Questions & Answers
How would the new trail connect to existing trails within Putnam Park?
Sonoma County Regional Parks is pursuing plans to build a 1/2-mile trail that will connect the Scott Ranch trail north of Kelly Creek to the existing Ridge Trail within Putnam Park. As this map shows, the new trail will switch back up through trees on the south side of the creek and join the existing trail well away from the Victoria homes on Oxford Court.
What is the expected timing of the construction of the various elements of the park extension project?
Phase 1 would last approximately three to four months and would include grading the upper parking lot and completing the construction of the lower parking lot, two pedestrian bridges, temporary restroom, associated infiltration basin, north segment of the loop trail with connection to Helen Putnam Regional Park and the barn center. We expect this phase to be completed before residents move into the new Davidon homes.
Phase 2 would last approximately six to nine months and would include construction of the upper parking lot off Windsor Drive, permanent restroom, playground, group picnic area, trail along D Street and Windsor Drive to the barn center, internal bracing of the barns, ephemeral drainages restoration, pasture improvements, planting, and irrigation.
Phase 3 would last approximately three to four months and would include completion of the loop trail, installation of the third footbridge, and barn restoration.
Once the property is transferred to Sonoma County Regional Parks, the exact timing for implementation of the different phases of the Putnam Park extension project will depend on available funds and priorities of the Sonoma County Regional Parks District. We know the district is excited about the project. KCPP plans to collaborate with the district in pursuing grant funding to support the improvements described in our park plan. But that can occur only after the City approves the project and we have closed escrow on the 44 acres Davidon has agreed to sell to KCPP.
We have raised over $5.1 million for both acquisition of Scott Ranch land and to help pay for Phase 1 improvements. That includes $4.1 million of public and philanthropic donations, which we deposited into escrow for the purchase, $1 million from the county’s Ag + Open Space matching grant program, and tens of thousands of dollars from generous donors.
What is the benefit of allowing cows to graze on Scott Ranch?
Will there be a homeowner’s association (HOA) for Scott Ranch?
Will horses be allowed on the new trails in the Putnam Park extension?
What happens if the City Council does not approve the housing/park project?
What has to happen to protect Scott Ranch from development?
Davidon Homes, which currently owns the property, has agreed to sell the most environmentally sensitive 44 acres of the land to the Kelly Creek Protection Project for $4.1 million. This part of the property is also the most viable portion of the land to protect as open space for public enjoyment.
Before Davidon transfers title to us for the 44 acres of parkland, our agreement requires approval from the Petaluma City Council on Davidon’s plans to develop 28 homes on the north side of the property.
The Sonoma County Regional Parks District wants to expand Helen Putnam Regional Park to include this land, provided public and private funds are available to help construct park improvements – including building trails and providing parking and restroom facilities.
Where is the money coming from?
How was the compromise of allowing Davidon to build 28 homes in the case of a partial purchase reached?
Representatives of the Kelly Creek Protection Project spent months in extensive negotiations with Davidon Homes to strike a balanced deal that protected the most environmentally important parts of the property and maximized opportunities for a park expansion while allowing Davidon an economically beneficial use of its property. As part of the negotiations, the Kelly Creek Protection Project agreed to pay Davidon to reduce the number of homes to only 28, the minimum allowed by the current zoning designation for the property. Davidon in turn agreed to update its proposal to reduce the footprint of the development, protect viewsheds, and lessen impacts on existing homes in the area. The Draft Environmental Impact Report prepared for the City in 2017 called a 28-lot option the “environmentally superior alternative.”
What happened to the option of acquiring the entire property for $11 million?
After KCPP met the deadline for the purchase of 44 acres by depositing $4.1 into escrow by September 1, the Purchase and Sale Agreement allowed another three months (to December 1) for KCPP to raise another $6.9 million to acquire the whole 58 acres. We successfully raised $230,000 more but fell short of the complete buyout price, so we will be unable to exercise the full buyout option. The extra funds we did raise, as well as future donations and grants, will go for park improvements, operations, and maintenance, so the public can access and enjoy this extension of Putnam Park.
Will there be an environmental review process open to public comment and public hearings?
Yes. There will be an environmental review of the 28-home project and the Putnam Park Extension Project. The public will have the opportunity to comment on both projects and the associated environmental review and to testify at hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council.
How will the California red-legged frog and other wildlife species be protected?
How will the park development, maintenance, and operations be paid for?
How does this 28-lot housing subdivision plan differ from what Davidon proposed the last time, in 2017? Is this the same as the 28-lot alternative described in the Draft EIR in 2017?
The subdivision for which Davidon Homes is seeking approval as part of this agreement is a more modest version of the 28-lot design previously included as an alternative in the EIR, and significantly smaller than the 66-unit development Davidon was pushing for at that time. The new project plan is for mid-range, not luxury, mostly single-story homes. It includes an increased buffer between the housing development and the parkland and existing homes, and will have fewer impacts on views for existing neighbors.
What is the timeline for review and approval of the proposed development plan put forth by KCPP and Davidon Homes?
Project applications for Davidon’s home development and KCPP’s proposed park extension have been submitted to the City of Petaluma and are a matter of public record. A revised draft environmental impact report that will address the requirements set by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has been prepared by the City as the lead agency reviewing the revised project. Exact timelines will be set by the City. The City’s Planning Commission will conduct its initial hearing on the revised EIR for the project on February 9, 2021 and the City Council’s initial hearing on the matter is tentatively scheduled for March 1, 2021. KCPP will keep you informed.
How can the public weigh in on the plans for the Scott Ranch land?
There will be a public comment period on the environmental impact report and the chance to appear and testify before the Planning Commission, City Council, and other resource agencies before any decision is made. The final decisions will be made in open public sessions by our elected officials. If the City denies approval of the new park and home development proposal, Davidon Homes will still own the entire ranch. Because the land is zoned for 28 to more than 100 homes, Davidon would retain the right to pursue a larger development at a time of its choosing.