Tag Archives: Kenilworth

A Word From Your Neighbors…

The Petaluma Neighborhood Association is a non-profit organization that was founded out of a communal desire to educate ourselves and our neighbors about the planned Big Box development projects slated for Petaluma. The project of particular interest is Merlone Geier Partners’ (MGP) “Deer Creek Village” 346,000 sq. ft. bigbox retail development a across from Petaluma Hospital. At this time, our mission is to generate community awareness and participation in letter writing, attending City Council and Planning Commission meetings, providing educational materials, and organizing community events addressing the negative impacts of proposed Big Box development in our community. We encourage the various neighborhoods of Petaluma to join us in taking an active approach in voicing our concerns and participating in the preservation and development of Petaluma for today and tomorrow.







(Click on map of  the big-box project below to enlarge)

Thanks to all who support us and who advocate for good planning practices and a healthy community here in Petaluma!


East Washington Place EIR Analysis/General Plan Non-Compliance issues:

The following excerpts from our General Plan clearly stipulate what the objectives will be, not only for retail development at the Kenilworth site but, also the surrounding areas and the East Washington corridor. It provides a vision for how retail development should be integrated along the Washington Street corridor, referring to East Washington Street as “a entry gateway into Petaluma, and to create distinctive features at this point.”

The EWP/EIR fails to address the following land use objectives of our General Plan:

Chapter 1 of the General Plan reads as follows:

GOAL 1-G-1: Land Use (page 1-14)

Maintain a balanced land use program that meets
the long-term residential, employment, retail,
institutional, education, recreation, and open space
needs of the community.

Comment: Because there is no specific list of retail tenants aside from the possible anchor tenant, the project’s EIR does not comply with this GP objective to “meet the long term retail needs of our community”. The EIR is fictitious and inconclusive in this area.

A. Develop incentives in the Development Code
to encourage lot consolidation to enable
efficient multi-story buildings, and relocation of
driveways to side streets.

Comment: The project proposal makes no effort to achieve this objective. By proposing mostly inefficient large single story structures on a subdivided lot, it misses the point entirely.

1-P-6 Encourage mixed-use development, which
include opportunities for increased transit

Comment: The project site is situated just five blocks from our new transit plaza and the Petaluma SMART rail station. Yet, there is no effort to implement Transit Oriented Design (TOD) elements into the site plan. Also see my TAC comments.

1-P-7 Encourage flexibility in building form and in the
nature of activities to allow for innovation and
the ability to change over time.

Comment: The proposed “building form” solely meets the minimum standards of the developer and is essentially a mono- use/mono-form design. The project EIR does not address the “flexibility of building form” therefore does not adequately provide alternatives for future innovation of the buildings.

1-P-27 Encourage innovative site and building design
to address parking solutions such as shared,
structured, and/or underground facilities.

Comment: The project proposal and the EIR both fail to address this objective in our GP. The project layout consists of a large 16.5acre patch of asphalt as the only option for providing parking at the site. The EIR does not adequately address this as a negative impact, provides no alternatives to meet the GP objective.

The EWP/EIR fails to address the following Community Design, Character, and sustainable building objectives of our General Plan:

Chapter 2 of the General Plan reads as follows:

Strong entries are another important element of community design, as
their character creates the image Petaluma presents upon

Comment: The term “strong entries” is certainly open to interpretation. But, I think we can all agree that the backside of a large bunker style structure would do nothing to achieve this particular GP objective and would not enhance the character of Petaluma.

2-P-5 Strengthen the visual and aesthetic character of
major arterial corridors.

2-P-22 Encourage development with active ground level
uses, plazas and open spaces, while allowing
residential and commercial uses at upper floors.

2-P-23 Facilitate development patterns that provide
an urban edge along East Washington Street,
providing visual continuity and cohesiveness,
and increased safety.

2-P-23(D) Ensure that development at the old
Kenilworth Jr. High school site and any future
redevelopment of the Fairgrounds property
maintains a public, pedestrian, and active face
along East Washington Street, and provides
civic and ceremonial spaces with links to the
Library and other uses.

Comment: Sections 2-P-5, 2-P-22, 2-P-23, 2-P-23(D) of our GP provides us with a framework of how development should proceed at the Kenilworth site and the surrounding area. The EWP/EIR also quotes these policies from our GP. Why then, does the project proposal seemingly ignore these policies? Why does the project’s EIR reference these policies and yet it makes no attempt to address these critical viewpoints, nor the negative impacts relevant to a project design that is non-compliant?<