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Santa Rosa seeks art to adorn downtown garage

in People
Pedestrians cross Orchard St. near the Fifth St. parking garage in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Sunday, February 14, 2021. (Beth Schlanker/ The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa wants local artists to help spruce up a downtown parking garage that’s somewhat screened from view, helping draw attention to the structure while giving it face lift.

The city’s Art in Public Places Committee last week approved a call for artists to submit ideas for up to 901 square feet on the southwest corner of the five-story garage overlooking Orchard and Fifth streets. This spot was chosen because that corner faces the heart of downtown and because the garage is partially screened along Fifth Street by several large redwoods, according to city staff.

“There’s been a lot of support for public art on our garages so far,” said Tara Thompson, at the committee meeting, adding that she and the city’s parking manager bounce ideas off each other make Santa Rosa’s garages more than just a place to leave a car.

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Windsor, Healdsburg face sharp rise in targets for new affordable housing

in Housing
Construction crews work at Windsor Veterans Village in Windsor on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. The project includes 60 affordable housing units for low-income veterans and their families. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Windsor and Healdsburg are among a dozen Bay Area cities that each would be obligated to build hundreds more affordable homes under an 8-year plan to meet state mandates, a sharp increase that stemmed from a change in the regional housing allocation to achieve greater racial and socioeconomic equity

The shift requires Windsor and Healdsburg together to approve and advance by 2031 more than 850 apartments, condominiums and single-family homes for lower-income residents, an increase of 146% over the housing targets they had been expecting under a previous formula.

For Windsor, the increase was 341 units, for a total of 993. For Healdsburg it was 176 more units, resulting in a new total of 476.

“This is a very steep, exponential increase of the number of units we would have to build in short order,” said Healdsburg Councilwoman Ariel Kelley. “It’s definitely worrisome in the sense that these units are very expensive to get built, and it’s very challenging to identify funding to build them.”

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