The 1990s held many challenges for Rohnert Park. A construction moratorium due to an outdated General Plan was followed by a Housing Element lawsuit that the City lost, followed by aborted attempts at General Plan revision, failed ballot measures, and no consensus. By the time the City hired Dyett & Bhatia for the General Plan, not a single housing site was vacant, and the threat of expiration of a self-established growth boundary loomed.
The update, though, was a stunning success, and won endorsement from both the development and environmental communities. It outlined policies for compact growth, connected neighborhoods, a new system of creekside greenways linking the community, and a new mixed-use University District adjacent to Sonoma State University. The proposed new Urban Growth Boundary was affirmed by 73 percent of the voters in a referendum.
“Because of a lot of hard work by people who refused to allow their disagreements to keep them from focusing on their mutual concern for their community, Rohnert Park is moving toward a consensus on what the city’s future should be. The Rohnert Park General Plan is a breakthrough.”
-Press Democrat, June 15, 1999
“The General Plan took two years of hard work … Measure N is unique for its wide array of endorsers, including the Greenbelt Alliance, the Rohnert Park Chamber of Commerce, and the Sierra Club.”
-Press Democrat, November 4, 2000