Responsible Development

Responsible Development:

The principle of Responsible Development is reflected in criteria for development defined by Petaluma Tomorrow.  It is development which:

  • complies with the General Plan;
  • meets the economic needs of the community;
  • prioritizes the development of services or products not currently found rather than replicating  existing, viagra sale local businesses;
  • provides for jobs with a living wage;
  • returns the maximum number of dollars to the local community;
  • contributes fully to infrastructure and community service needs;
  • is a net zero user of water;
  • applies the highest level of green technology/certification
  • and, importantly, respects the communities in which the development takes place.

A key concept regarding responsible development is commonly referred to as “Smart Growth”.  Smart growth is defined by Wikipedia as development, which “values long-range, regional considerations of over a short-term focus. Its goals are to achieve a unique sense of community and place; expand the range of transportation, employment, and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; and promote public health.” Other key concepts and terms inherent to responsible development include infill development and transit oriented development.

Working for Responsible Development

Petaluma Tomorrow has been a strong advocate for Responsible Development since its’ founding in 2001.  We advocated for a fully public process for the update of the Petaluma General Plan – providing stakeholders the opportunity to define the basis for development in Petaluma.  We participate in the discussion of major development proposals and advocate for or against projects based on their impact on the community.  Our ongoing efforts include:

  • Commenting at council on development projects;
  • Working with community and neighborhood groups most impacted by development to assure that their needs are met;

Recognizing that there is a declining amount of land in Petaluma available for development it has become critically important that any new development maximizes the value to the community, and not result in the cookie cutter, big box projects – whose design reflects maximizing developer profits over community benefits – that has characterized recent projects.  To meet the challenge to the community Petaluma Tomorrow is initiating “Community Watch” which provides a framework to evaluate projects and determine the need to advocate for or against a given project.

Specific examples of our work for Responsible Development include:

  • Provided an integrated set of recommendations for the General Plan many of which were incorporated into plan drafts;
  • Advocated strongly for downtown re-development which evolved into the Theatre Square project ;
  • Advocated against irresponsible development projects leading to traffic congestion, flooding which included:
    • Expansion of the Petaluma Outlet Mall into the Corona Reach floodplain;
    • Deer Creek (Lowes)
    • Magnolia Park
    • Attacks on open space at Paula Lane, Kelly Creek, La Cresta Ridge and ravine
  • Supported Petaluma’s Living Wage ordinance;
  • Advocated for the implementation of Community Impact Reports (CIRS) systematically describing the impact of new development projects;
  • Working with neighborhood groups to limit the negative impact of the Regency Development;
  • Support of efforts to Save Shollenberger Park and protect our wetlands and community from the impact of the inappropriate and dangerous Dutra Asphalt Plant