Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The Santa Rosa City Council declined a development firm’s request to remove its property from a ridgeline map in the city’s General Plan Tuesday.
On a 5-2 vote, the council rejected the request by Oakmont Senior Living to amend the map, which was added in 2002 in response to concern about rampant hillside development marring scenic views.
OSL representatives said the change, or alternatively the approval of a related environmental document declaring no negative visual impacts from a partial preliminary plan, would give the firm the confidence it needed to move forward with a seniors-only community on 68 acres off Elnoka Lane north of Oakmont.
But a majority of council members couldn’t see fit to make the general plan change before a full project was submitted, and city staff said approval the environmental document under those circumstances was inappropriate.
Mayor John Sawyer said he understood the developers wanting a “level of comfort” about the approvals process before moving forward. But he said he couldn’t see fit to back the “very unusual request” without “a fairly high level of compromise of our city project approvals process.”