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Brody Ranch project in east Petaluma gets underway

The developer of a 199-home east Petaluma project said those units, which will include 25 below-market rate dwellings, will be move-in ready as soon as this fall, despite little visible activity at the site to date.

Concord-based DeNova Homes is developing the 16-acre Brody Ranch subdivision of for-sale homes near the intersection of North McDowell Boulevard and Corona Road, north of the future east side SMART station. The second largest housing project currently under development in Petaluma, it will include 61-single family homes and nine condominium buildings with a total of 138 multi-family units, at a time when the city is struggling with a housing shortage.

Floor plans will range from 1,611 to 2,401 square-feet with options for three to four bedrooms and two to three bathrooms. Price points for the homes have yet to be set.

The below-market rate units, which will include condos and single-family homes, will be scattered through the development, DeNova’s Director of Land Acquisition Trent Sanson said.

The Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County will handle the sale of those homes. The housing trust will own the land where the affordable units are built, and will lease it on a 99-year term to the homeowner. That method gives the organization the ability to mandate that homes are sold to low-to-moderate income homeowners in perpetuity.

Work to demolish structures on the property has been completed, and full-site grading will likely begin at the end of January, Sanson said. Model homes could be available in spring, with construction wrapped up by summer or fall, he said.

The development will also feature a network of pedestrian and bike paths, easement for 12 public parking spaces, crosswalks, roadway widening and a bus stop at Sonoma Mountain Parkway. It also includes wetlands and open spaces, a tot lot and a community garden for residents.

“We’re trying to build a neighborhood and a community that people can be proud of,” he said.

Its proximity to a transit hub is also a selling point, Sanson said.

“I’ve been calling this a North Bay transit-oriented development – it’s close to the future SMART station and seemed like a beautiful part of town with the county boundary on the other side of Corona Road and a sense of community vibrancy,” he said.

Progress on the development comes as the greater Sonoma County is grappling with an intense housing shortage after deadly October wildfires that knocked out a significant portion of homes. Sue Castellucci, the city’s housing coordinator, said the development will bring a much-needed influx of units to the city.

It’s among several others under construction, including the 150-unit Altura Apartments, which will include affordable rentals, and the 90-unit Marina Apartments.

“Hopefully, we’ll provide housing for people who are living in Petaluma because they work here,” she said. “That’s really important to house the people that are working here and keep them in the community.”

Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County’s Executive Director Dev Goetschius encouraged those who are interested in the below-market-rate units to apply to see if they qualify for the income constraints. She said community outreach about the application process could be began as soon as April, when more renderings of floor plans and elevations are available.

“I would say April would be a good time to check in about applying,” she said. “What we always do is make sure that people know what they’re applying for - we’re talking about buying a house and one of the things we say is the thing we manage that’s the most sensitive is hope. We strive to be cognizant of the process and explain it to people and take it step-by-step. It’s a process”

Brody Ranch will be the second in the city to include homes for sale at below-market rates through the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County. The Southgate development features 26 homes offered through the organization as workforce housing. Those homes are all occupied, and there have been nine resales in the past decade, Goetschius said.

(Contact Hannah Beausang at hannah.beausang@arguscourier.com.)

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