Matt Brown, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The Rohnert Park City Council on Tuesday approved the development of a new park, with basketball courts, soccer fields and a baseball diamond, at no cost to the city. The move overturned an earlier Parks and Recreation Commission decision denying the development and exposed a rift between the council and the influential commission.
The park will be built by the developer of the 1,450-unit University District housing development, a project just north of the Green Music Center that will add the first new homes in Rohnert Park in 25 years.
A state law allows cities to require that developers dedicate parkland as part of new housing projects. Rohnert Park’s code calls for 5 acres of parkland for every 1,000 new residents, in this case amounting to 21.96 acres, but it also allows the developer to provide park improvements instead of land.
Brookfield Homes, the University District developer, proposed to dedicate 13.66 acres, spread out over two parks, and make up the difference by adding around $2.5 million worth of amenities including sports fields, playgrounds and lighting. The Parks and Recreation Commission in November, voted 4-1 against this proposal, preferring instead to require the full 21.96 acres of vacant land for a future park.