Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The final phase of a large hillside subdivision in eastern Santa Rosa rumbled to life recently after a decade of dormancy, as massive earth movers began reshaping the landscape for new homes, dredging up old battles in the process.
APM Homes purchased the 26-acre property known as Skyhawk 9 and 10 from another developer in 2013 and in recent weeks has begun grading the site in preparation for 35 luxury homes.
The company hopes to finish an access road and bridge on an adjacent agricultural property by the fall and begin construction of the homes by the end of the year, said Aaron Matz, president of APM Homes.
“What’s going up there has been approved for a long time,” Matz said. “This shouldn’t be a big surprise to people.”
And yet the prospect of a new batch of hillside homes being built after such a long period of suburban serenity has generated a range of reactions from neighbors, from fretting over the loss of hillside views to allegations that open space has been improperly bulldozed by the project.
“After 15 years of looking out on that pasture, I would like to have seen it stay open space,” said Dan Madigan, whose Mountainhawk Drive home overlooks the development on the other side of a small protected ravine.
The case illustrates how building projects are beginning to rear their heads years after initial approval as the housing market’s recovery advances — taking some new residents by surprise or stoking long-cooled embers of opposition.