62-unit condo project slated for Casa Grande Road

The large condo project could be fast-tracked under California’s Housing Crisis Act of 2019.|

The bucolic scene of grazing sheep and goats on Casa Grande Road across from the high school may soon be replaced with dozens of condos, as new housing is slated for the 5-acre site there.

Although a city webpage describes the Creekwood housing project as still “in planning process,” the project’s developers, Doyle Heaton and Falcon Point Associates of Pleasant Hill, are requesting that its approval process be fast-tracked under California’s Senate Bill 330, also known as the Housing Crisis Act.

The project calls for 62 condominiums to be constructed on two parcels of land at 270 and 280 Casa Grande Road, which currently has two single-family residences on about 5 acres of grassland. If the Creekwood project moves forward, one of those houses would be demolished, while the other would remain but have its lot size reduced, according to the city website.

According to the city, "This is the first development proposal presented to Petaluma that is subject to SB 330,“ which ”aims to increase certainty in the development process for applicants and housing advocates, speed the review of new housing development projects, preserve existing affordable housing, and prevent certain zoning actions that reduce the availability of housing.“

And yet, an initial study, conducted in fall 2022, found that the project could bring “potentially significant” impacts to sensitive natural habitats and nearby wetlands and waterways. According to the report, the project would require the removal of 18 trees, including 12 that are designated “protected” – which conflicts with the city’s tree ordinance.

Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019, the Housing Crisis Act went into effect Jan. 1, 2022, and puts limits on the ability of local governments to prevent housing projects from being built. Given the new rules under SB 330, is unclear what the next steps will be in the local project’s approval process, or by when it could be completed.

The proposal includes a pedestrian pathway adjacent to Adobe Creek connecting to a housing subdivision on one side – another, already completed 36-unit housing project by Doyle Heaton – and "potentially in the future“ to the Casa Grande Senior Apartments on the other side, according to the city website.

The proposed condos have mixed features, from three-story triplexes to two-story duplexes and a few fully detached units. Buildings range in design between contemporary and modernized farmhouse and American Cottage styles. All units would have all-electric features and each garage would include an electric vehicle charger.

Amelia Parreira is a staff writer for the Argus-Courier. She can be reached at amelia.parreira@arguscourier.com or 707-521-5208.

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