for legal fees and court costs to get through trial should be no more than $15,000 – we’re close to the end of this phase.     Please help us succeed with our lawsuit by making a tax-deductible contribution today!    With your generous support, we hope to WIN our lawsuit, and force this entire property sale to start over. Visit    www.FriendsOfChanate.org    to make a secure, tax deductible contribution, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “ISI/Friends of Chanate” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.  We all deserve a County Government who is working for us, and is not giving valuable property away far too cheaply.  Notifications: If you have not signed up with the City of Santa Rosa to receive notifications about this project, you should do so now by going to:    srcity.org/2881/Chanate-Village     We will keep you up to date with as much information as we have but you should also be on the City of Santa Rosa’s mailing list for this project.   Thank you again for your generous contributions to support our efforts to win our lawsuit!      Friends of Chanate is a fiscally sponsored nonprofit project of    Inquiring Systems, Inc., 94-2524840.       Support Friends of Chanate - Donate here

The Neighborhood Meeting:

There was an overwhelming attendance at Santa Rosa’s “neighborhood” meeting on June 25th – probably 400 people, standing room only, and excellent questions were asked of City Staff and the developer about the proposed project on the Chanate property.

Thank you all for attending, asking great questions and making certain that Santa Rosa and the developer know we all are paying attention!

Santa Rosa has posted the video of the meeting at
https://srcity.org/2881/Chanate-Village if you were unable to attend or want to refresh your memory of what was said.

SAVE THE DATE – AUGUST 2nd:

Santa Rosa has scheduled a Concept Design Review hearing about the proposed project for this property on August 2nd. Save this date – your attendance at this meeting will continue to put pressure on Santa Rosa and the developer!

We will update you on the time and location of this meeting, as well as send you suggested talking points, as the date gets closer. It is essential that our voices continue to be heard, and that we are able to get a much better project.

Our Lawsuit:

Our lawsuit is entering the final stages: we have filed our trial brief, the County has responded, and our final reply will be filed in just a few days (see our website if you’d like to read these documents --
https://www.friendsofchanate.org/our-lawsuit/)

Our trial will be held in July, and we expect a decision within a month after that.

Our goal with the lawsuit is to void the sale agreement and require the County to comply with the law, including holding hearings allowing the community to more fully participate in the terms of the sale of this property and any future development.

Our greatest need right now is for donations to help Friends of Chanate pay our legal costs. We are in the home stretch now!

Thanks to those that have already contributed! Our needs for legal fees and court costs to get through trial should be no more than $15,000 – we’re close to the end of this phase.

Please help us succeed with our lawsuit by making a tax-deductible contribution today! With your generous support, we hope to WIN our lawsuit, and force this entire property sale to start over. Visit www.FriendsOfChanate.org to make a secure, tax deductible contribution, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “ISI/Friends of Chanate” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

We all deserve a County Government who is working for us, and is not giving valuable property away far too cheaply.

Notifications: If you have not signed up with the City of Santa Rosa to receive notifications about this project, you should do so now by going to:
srcity.org/2881/Chanate-Village

We will keep you up to date with as much information as we have but you should also be on the City of Santa Rosa’s mailing list for this project.

Thank you again for your generous contributions to support our efforts to win our lawsuit!

Friends of Chanate is a fiscally sponsored nonprofit project of

Inquiring Systems, Inc., 94-2524840.

Support Friends of Chanate - Donate here

This photo was taken by Julie Combs at the City of Santa Rosa Neighborhood Meeting held June 25, 2018 at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa, California

This photo was taken by Julie Combs at the City of Santa Rosa Neighborhood Meeting held June 25, 2018 at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa, California

This letter was received by the residents within 400 feet of the proposed project. The project map was shown on the back. It can be viewed on " The Project " page of this website.

This letter was received by the residents within 400 feet of the proposed project. The project map was shown on the back. It can be viewed on "The Project" page of this website.

This article was written by Jeff Elliot:  In 2017 Santa Rosa suffered the Tubbs Fire and before that, the 1964 Hanly Fire. But way back in 1870, yet another firestorm charged over the mountain towards Santa Rosa. Our ancestors simply called it The Great Fire.  The California fire history maps only go back to 1951 and none of the reports yet published by the state mention the 1870 disaster, although it followed the same pattern as what happened last year. Driven by very high northerly winds, the October 1870 fire started near Calistoga and when it was joined by a blaze from St. Helena it became unstoppable. The Santa Rosa newspaper reported, “soon the flames were beyond control, devouring everything within their reach…and swept along the mountains with such terrible speed that all efforts to check its progress were given up.”  No map was published of the burn area, but the Sonoma Democrat described which properties were hit – see articles transcribed below. A deed search would probably produce a reasonably accurate map, but we know it stopped three miles from Santa Rosa. Measuring from the 1870 city limits, that would mean it burned through Fountaingrove.   Cal Fire map of regional wildfire history since  1951  Just as in 1964 and last year, there was also a simultaneous fire on the Sonoma Valley ridge. It burned as far south as Napa City – like the recent Nuns Fire – and on the Sonoma county side the fires also matched the 2017 disaster: “The smouldering stumps and blackened fields can be seen all along the Sonoma road,” reported the Sonoma Democrat in 1870.  The crisis came the night of October 16, the third night of what we now call, “Diablo Winds.” Santa Rosa was on edge because of “the close proximity of the fire on the hills;” a collection was taken up among townsfolk to pay three men to stay up all night and sound the alarm if the fire threatened.  What the Petaluma Argus observed six days afterwards sounds uncomfortably familiar to 2017: “Fires are yet raging through all the vicinity,” and there was “a smoky haze of the atmosphere through this section seldom if ever before seen.”  There were no deaths – aside from 400 sheep – and the properties harmed were remote farms and ranches. That’s probably the reason you won’t find mention of the 1870 fires in any of our local history books – the authors probably thought it was a fluke. (I stumbled across the details only while reading the old newspapers.)  But looking back on the incident now, the Great Fire of 1870 is unnerving to discover. Once can be an accident; twice could be a coincidence.  Three times is a pattern.

This article was written by Jeff Elliot:

In 2017 Santa Rosa suffered the Tubbs Fire and before that, the 1964 Hanly Fire. But way back in 1870, yet another firestorm charged over the mountain towards Santa Rosa. Our ancestors simply called it The Great Fire.

The California fire history maps only go back to 1951 and none of the reports yet published by the state mention the 1870 disaster, although it followed the same pattern as what happened last year. Driven by very high northerly winds, the October 1870 fire started near Calistoga and when it was joined by a blaze from St. Helena it became unstoppable. The Santa Rosa newspaper reported, “soon the flames were beyond control, devouring everything within their reach…and swept along the mountains with such terrible speed that all efforts to check its progress were given up.”

No map was published of the burn area, but the Sonoma Democrat described which properties were hit – see articles transcribed below. A deed search would probably produce a reasonably accurate map, but we know it stopped three miles from Santa Rosa. Measuring from the 1870 city limits, that would mean it burned through Fountaingrove.

Cal Fire map of regional wildfire history since 1951

Just as in 1964 and last year, there was also a simultaneous fire on the Sonoma Valley ridge. It burned as far south as Napa City – like the recent Nuns Fire – and on the Sonoma county side the fires also matched the 2017 disaster: “The smouldering stumps and blackened fields can be seen all along the Sonoma road,” reported the Sonoma Democrat in 1870.

The crisis came the night of October 16, the third night of what we now call, “Diablo Winds.” Santa Rosa was on edge because of “the close proximity of the fire on the hills;” a collection was taken up among townsfolk to pay three men to stay up all night and sound the alarm if the fire threatened.

What the Petaluma Argus observed six days afterwards sounds uncomfortably familiar to 2017: “Fires are yet raging through all the vicinity,” and there was “a smoky haze of the atmosphere through this section seldom if ever before seen.”

There were no deaths – aside from 400 sheep – and the properties harmed were remote farms and ranches. That’s probably the reason you won’t find mention of the 1870 fires in any of our local history books – the authors probably thought it was a fluke. (I stumbled across the details only while reading the old newspapers.)

But looking back on the incident now, the Great Fire of 1870 is unnerving to discover. Once can be an accident; twice could be a coincidence.

Three times is a pattern.

 
Friends of Chanate was impressed and heartened by the 150+ people who took time out of their busy Sunday to attend our Neighborhood Meeting on May 20th. Clearly there is interest in what is happening with this property and we were happy to receive so many questions asking how you can help.

Friends of Chanate was impressed and heartened by the 150+ people who took time out of their busy Sunday to attend our Neighborhood Meeting on May 20th. Clearly there is interest in what is happening with this property and we were happy to receive so many questions asking how you can help.

At our meeting we described our lawsuit and the proposed project based on the information currently available to us. For additional questions or clarity, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at  FriendsOfChanate@sonic.net .  Our greatest need right now is for donations to help Friends of Chanate pay our legal costs.  We are in the home stretch now!   Right now Friends of Chanate has accrued legal expenses in the amount of $13,500. Thanks to all of the generous donors who attended our Neighborhood Meeting, we have raised over $12,000! The donations already received will go to pay our current legal expenses. Many of you asked for projected expenses. We have an immediate goal of raising another $9,500 in the next two weeks to cover legal services rendered in May for drafting the brief which was just filed. We also anticipate an additional $10,000 will be required to pay our legal expenses through our July 20th trial. Our attorney continues to work very hard on our behalf at a reduced rate.  Our goal with the lawsuit is to void the sale agreement and require the County to comply with the law, including holding hearings allowing the community to more fully participate in the terms of the sale of this property and any future development. Our trial date is July 20th and we filed our opening brief last Thursday. If you’d like to read our brief, you can download it at  https://www.friendsofchanate.org/our-lawsuit/  -- scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Petitioner’s Opening Brief.”    Please make a tax-deductible contribution today to help us succeed!   With your generous support, we hope to WIN our lawsuit, and force this entire property sale to start over.  Visit  www.FriendsOfChanate.org  to make a secure, tax deductible contribution, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “Friends of Chanate/ISI” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.  We also promised to let you all know how to sign up to receive notifications from Santa Rosa. We expect that a city-led Neighborhood Meeting will be scheduled in the next 2-3 weeks. Friends of Chanate will pass along this information to our email list and post it on our Facebook page as soon as we receive it but to make certain that you receive everything possible from Santa Rosa about this project, send an email requesting to be notified, with your name, address and email address, to:  William Rose:  WRose@srcity.org   Patrick Streeter:  pstreeter@srcity.org   Santa Rosa largely communicates by “snail mail,” sending notifications in goldenrod-colored envelopes, so don’t throw those away. They will ultimately put up a web page for this project, but in the meantime, emailing Mr. Rose and Mr. Streeter will at least ensure that you know some of what’s going on in Santa Rosa with regard to this project and will also put the City on notice of your concern and interest in the project.   With your help we can get to our trial date, and hopefully WIN our lawsuit!   Thank you, again, for your continued support!

At our meeting we described our lawsuit and the proposed project based on the information currently available to us. For additional questions or clarity, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at FriendsOfChanate@sonic.net.

Our greatest need right now is for donations to help Friends of Chanate pay our legal costs. We are in the home stretch now!

Right now Friends of Chanate has accrued legal expenses in the amount of $13,500. Thanks to all of the generous donors who attended our Neighborhood Meeting, we have raised over $12,000! The donations already received will go to pay our current legal expenses. Many of you asked for projected expenses. We have an immediate goal of raising another $9,500 in the next two weeks to cover legal services rendered in May for drafting the brief which was just filed. We also anticipate an additional $10,000 will be required to pay our legal expenses through our July 20th trial. Our attorney continues to work very hard on our behalf at a reduced rate.

Our goal with the lawsuit is to void the sale agreement and require the County to comply with the law, including holding hearings allowing the community to more fully participate in the terms of the sale of this property and any future development. Our trial date is July 20th and we filed our opening brief last Thursday. If you’d like to read our brief, you can download it at https://www.friendsofchanate.org/our-lawsuit/ -- scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Petitioner’s Opening Brief.”

Please make a tax-deductible contribution today to help us succeed! With your generous support, we hope to WIN our lawsuit, and force this entire property sale to start over.

Visit www.FriendsOfChanate.org to make a secure, tax deductible contribution, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “Friends of Chanate/ISI” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

We also promised to let you all know how to sign up to receive notifications from Santa Rosa. We expect that a city-led Neighborhood Meeting will be scheduled in the next 2-3 weeks. Friends of Chanate will pass along this information to our email list and post it on our Facebook page as soon as we receive it but to make certain that you receive everything possible from Santa Rosa about this project, send an email requesting to be notified, with your name, address and email address, to:

William Rose: WRose@srcity.org

Patrick Streeter: pstreeter@srcity.org

Santa Rosa largely communicates by “snail mail,” sending notifications in goldenrod-colored envelopes, so don’t throw those away. They will ultimately put up a web page for this project, but in the meantime, emailing Mr. Rose and Mr. Streeter will at least ensure that you know some of what’s going on in Santa Rosa with regard to this project and will also put the City on notice of your concern and interest in the project.

With your help we can get to our trial date, and hopefully WIN our lawsuit!

Thank you, again, for your continued support!

Friends of Chanate recently sent the following letter to the City of Santa Rosa City Council Members:

May 7, 2018

Chris Coursey, Mayor

Chris Rogers, Vice-Mayor

Julie Combs

Ernesto Olivares

John Sawyer

Tom Schwedhelm

Jack Tibbetts

Santa Rosa City Council

Via email

Re:         Chanate Village (the previous Sutter Hospital site)

                File Number:  PRJ18-024

Dear Mayor Coursey and members of the Santa Rosa City Council:

We recently became aware that the applicant for the Chanate Village project has filed a number of requests with the Santa Rosa Planning and Economic Development Department.

The applicant has already had their pre-application meeting with Santa Rosa staff, and now has filed applications for a pre-application Neighborhood Meeting and for Concept Design Review, and has made a $25,000 deposit so that a RFP for the Environmental Consultant can commence.  Further, applicant has submitted very detailed plans for the proposed development of this site, including floor plans, which is clearly premature.

As you are all aware, Friends of Chanate has filed a lawsuit against the County of Sonoma over the County’s sale of this property on grounds including violation of CEQA, violation of the Brown Act, and for selling the property for less than they should have.

Our trial is scheduled for July 20, 2018.

If we are successful with our lawsuit, the sale of this property will have to be reopened, and the entire County process may have to be redone.

Our success in court would mean that any work done by the already overburdened Santa Rosa staff would be a complete waste of time.

Since our trial date is only a few short months away, there would be no significant harm to the applicant (and we believe there would be no harm to applicant at all) should Santa Rosa choose not to process applicant’s applications until after the Court’s decision on the merits of our lawsuit.

Therefore, with this letter, we request that the City Council make the policy decision to instruct the City Manager to direct staff to stop working on all matters with regard to this proposed project until the Friends of Chanate/County of Sonoma litigation has concluded.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like additional information.  At your request, we would be happy to provide you with a copy of our lawsuit or other documentation, including applicant’s detailed plans for development of the site.

Thank you for consideration of this request. 

Sincerely,

FRIENDS OF CHANATE

Jim Barnes                  Tom Brown                Heidi Facciano                   Ken Howe

       Trudi Schindler                  Joanne Thomas                                Ralph Thomas

cc:           J.D. Morris, the Press Democrat

                Kevin McCallum, the Press Democrat

                Jim Sweeney, the Press Democrat

Don’t Miss It! – Neighborhood Meeting, May 20th  Find out what’s happening with the old Community Hospital/Sutter Hospital Chanate location at our neighborhood meeting on Sunday, May 20th, from Noon to 2 p.m. at Hidden Valley School. All are welcome!  The process is moving fast (the developer has now filed papers with Santa Rosa!) – you need to know what’s proposed now so you can stay informed and influence the final development.   Knowledge is power. If you don’t know what’s happening, you may not be happy with the result.   · We’ll update you on our lawsuit.  · We’ll show you large pictures of the 867 high density apartments the applicant is proposing for the site.  · We’ll let you know the process the proposed project will follow.  · We’ll let you know how to make sure that you stay informed.  · We’ll answer your questions.   Don’t miss this chance to find out what’s really going on!   We are not opposed to development at this location, but we are very worried about what kind of development will happen, and how all of us will be able to evacuate in the event of another disaster.  We are fighting hard to win our lawsuit against the County, which would require this process to start over, but we all need to stay informed of everything else that is going on, particularly now that the developer has filed papers with Santa Rosa to start the project.  To find out as much as we know, attend the Friends of Chanate Neighborhood Meeting on Sunday, May 20th from Noon to 2 p.m. at Hidden Valley School, 3435 Bonita Vista Dr., Santa Rosa – right off of Chanate Road.  RSVPs to  FriendsOfChanate@sonic.net  appreciated.  Your continued support is critical to our success.   Please make a tax-deductible contribution today to help us succeed!     We all deserve a County Government that is working for us, and is not giving valuable property away far too cheaply.   Please visit  www.FriendsOfChanate.org  to make a secure, tax deductible deposit, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “Friends of Chanate/ISI” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.  Thank you, again, for your continued support!

Don’t Miss It! – Neighborhood Meeting, May 20th

Find out what’s happening with the old Community Hospital/Sutter Hospital Chanate location at our neighborhood meeting on Sunday, May 20th, from Noon to 2 p.m. at Hidden Valley School. All are welcome!

The process is moving fast (the developer has now filed papers with Santa Rosa!) – you need to know what’s proposed now so you can stay informed and influence the final development.

Knowledge is power. If you don’t know what’s happening, you may not be happy with the result.

· We’ll update you on our lawsuit.

· We’ll show you large pictures of the 867 high density apartments the applicant is proposing for the site.

· We’ll let you know the process the proposed project will follow.

· We’ll let you know how to make sure that you stay informed.

· We’ll answer your questions.

Don’t miss this chance to find out what’s really going on!

We are not opposed to development at this location, but we are very worried about what kind of development will happen, and how all of us will be able to evacuate in the event of another disaster.

We are fighting hard to win our lawsuit against the County, which would require this process to start over, but we all need to stay informed of everything else that is going on, particularly now that the developer has filed papers with Santa Rosa to start the project.

To find out as much as we know, attend the Friends of Chanate Neighborhood Meeting on Sunday, May 20th from Noon to 2 p.m. at Hidden Valley School, 3435 Bonita Vista Dr., Santa Rosa – right off of Chanate Road.

RSVPs to FriendsOfChanate@sonic.net appreciated.

Your continued support is critical to our success. Please make a tax-deductible contribution today to help us succeed!

We all deserve a County Government that is working for us, and is not giving valuable property away far too cheaply.

Please visit www.FriendsOfChanate.org to make a secure, tax deductible deposit, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “Friends of Chanate/ISI” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

Thank you, again, for your continued support!

Sat. June 2nd – Sierra Club Sonoma Group Chanate Historical Walk.    Don’t miss this rescheduled event! After having to be cancelled because of rain, this historical walk will now take place on June 2nd. Enjoy this opportunity to explore the historic County hospital property along Chanate before demolition and development begins.   On June 2nd, at 11 a.m., The Sierra Club is sponsoring a guided walk of this beautiful property – this is a unique chance to learn more about the history of this site.  First you will tour the Bird Rescue Center, who will be having an Open House. After snacks & talks by neighbors who evacuated during the fire, Jeremy Nichols, a local historian who will be the narrator, will take the walk through the site of Santa Rosa’s old community hospital and "WPA 1941" rock walls. Then going by the morgue, you will walk on sidewalks and cross over to the other property being sold by Sonoma County off Chanate Road for building and demolition projects. This historic site has changed names over the years, but was most recently Sutter Hospital. Beautiful historic colorful tiles decorate the building, but sadly much vandalism has taken place. You will also get to visit the historical cemetery, see many historical buildings, and may optionally walk to the Paulin Creek Preserve to see the Oak woodlands our tax dollars purchased, the old dam spillway with colorful graffiti art, the site of the old pond, walk part of the Water Agency Road and return to cars.  This walk will be along paths with uneven surfaces and dirt trails so please wear appropriate footwear. (Please no wheelchairs or walkers) Class: E-2-A. Bring water and snacks.  Meet 11 am (off County Farm Drive) by Bird Rescue Center 3430 Chanate Rd. Follow the one way loop road with the rock walls and park in the area to your left as you approach the top. Walk over to the Bird Rescue Center to meet Carol Vellutini , the walk leader, and sign in.  There is no cost to go on this walk, and no reservations are required. For additional information, please visit  www.sierraclub.org/redwood/outings   The Sierra Club is not a member or sponsor of Friends of Chanate, and there is no connection between the two organizations.

Sat. June 2nd – Sierra Club Sonoma Group Chanate Historical Walk.

Don’t miss this rescheduled event! After having to be cancelled because of rain, this historical walk will now take place on June 2nd. Enjoy this opportunity to explore the historic County hospital property along Chanate before demolition and development begins.

On June 2nd, at 11 a.m., The Sierra Club is sponsoring a guided walk of this beautiful property – this is a unique chance to learn more about the history of this site.

First you will tour the Bird Rescue Center, who will be having an Open House. After snacks & talks by neighbors who evacuated during the fire, Jeremy Nichols, a local historian who will be the narrator, will take the walk through the site of Santa Rosa’s old community hospital and "WPA 1941" rock walls. Then going by the morgue, you will walk on sidewalks and cross over to the other property being sold by Sonoma County off Chanate Road for building and demolition projects. This historic site has changed names over the years, but was most recently Sutter Hospital. Beautiful historic colorful tiles decorate the building, but sadly much vandalism has taken place. You will also get to visit the historical cemetery, see many historical buildings, and may optionally walk to the Paulin Creek Preserve to see the Oak woodlands our tax dollars purchased, the old dam spillway with colorful graffiti art, the site of the old pond, walk part of the Water Agency Road and return to cars.

This walk will be along paths with uneven surfaces and dirt trails so please wear appropriate footwear. (Please no wheelchairs or walkers) Class: E-2-A. Bring water and snacks.

Meet 11 am (off County Farm Drive) by Bird Rescue Center 3430 Chanate Rd. Follow the one way loop road with the rock walls and park in the area to your left as you approach the top. Walk over to the Bird Rescue Center to meet Carol Vellutini , the walk leader, and sign in.

There is no cost to go on this walk, and no reservations are required. For additional information, please visit www.sierraclub.org/redwood/outings

The Sierra Club is not a member or sponsor of Friends of Chanate, and there is no connection between the two organizations.

friends_of_chanate_flyer_final_1.jpg
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN. IT IS BEING RE-PLANNED FOR ANOTHER DATE. CHECK BACK IN FOR THE NEW DATE.     Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the historic County hospital property along Chanate before demolition and development begins.  On April 7th, at 11 a.m., The Sierra Club is sponsoring a guided walk of this beautiful property – this is a unique chance to learn more about the history of this site, which is the location of Santa Rosa’s first community hospital.  On the walk you will visit the Bird Rescue Center (which unfortunately will have to move off of the site when development starts), see the site of Santa Rosa’s first community hospital, “WPA 1941” rock walls, the former Sutter hospital with the colorful tiles, the historic cemetery, and many historic buildings. If time permits, we will walk by the Paulin Creek Preserve.  Jeremy Nichols, a local historian, will be the narrator. Other speakers may also speak about the fire and evacuation, although the Chanate property was fortunately spared.  The approximately 2 mile walk will be along paths with uneven surfaces and dirt trails so wear appropriate footwear. There are some hills. (Please no wheelchairs or walkers.) Be sure to bring water and snacks.  Meet at 11 a.m. off County Farm Drive by the Bird Rescue Center (3430 Chanate Rd.) in the parking lot. Follow the one way loop with the rock walls and park in the area to your left as you approach the top.  Rain cancels.  There is no cost to go on this walk, and no reservations are required. For additional information, please visit  www.sierraclub.org/redwood/outings   The Sierra Club is not a member or sponsor of Friends of Chanate, and there is no connection between the two organizations. This is merely an announcement of an event Friends of Chanate thinks its mailing list might find interesting.

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN. IT IS BEING RE-PLANNED FOR ANOTHER DATE. CHECK BACK IN FOR THE NEW DATE.

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the historic County hospital property along Chanate before demolition and development begins.

On April 7th, at 11 a.m., The Sierra Club is sponsoring a guided walk of this beautiful property – this is a unique chance to learn more about the history of this site, which is the location of Santa Rosa’s first community hospital.

On the walk you will visit the Bird Rescue Center (which unfortunately will have to move off of the site when development starts), see the site of Santa Rosa’s first community hospital, “WPA 1941” rock walls, the former Sutter hospital with the colorful tiles, the historic cemetery, and many historic buildings. If time permits, we will walk by the Paulin Creek Preserve.

Jeremy Nichols, a local historian, will be the narrator. Other speakers may also speak about the fire and evacuation, although the Chanate property was fortunately spared.

The approximately 2 mile walk will be along paths with uneven surfaces and dirt trails so wear appropriate footwear. There are some hills. (Please no wheelchairs or walkers.) Be sure to bring water and snacks.

Meet at 11 a.m. off County Farm Drive by the Bird Rescue Center (3430 Chanate Rd.) in the parking lot. Follow the one way loop with the rock walls and park in the area to your left as you approach the top.

Rain cancels.

There is no cost to go on this walk, and no reservations are required. For additional information, please visit www.sierraclub.org/redwood/outings

The Sierra Club is not a member or sponsor of Friends of Chanate, and there is no connection between the two organizations. This is merely an announcement of an event Friends of Chanate thinks its mailing list might find interesting.

Thanks to you and our many other generous supporters, on March 14, 2018 Friends of Chanate met a key legal benchmark; we completed our deposit of $35,000 with Sonoma County to pay for the Administrative Record.   Equally important have been the many volunteer hours devoted to research, documentation and spreading the word. Thank you, all!    We will continue to press forward because it is unacceptable that the County has given a gift of public funds to their favored developer. County taxpayers deserve a full public process before this valuable 82-acre property is given away for only $6-12 million dollars.   Next the County will prepare the Administrative Record (which consists of all the documents that will be used to prove our case) and submit it to the court. However, first the County must address our significant comments about their attempt to include irrelevant and duplicative documents in the Administrative Record. By our count, over 1/3 of their proposed record consists of documents that are irrelevant and/or duplicative. They’ve also left out a number of important documents, and we will be demanding that those documents be included in the Record.  If necessary, our attorney will return to court to demand that the Administrative Record appropriately contain only the documents necessary for this lawsuit, and if possible, further reduce the cost. There continues to be no charge to Friends of Chanate for this representation, as our attorney is donating her fees on the matter of the Administrative Record.  After the Administrative Record situation has been resolved, we will file our first legal brief with the Court. This need not be an endless process. The trial is now scheduled for July, and we look forward to a clear resolution on the merits of our case.  Although we have been able to thwart the County’s attempt to make us abandon our lawsuit, thanks to the contributions from our generous supporters, the battle is far from over. We expect the County to continue to use delaying tactics to drive up the cost to Friends of Chanate of pursuing our lawsuit.  Your continued support is critical to our success.   Please make a tax-deductible contribution today to help us succeed!     We all deserve a County Government that is working for us, and is not giving valuable property away far too cheaply.   Please visit  www.FriendsOfChanate.org  to make a secure, tax deductible deposit, or donate securely on our  Facebook page . You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “Friends of Chanate/ISI” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.  Thank you, again, for your continued support!

Thanks to you and our many other generous supporters, on March 14, 2018 Friends of Chanate met a key legal benchmark; we completed our deposit of $35,000 with Sonoma County to pay for the Administrative Record.

Equally important have been the many volunteer hours devoted to research, documentation and spreading the word. Thank you, all!

We will continue to press forward because it is unacceptable that the County has given a gift of public funds to their favored developer. County taxpayers deserve a full public process before this valuable 82-acre property is given away for only $6-12 million dollars.

Next the County will prepare the Administrative Record (which consists of all the documents that will be used to prove our case) and submit it to the court. However, first the County must address our significant comments about their attempt to include irrelevant and duplicative documents in the Administrative Record. By our count, over 1/3 of their proposed record consists of documents that are irrelevant and/or duplicative. They’ve also left out a number of important documents, and we will be demanding that those documents be included in the Record.

If necessary, our attorney will return to court to demand that the Administrative Record appropriately contain only the documents necessary for this lawsuit, and if possible, further reduce the cost. There continues to be no charge to Friends of Chanate for this representation, as our attorney is donating her fees on the matter of the Administrative Record.

After the Administrative Record situation has been resolved, we will file our first legal brief with the Court. This need not be an endless process. The trial is now scheduled for July, and we look forward to a clear resolution on the merits of our case.

Although we have been able to thwart the County’s attempt to make us abandon our lawsuit, thanks to the contributions from our generous supporters, the battle is far from over. We expect the County to continue to use delaying tactics to drive up the cost to Friends of Chanate of pursuing our lawsuit.

Your continued support is critical to our success. Please make a tax-deductible contribution today to help us succeed!

We all deserve a County Government that is working for us, and is not giving valuable property away far too cheaply.

Please visit www.FriendsOfChanate.org to make a secure, tax deductible deposit, or donate securely on our Facebook page. You can also mail a tax deductible check to Friends of Chanate by making the check payable to “Friends of Chanate/ISI” and mailing it to Friends of Chanate, P.O. Box 1284, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

Thank you, again, for your continued support!

Click on a link to read the news.

COLUMNS

Tubbs fire revives memory of a blaze that now haunts Santa Rosa, Gaye LeBaron, October 14, 2017

Hospital on ‘Hernia Hill’ represented big leap in health care for Sonoma County, Gaye LeBaron, July 29, 2017

“Here’s a challenge: Take a drive up Chanate Road to the place once known as Hernia Hill, stand in front of the hospital building and tell any two people who will stop to listen that this building was constructed in 1936 by the Work Projects Administration and marked a dramatic change in the way medical care was delivered in this county.

“Then ask them what they think about tearing it down. I’d guess that one might say “Wow! It’s historic. WPA buildings are treasures. It should be saved.”

“And the other may say “1936! That’s more than 80 years ago. Time to tear it down and build something new that we need right now. And I have no idea what that ‘Works’ thing means.”

“Most often, as we all know, it’s the “Tear it down” contingency that wins. They have more resources and can make the argument that it’s economically feasible and socially important. And that trumps — pardon the expression — history every time.

“So here we go again — fighting tooth and claw over a piece of real estate and dismissing what time and generations of effort have accomplished there.”

PD Editorial: The pluses and mysteries of Chanate sale, The Editorial Board, June 18, 2017

Close to Home: Chanate sale offers rare housing opportunity for Sonoma County, Supervisors Shirlee Zane and Susan Gorin, June 17, 2017

Close to Home: Concerns that linger about Chanate deal, Maggie Bradley, May 13, 2017

PD Editorial: How is it that this beautiful Santa Rosa 'preserve' is being sold to a developer?, The Editorial Board, April 13, 2017

PD Editorial: Sale of former Santa Rosa hospital site needs more time, The Editorial Board, February 7, 2017

Close to Home: Don’t sell Chanate Road site short, David Grabill, March 13, 2016

Sonoma County gives developer exclusive right to negotiate purchase of ex-Santa Rosa hospital site, J.D. Morris, February 7, 2017

Sonoma County’s Chanate Road ex-hospital site could become 800-unit housing development, J.D. Morris, February 5, 2017

 

newspaper articles

Lawsuit against Chanate Road land deal still on after Sonoma County fires, J.D. Morris, November 12, 2017

Fire-scorched Fountaingrove in Santa Rosa focal point of debate over rebuilding, Kevin Mccallum, October 28, 2017

Bird Rescue Center in Santa Rosa plans fundraising campaign to assist move, J.D. Morris, September 23, 2017

Neighbors sue to block Sonoma County’s sale of former Santa Rosa hospital site, J.D. Morris, August 10, 2017

Sonoma County to be sued by neighborhood group over sale of ex-hospital site,  J.D. Morris, August 7, 2017

Sonoma County approves sale of old Santa Rosa hospital site to housing developer, J.D. Morris, July 11, 2017

Lawsuit seeks to halt sale of Chanate Road hospital complex,  Martin Espinoza, June 20, 2017

Sonoma County advances sale of former hospital complex to housing developer,  J.D. Morris, June 20, 2017

Sale of Sonoma County hospital complex to politically active developer nears completion,  J.D. Morris, June 17, 2017

Deal reached to protect Santa Rosa meadow in sale of Chanate hospital property,  J.D. Morris, June 7, 2017

Local health care advocacy group blasts sale of Chanate Road campus ,  Martin Espinoza, May 29, 2017

Sonoma County signals intent to protect Santa Rosa meadow up for sale in development deal, J.D. Morris, May 4, 2017

Santa Rosa meadow up for sale by Sonoma County over neighbors’ objections, J.D. Morris, March 17, 2017

Santa Rosa's Sloan House women's shelter facing likely future relocation, J.D. Morris, March 15, 2017

Santa Rosa’s Bird Rescue Center faces likely relocation, J.D. Morris, February 13, 2017

Sonoma County gives developer exclusive right to negotiate purchase of ex-Santa Rosa hospital site, J.D. Morris, February 7, 2017

Sonoma County’s Chanate Road ex-hospital site could become 800-unit housing development, J.D. Morris, February 5, 2017

Rough Paths forward for Projects Promisinghttp://santarosapressdemocrat 1,200 Housing Units on Sonoma County Lands, J. D. Morris,  April 14, 2018

Strong Reaction to Housing Plan, J. D. Morris, June 26, 2018

The Fate of Chanate, Peter Byrne, The Bohemian, July 24, 2018

Sale Santa Rosa Property Canceled by Judge, J.D. Morris, July 27, 2018

Judge Spikes Chanate Agreement, Peter Byrne, The Bohemia, July 27, 2018

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

To read letters written to the editor, click on the link below for a downloadable pdf document (requires Acrobat Reader to view).