We want to know what you think!

What is Petaluma’s retail market missing?
What stores and services would you like to see come to our town?
What kind of growth would you like to see in Petaluma?
What would you like to see available on our website?
Or anything else you might want to share…


8 responses to “Forum

  1. I would love to see a more pedestrian and bike friendly connection between the East and West sides of town.

  2. Recently… Regency Centers announced, yet again, another plan change.
    This time pulling out the housing element of their East Washington Place development. Only to replace it with more commerical office space. Presently Petaluma has over 1 million sq. ft. of VACANT office space!
    Do we really need more!

  3. I’d like to see the East Wasington corridor cleaned up. It’s not only a major thoroughfare, it’s the main entryway to Petaluma. What often serves as the first impression of our town shouldn’t be something that’s dirty, congested, unsafe for pedestrians and riddled with fast food.

  4. Steve Napolitano

    I read in the Argus this week of plans to shrink down Petaluma Blvd. between East Washington and Lakeville. The stated reason is that this street is too narrow and unsafe. Once again the city traffic engineer has missed the mark. The stretch of E. Washington and D Street is the narrow dangerous corridor that needs to be narrowed down. The problem is, with all of the infrastructure infill in this area, traffic has already been affected on all the Major arteries into the downtown. The proposed Target, Lowes, Barnes and Noble and Circuit City will only agravate this already poor situation.
    The city also has limited the number of stop signs in the A street historic district which is now a main collector of the cross town overflow traffic. One survey showed 7,800 cars a day using Sixth street as a thoroughfare. This historic neighborhood is now the new artery for traffic flow. The City repeated shuns neighborhood concerns in the interest of developer money. It doesn’t take any thought to figure out that big box stores will ruin the character of the downtown, taking away wonderful buisnesses like Copperfields, Rex Hardware, Stinks, Hollingsworth Jewelers, and replacing them with big box chain stores. The sad thing is once one big block store gets in, more will easily follow. Soon, we might as well call our selves Rhonert Part or Santa Rosa, for the farm town character will be completely forgotten!
    One thing everyone does not mention, is that with growth, there is an increased public service need. This means more Police, Fireman, Sewer and Water usage and yes more traffic flow issues. We need to stop the madness now! With my perspective, Steve Napolitano.

  5. I would like to see a mix of large, medium, and small businesses. There are many people who live in Petaluma, who now shop in Rohnert Park, that would be able to stay off the highways if there was a Target or a Lowes in town. A community of close to 60,000 people can support a variety of retail businesses. Let’s keep our tax dollars in our town.

  6. Respectfully, Petaluma currently does have a mix of large, medium and small businesses. It also currently has an exhorbanant amount of vacant retail space in need of being filled. It is a slippery slope to add too much retail space before existing spaces are filled. Too much vacancy sends a very strong message that a town lacks vibrancy, and thus makes it even harder to attract new businesses to fill those spaces. WE MUST focus our attention on re-invigorating that which already exists before we prematurely add hundreds of thousands of more square footage in development into the retail mix.

    It is well studied the impacts big-box stores have on local communities (including communities of Petaluma’s size). EXTREME precautions must be made prior to allowing such development for the safety of preserving any sense of unique community experience, heritage and values that extend beyond convenient consumerism.

    To give some perspective, Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, for example, annually average $418 sales per square foot (Wal-Mart 2005 Annual Report), meaning a 200,000-square-foot supercenter is designed to capture $84 million each year. Most communities, even fast-growing areas, cannot absorb a store of that scale without severe revenue losses to existing businesses, including both locally owned stores and competing supermarkets and shopping centers. Now Wal-Mart carries much of the baggage currently as the ‘evil’ big-box example – but really their is a systemic problem within the big-box business approach in general that puts our communities at risk.

    The community should come to determine what it’s goods and services needs/desires are and creatively seek out smaller, more independent, community minded entities to come in and provide us those. It doesn’t REQUIRE a Target or Cost Plus to fill our household good needs/desires. That is simply an easy, convenient turn-key option. We should be considering what role a Target, Cost Plus, etc. truly plays for us – and encourage unique businesses that can fill those voids to come in and do so, while actually contributing some new and unique character to our town at the same time.

    I’m not here as an anti-growth activist by any means. I wholeheartedly believe in change and evolution. But I demand that change and evolution, especially when it pertains to the community in which I reside, to be smart, thoughtful, and of the highest integrity to the OVERALL way of life. We must consider ourselves CITIZENS of a community first rather than CONSUMERS first – and make development decisions based on ALL facets of community living.

  7. Emperor Norton II

    His Majesty Norton II, Emperor of Petaluma and Protector of Sonoma County will be at the gala premiere of the big-box blockbuster movie by H.R. and Paul on September 30 Boulevard Cinemas 7PM. Read all about the exciting night at

  8. Melissa-
    Come to Petaluma’s Ped/Bike Advisory Committee meetings from 6-8pm, second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.
    Sign up to get our Agendas trough the City’s website- City Clerk’s office. Or, go to the Agendas pages on the City Clerk’s page, and look at at our Agendas, as well as all other City Committees/Commissions agendas & minutes.

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