Before/After: Donahue and Ninth Street looking north. Slide the bar above to the left to see what change could look like under this alternative.

Alternative 2: Village Centers



This alternative envisions the planning area as a network of interconnected village centers, each with its own distinct character, and oriented around a community focal point, such as a park or public square. Mixed use village centers would be fostered at the following locations: Courthouse Square/City Hall; the SMART Station site west of Railroad Square; Maxwell Court; Sebastopol Road; Santa Rosa Avenue between Maple and Sonoma Avenue; and West Third Street.

Under this scenario, new housing units would be distributed widely throughout the planning area with the intent of fostering a series of centers to serve the daily needs of neighborhoods in and adjacent to the planning area. Each village center would accommodate new high-density housing, but building heights would not exceed 6 stories at any location. Mixed-use land use designations in each of the villages would allow for maker-oriented and co-op workspaces. Catalyst projects would include redevelopment of the City Hall complex with new housing and public uses, such as a community center or performance venue, and development of the SMART site with a mix of residential and hotel uses as well as businesses catering to the needs of commuters, visitors, and local residents.

The focus of mobility improvements under this alternative would be on improvements to connect the various village centers with one another and to promote travel within the plan area by modes other than single-occupant vehicles. Key improvements would include:

  • A new multimodal roadway connecting Sixth Street and West Third through the SMART site as well as bicycle and pedestrian improvements to better connect the SMART site with Railroad Square.

  • Road diets on E Street between College and Fifth Street; Mendocino Avenue north of Courthouse Square; and Santa Rosa Avenue between Maple and Sonoma. One vehicle travel lane would be removed to allow for bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks, and public realm improvements.

  • Extension of Roberts Avenue to connect the SMART site and Sebastopol Road. The new roadway would be a multi-model street with facilities for bicycles, pedestrians and vehicle travel lanes.

  • Reconnection of Fourth Street between Railroad Square and Courthouse Square with a new paseo that runs through Santa Rosa Plaza, providing direct access for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Extension of Donahue Street north into the Maxwell Court area, breaking up the large block to improve pedestrian and bicycle access.


This alternative is projected to result in approximately 7,000 new housing units and 2,115 new jobs in the planning area by 2040.

This alternative is projected to result in approximately 7,000 new housing units and 2,115 new jobs in the planning area by 2040.

Concentration of New Housing Units


Land Use and Circulation Diagram