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 Roseland Projects Documents

City of Santa Rosa > Departments > City Administration > City Manager > Roseland Area Projects > Roseland Area Annexation General Information and Frequently Asked Questions
 

Roseland Area Annexation

General Information and Frequently Asked Questions

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For additional information please contact:

  • Jessica Jones, Senior Planner, at (707) 543-3410 or jjones@srcity.org (English), or
  • Rafael Rivero,  Community Outreach Specialist, at (707) 543-3460 or rrivero@srcity.org (Spanish)
Click here for a PDF version of the Frequently Asked Questions.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is annexation?

What areas are included in the Roseland Area Annexation?

Why are the smaller County islands (Brittain Lane, West Hearn Avenue, Victoria Drive, and West Third Street) included in the Roseland Area Annexation?

What is the Joint City/County Roseland Annexation Committee?

Why is annexation being considered now?

Is the County of Sonoma in support of the annexation?

What are some potential benefits of annexation? Why do I want to be part of the City?

Where can people go/who can they talk to for questions regarding the annexation process?

How can people without computers find out about meetings regarding the Roseland Area Projects?

ANNEXATION PROCESS

What is the process for annexation?

Can a neighborhood opt out of the Roseland Area Annexation?

What is prezoning and when does it take place?

What is the timeframe for the annexation?

LAFCO (LOCAL AGENCY FORMATION COMMISSION)

Who is LAFCO?  Is it a State agency?

How are LAFCO commissioners selected/appointed?

How are non-registered voters’ voices heard through the LAFCO process?

What law established that only registered voters can submit a written protest and vote in an election regarding annexation?

COST OF ANNEXATION TO PROPERTY OWNERS/RESIDENTS/BUSINESS OWNERS

Will my property taxes increase?

Will my rent go up?

Will I have any new taxes or fees?

EFFECTS ON MY PROPERTY AND THE USE OF MY PROPERTY

Will my property be reassessed?

Will the cost of my home insurance change?

How will annexation affect my property value?

Will my address or zip code change?

Can I repair my car at my home?

Is there a difference in the parking restrictions for recreational vehicles (RV's), or storage of other vehicles, in the City versus in the County?

Are there restrictions to parking business vehicles on private property (example: a homeowner parking his/her work truck in the driveway of their home)?

Can I keep farm animals?

Will there be City inspections of existing buildings upon annexation?

Where are second dwelling units allowed and what are the permit requirements? Are there limits on who can occupy second units?

What is the cost of permits for new construction in the City versus in the County (example: 400-square foot addition to an existing single-family residence)?

Can nonconforming uses continue upon annexation?

Will areas that do not currently have sidewalks be required to put them in upon annexation? Who pays for new sidewalks?

Are there permits or oversight required to maintain trees on private property?

SERVICE IMPACTS

Will my children change school districts?

Will bus services change?

Will I be served by a different fire department?

Will I be served by a different police department?

What is neighborhood oriented policing?

What other services will change?

Can I connect to water and sewer service?

Do I have to connect to sewer and water after annexation?

How is graffiti removal handled in the City?

Will additional street lighting be added to the area?

BUSINESS IMPACTS

Are mobile vending trucks/carts allowed in the City?

What is the cost of a business license in the City versus in the County?

What type of home occupations are allowed in the City?

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GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is annexation?

Annexation is the process that allows properties not currently in the city limits to become part of the city. 

Roseland and the four smaller areas, illustrated in color below, are completely surrounded by the City of Santa Rosa.  These areas are governed by the County of Sonoma.  Annexation would unify the areas as part of the City of Santa Rosa. | BACK

What areas are included in the Roseland Area Annexation?
Roseland Annexation Area

  • Roseland (green area on map) 
  • Victoria Drive (yellow area on map)
  • West Hearn Avenue (pink area on map)
  • Brittain Lane (blue area on map)
  • West Third Street (purple area on map) 

The City and County have agreed to consider annexation of other unincorporated areas in southwest Santa Rosa following the annexation of the areas identified in the map below. | BACK

Why are the smaller County islands (Brittain Lane, West Hearn Avenue, Victoria Drive, and West Third Street) included in the Roseland Area Annexation?

The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and the Joint City/County Roseland Annexation Committee agreed to include all unincorporated County areas that are completely surrounded by the City of Santa Rosa (islands) that are within close proximity to the Roseland island. Including these smaller islands in the Roseland Area Annexation would unify these areas that are completely surrounded by the City as part of the City of Santa Rosa, would allow them to connect to and receive City services, and would correct a circumstance that was created through gradual annexations over the years. | BACK

What is the Joint City/County Roseland Annexation Committee?

The Joint City/County Roseland Annexation Committee is a group that was created to determine how costs associated with the annexation of the Roseland area would be funded. Such costs include those to provide services such as police and fire, and to upgrade and provide new streets, sidewalks and public facilities. Based on past financial analyses, it is expected that costs of services and infrastructure will exceed revenues in the Roseland area. The Committee is the forum to allow collaboration between the City and County to identify how costs can be shared.

The Committee is comprised of three City Council members and two members of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. To find out about upcoming meetings, please visit www.srcity.org/government/boards/pages/RoselandAnnexationCommittee. | BACK

Why is annexation being considered now?

The Roseland area annexation is being considered now because the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors identified it as a priority in 2013. The annexation was identified as a priority due to the need to unify the areas in southwest Santa Rosa, which are completely surrounded by the City, as part of Santa Rosa, allowing services to be provided to the community by one jurisdiction rather than multiple jurisdictions. | BACK

Is the County of Sonoma in support of the annexation?

Yes. | BACK

What are some potential benefits of annexation? Why do I want to be part of the City?

  • Police services provided by one agency (Santa Rosa Police), rather than two (County Sheriff and California Highway Patrol).
  • Neighborhood oriented policing, which is defined in the services impacts section below.
  • Ability to connect to City sewer and water for existing uses if needed, and for new development.
  • Infrastructure repair and replacement (water and sewer mains, roads, storm drains) becomes the City's responsibility and will gradually be upgraded to City standards over time.
  • Potential of increased property value.
  • The ability to vote in City elections, and run for City Council or be appointed to a City board or commission.
  • One set of regulations and permitting requirements for new developments and updates to existing structures (only the City, rather than the City and the County).

| BACK

Where can people go/who can they talk to for questions regarding the annexation process?

Any questions or comments about the Roseland Area Annexation can be directed to Jessica Jones, Senior Planner, at (707) 543-3410 or jjones@srcity.org. | BACK

How can people without computers find out about meetings regarding the Roseland Area Projects?

Anyone without access to a computer can contact Jessica Jones at (707) 543-3410, or send a letter to 100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Room 3, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. | BACK

ANNEXATION PROCESS

What is the process for annexation?

The City of Santa Rosa applies to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) for annexation.  LAFCO is the decision making agency for annexations.

To apply for annexation the City of Santa Rosa must review the cost of services for a potential annexation, and complete environmental review and prezoning for the annexation area.  Upon completion of the environmental review and prezoning, the City can submit an application to LAFCO. 

Upon receipt of the annexation application, LAFCO schedules a public hearing and notifies property owners and registered voters in the area.  Following the public hearing, LAFCO makes a decision.  If the annexation is approved by LAFCO, then registered voters in the annexation area have the opportunity to submit a written protest of the decision.

LAFCO will establish the date of the protest proceeding and send a notice of a public protest hearing to registered voters and property owners in the area. The protest period runs from the date of issuance of the notice to the close of the protest hearing at a Commission meeting. The time period for submitting written protest is between 21 and 60 days, as determined by LAFCO. All written protest must be filed during that period of time.

The level of protest of registered and property owners is determined for the whole of the annexation area, i.e., all five islands together.

  • If less than 25% of registered voters living in the annexation area submit written protest then the annexation is approved and the area is annexed.
  • If at least 25%, but less than 50%, of registered voters living in the annexation area submit written protest, then the annexation would go to an election by registered voters living in the annexation area, and the decision would be made by a majority of those voting.
  • If 50% or more of registered voters living in the annexation area submit written protest then the annexation is terminated and the area is not annexed. | BACK

Can a neighborhood opt out of the Roseland Area Annexation?

No.  However, as explained above, there is an opportunity for registered voters living in the area to provide written protest to LAFCO. | BACK

What is prezoning and when does it take place?

Prezoning is an action taken by the City Council to assign a City zoning district to each property within the annexation area, in the event that the annexation is approved by LAFCO.  The zoning district assigned to a property will depend on the General Plan land use designation associated with the property.  For example, if a property has a General Plan land use designation of Low Density Residential, then the property would likely be prezoned to Single-Family Residential (R-1-6). 

Prezoning takes place at the same time that environmental review is acted on, which is just prior to the City’s submittal of an application to LAFCO for annexation.  In the case of the Roseland Area Annexation, the City Council acted on prezoning and environmental review in a noticed public hearing on October 18, 2016, as part of its action on the Roseland Area/Sebastopol Road Specific Plan. | BACK

What is the timeframe for the annexation?

In November 2016 the City Council and Board of Supervisors approved a pre-annexation agreement between the City and County for the cost of providing services to the unincorporated areas shown on the map above, and the Council directed City staff to submit an application to LAFCO for the annexation.  It is anticipated that the City will submit the application in late February or early March 2017.  Upon submittal, it is expected that the LAFCO process will take approximately 6 to 9 months.  Updates and additional information can be found at www.srcity.org/roseland. | BACK

LAFCO (LOCAL AGENCY FORMATION COMMISSION)

Who is LAFCO?  Is it a State agency?

LAFCO, or Local Agency Formation Commission, is a government agency chartered under State law.  There is a LAFCO in each of California’s 58 counties.  Under State law, LAFCOs have final authority for determining boundaries of cities and special districts. | BACK

How are LAFCO commissioners selected/appointed?

The Sonoma LAFCO Commission has seven members and four alternate members:

  • Two members and one alternate of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, appointed by the Chair of the Board.
  • Two members and one alternate of City Councils, appointed by the City Selection Committee of the Mayors and Council Members Association.
  • Two members and one alternate of boards of directors of independent special districts in the County, elected by the special districts.
  • One member and one alternate of the public, selected by the other members of the LAFCO Commission. | BACK

How are non-registered voters’ voices heard through the LAFCO process?

The meetings of the LAFCO Commission, which are generally held once a month on the first Wednesday, are open to the public.  There is always a public comment section on the agenda for non-agenda items, and agenda items usually include an opportunity for public comment.  LAFCO staff is also available to the public for additional information during business hours. | BACK 

What law established that only registered voters can submit a written protest and vote in an election regarding annexation?

The California Government Code, beginning with Section 56000, is the law that governs LAFCOs.  Although LAFCOs have existed since the 1960’s, the most recent iteration of the law – the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act – became effective in 2001. | BACK

COST OF ANNEXATION TO PROPERTY OWNERS/RESIDENTS/BUSINESS OWNERS

Will my property taxes increase?

No.  Property taxes will not increase as a result of annexation. | BACK

Will my rent go up?

Annexation itself will not cause increases in rent.  Building owners/landlords determine rents that will be charged. | BACK

Will I have any new taxes or fees?

Yes, additional taxes or fees would be charged; however, some existing costs may decrease.  A summary is provided below:

  • Annual storm water management assessment:  A typical single family home on a standard size lot will pay $30.80 in 2015/2016, billed through the property tax assessment on a yearly basis.
  • Utility taxes:  The City adds a 5% Utility Users’ Tax to the cost of monthly utilities provided by PG&E, the telephone company (non-cellular), and cable TV.  For a house with these bills totaling $200 per month, the Utility Users’ Tax would be $10.   For more information visit www.srcity.org/uut.
  • Garbage/recycling services:  This service is mandatory within City limits.  If you already have this service as a County resident, the cost may be a little less in the City.  The charge for a typical 32 gallon can is $12.72 in the City, as compared to $14.53 in the County.
  • Water and Sewer billing:  If the property is connected to City water the Santa Rosa water bill will not change and usage charges will continue to be based on monthly water use.  If the property is connected to South Park Sanitation, at this time, sewer charges will continue to be billed through the property tax assessment on a yearly basis. 

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EFFECTS ON MY PROPERTY AND THE USE OF MY PROPERTY

Will my property be reassessed?

No.  Your property would only be reassessed when it is sold or if you make major improvements. | BACK

Will the cost of my home insurance change?

Theft and casualty insurance may be slightly less.  Please contact your insurance agent regarding your specific situation. | BACK

How will annexation affect my property value?

Generally, most real estate professionals would agree that being annexed to the City would add to the value of your property due to the increase in services that would be available. | BACK

Will my address or zip code change?

No. | BACK

Can I repair my car at my home?

Automotive/vehicle repair as a home business is not permitted within the City of Santa Rosa. However, the City does not regulate personal vehicle repairs and maintenance on private residential property, so long as there is no extended parking or storage (a period of 72 consecutive hours or more) of any mobile home, trailer, airplane, boat, other motor vehicle, or parts of any of those vehicles within a required front, side or rear setback.

As such, residents can repair and maintain their vehicles on their residential property so long as it is on the driveway (not within a required setback) and not stored for longer than 72 consecutive hours. | BACK

Is there a difference in the parking restrictions for recreational vehicles (RV's), or storage of other vehicles, in the City versus in the County?

Santa Rosa City Code prohibits vehicle parking on streets or alleys for more than 72 consecutive hours. The Code also prohibits extended parking or storage (a period of 72 consecutive hours or more) of any mobile, home, trailer, airplane, boat, other motor vehicle, or parts of any of those vehicles within a required front, side or rear setback of a property.  The setbacks vary by zoning district, but for single-family residential the front setback is 15 feet, side setback is 5 feet, and rear setback is 20 feet.  However, these requirements do not apply to a fully operational vehicle parked in a driveway that is used on a regular day-to-day basis.

The County of Sonoma Municipal Code includes the same 72 hour enforcement for on-street parking of vehicles. However, the County does not regulate parking of vehicles within required setbacks on private property. | BACK

Are there restrictions to parking business vehicles on private property (example: a homeowner parking his/her work truck in the driveway of their home)?

No, the City does not regulate the type of vehicle that residents park in the driveway of their residence. | BACK

Can I keep farm animals?

You can keep hens on any residential lot.  However, roosters are not allowed. The number of hens allowed per lot depends on the size of your lot, as identified below: 

  • Lots 5,000 sq. ft. or less: 3 hens
  • Lots 5,001-10,000 sq. ft.: 6 hens
  • Lots 10,001- 43,560 sq. ft.: 6 hens per 10,000 sq. ft. of lot area up to 12 hens
  • Lots over one acre: 6 hens per 10,000 square feet of lot area up to 30 hens

Farm animals are allowed in rural residential areas/zones (not in single-family residential or multi-family residential areas/zones), as long as your property is a minimum of 20,000 sq. ft. in size (or about 1/2 acre).  The following livestock are allowed:

  • One hog or pig for every 20,000 sq. ft. of gross lot area; or
  • One horse or mule or cow or steer for every 20,000 sq. ft. of gross lot area; or
  • Twenty-five chickens for every 20,000 sq. ft. of gross lot area; or
  • Three goats or sheep or similar livestock for every 20,000 sq. ft. of gross lot area; or
  • Ten ducks or rabbits or similar livestock for every 20,000 sq. ft. of gross lot area; or
  • Twenty-five pigeons or 50 ornamental or song birds for every 20,000 sq. ft. of gross lot area.

Properties located within the W. Hearn Avenue neighborhood will have slightly different requirements for animal keeping.  For additional information see Zoning Code Section 20-28.090, Rural Heritage (-RH) Combining District. | BACK

Will there be City inspections of existing buildings upon annexation?

Residential Properties:  No. The City's Code Enforcement program is primarily implemented on a complaint driven basis. Staff typically does not actively look for code violations, but rather responds to public complaints reporting that a property contains a use, construction, or an activity that may not be in compliance with the City Zoning and/or Building Codes. As such, upon annexation to the City, staff will not immediately inspect existing buildings, unless a complaint is filed.

Commercial Properties:  Yes.  For commercial properties, upon annexation, the Fire Department will inspect existing buildings to ensure applicable fire code, hazardous materials and hazardous waste permits are issued. | BACK

Where are second dwelling units allowed and what are the permit requirements? Are there limits on who can occupy second units?

Second dwelling units are allowed on any residentially zoned property that allows single family dwellings and is either undeveloped or contains only one legal, detached, single-family residence.  If a proposed second dwelling unit meets the development standards (outlined in Santa Rosa Zoning Code Section 20-42.130) only a building permit is required.  Either the second dwelling unit or the primary residence on a site must be occupied by the owner of the property (only one may be rented out). | BACK

What is the cost of permits for new construction in the City versus in the County (example: 400-square-foot addition to an existing single-family residence)?

Using the example of a 400-square-foot addition to an existing single-family residence, and assuming that the proposed addition complies with all zoning regulations, the following are the estimated building permit costs (as of January 2017):

City Building Permit = $1,975
County Building Permit = $4,139 | BACK

Can nonconforming uses continue upon annexation? 

Yes.  Nonconforming uses, which are uses that are not consistent with the zoning district for the property, but were legally established in the County, may continue upon annexation to the City.

Nonconforming uses can be changed to another non-conforming use of similar or more restricted classification or nature, as long as the new use would not increase the degree or intensity of the nonconformity.  Nonconforming uses can also be enlarged in size or capacity through the approval of a Minor Conditional Use Permit.  A nonconforming use that is discontinued for a continuous period of six months or more will lose its nonconforming rights.  Upon annexation, properties located along the north side of Sebastopol Road, between Stony Point Road and Dutton Avenue, will have 24 months to reoccupy a space with a similar non-conforming use.  For additional information see Santa Rosa Zoning Code Section 20-61.020. | BACK

Will areas that do not currently have sidewalks be required to put them in upon annexation?  Who pays for new sidewalks?

No, sidewalks will not be required upon annexation. The addition of sidewalks are typically required when a property is developed (or redeveloped).  New sidewalks that are installed as part of a development project are paid for by the developer of the property.  If no new development is proposed, new sidewalks could be added through a City Capital Improvement Project (CIP) if funding is available and if the improvements are prioritized among other City projects.  Sidewalk repair/maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner. | BACK

Are there permits or oversight required to maintain trees on private property? 

Alteration, removal or relocation of a tree, except a protected or heritage tree, on a single-family residential property is allowed without a permit.  A tree removal permit is required for alteration, removal or relocation of the following protected trees (depending on size):  Oak family (Valley Oak, Black Oak, Organ or White Oak, Canyon Oak, Blue Oak, or Interior Live Oak), Redwood, Bay, Madrone, Buckeye, Douglas Fir, Red Alder, White Alder, and Big Leaf Maple. | BACK

SERVICE IMPACTS

Will my children change school districts?

No.| BACK

Will bus services change?

No.| BACK

Will I be served by a different fire department?

The Santa Rosa Fire Department currently provides emergency response service to the unincorporated areas that are the subject of the annexation, and that would not change.  Currently, both the City and County fire prevention staff are providing services in the annexation area based on the occupancy types, those services will all be transitioned to the Santa Rosa Fire Department. | BACK

Will I be served by a different police department?

Yes, police service is currently provided by the Sonoma County Sheriff and California Highway Patrol.  If annexed, police service would be provided by the Santa Rosa Police Department.  However, the change would not be immediate.  The transition would take place over time as new officers are hired. | BACK

What is neighborhood oriented policing?

The goal of the neighborhood oriented policing program is to bring the police and the public it serves closer together to identify and address crime issues.  This program combines traditional aspects of law enforcement with prevention measures, collaborative problem-solving, community engagement and community partnerships.  | BACK

What other services will change?

Public works, recreation and parks, housing, building and planning services that are currently provided by the County would be replaced with services provided by the City of Santa Rosa. | BACK

Can I connect to water and sewer service?

Many properties in the annexation area are already connected to City water and sewer services.  However, if you are not, as a City resident you can choose to connect when services become available. In addition to the cost of construction, all new connections are required to pay a one-time demand fee (connection fee).  To view the current demand fee amounts, please visit www.srcity.org/srwdemandfees and access the fee schedule. | BACK

Do I have to connect to sewer and water after annexation?

If you have a health hazard and a public sewer main exists within 200 feet of your property, you may be required to connect to the public sewer system. Otherwise, you can keep your existing septic system.  Properties are not required to connect to the public water system. | BACK

How is graffiti removal handled in the City?

The Santa Rosa Transportation and Public Works, Police, and Recreation and Parks Departments work collaboratively to address graffiti vandalism through abatement, education and enforcement.  The Transportation and Public Works Department removes graffiti from public property.  The Police Department is responsible for enforcing the City's Graffiti Abatement Ordinance 3729, which ensures graffiti located on private property is removed by the owners in a timely manner.  The Recreation and Parks Department removes graffiti in City parks. | BACK

Will additional street lighting be added to the area?

Upon annexation, additional street lights can be requested by a neighborhood through the City's Transportation and Public Works Department in conjunction with the installation of new curb, gutters and sidewalks. It is unlikely that new street lighting would be installed without also installing curb, gutters and sidewalks. Unless street improvements are installed with new development, they would be prioritized among other City projects through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and installed when funding is available. | BACK

BUSINESS IMPACTS

Are mobile vending trucks/carts allowed in the City?

Yes, mobile street vending is allowed, although there are requirements regarding where vending trucks and carts (that sell arts/crafts, cut flowers or food/non-alcoholic beverages) can be located (see Santa Rosa City Code section 6-48.050, Street Vendor Regulations).  Mobile vending trucks/carts located in the City right-of-way (not on private property) are required to move to a new location (at least 300 feet from the previous location) every 30 minutes.  A business license is required to vend any product within the City limits.

Mobile food vending on private property is allowed with the approval of a Minor Conditional Use Permit, but only as an accessory or incidental use to a restaurant with indoor eating area on the same site (see Santa Rosa Zoning Code section 20-42.110.B., Outdoor Eating Areas).  Upon annexation, mobile food vending will be allowed on private property in the General Commercial (CG) zoning district (for properties located on Sebastopol Road, between Stony Point Road and Olive Street), with the approval of a Minor Use Permit.  See Zoning Code Section 20-42.210 for additional information.

Propane fueled vending requires a permit from the Fire Department when the cooking operation occurs on City property or on private property when associated with a permitted special event, public assembly or restaurant. | BACK

What is the cost of a business license in the City versus in the County?

The City issues Business Tax Certificates, also known as a business license.  Businesses whose gross receipts are under $25,000 annually usually pay $51 per year. There are additional taxes due for businesses with gross receipts over $25,000 per year but the maximum annual tax is $3,000. For further information visit www.srcity.org/bt.

The County does not have a business license program. | BACK

What type of home occupations are allowed in the City?

Businesses that are clearly secondary to the primary residential use, and will not change the residential character of the neighborhood, are allowed as a home occupation/business.  The following uses and similar activities are prohibited as home occupations/businesses:

  • Animal hospitals;
  • Automobile/vehicle repair shops;
  • Bee keeping;
  • Kennels, including pet day care;
  • Pet grooming shops;
  • Raising of animals for commercial purposes;
  • Weapons or ammunition sales;
  • Welding shops;
  • Woodworking or metal working shops.

For additional information on home occupations/businesses see Santa Rosa Zoning Code Section 20-42.070. | BACK

 
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