Neighbors concerned as county again puts Chanate campus up for sale
Written by Marc Albert
Abandoned buildings at the Chanate campus photo credit: (Credit: Marc Albert/KRCB)
A big chunk of Santa Rosa will be offered to the highest bidder Tuesday, as officials again try to off-load an abandoned 71-acre former hospital campus.
Largely vacant since Sutter Health relocated seven years ago, the last sale attempt failed after neighbors prevented it being sold to developer Bill Gallaher over a lack of environmental studies and reports.
South of Fountaingrove in rolling foothills east of 101, aside from a few county offices, there are few signs of activity on the wooded property, aside from the leavings of deer.
For the most part, nearby neighbors reached by KRCB either support development or acknowledge that it should happen.
Andrew Mikrikov, a registered nurse who has lived nearby for nearly a dozen years, is more optimistic this time around, though he's concerned about shoddy construction and the parcel becoming overcrowded. "Obviously, this is not the first time this is being put up for sale. It seems like it's being done with more transparency at this point, but we hope to see continued transparency. We want things to be fair."
Density is also a concern of Ann Eckelhoff, a neighbor for 33 years, especially in an emergency. "I know we need more housing but putting 800 units like they were originally, I mean, that's just going to impact this area and it's a safety issue now with fires, even more so."
Most neighbors mentioned shopping, affordable and senior housing along with open space, as elements they'd like to see.
Alla Watson, also a registered nurse, wants more creativity from officials and builders. "Instead of apartment buildings--multistory buildings, I would love to see micro-homes, maybe two bedrooms, one bath?"
Neighbor Jim Simpson said he wouldn't object to offices, though he doubts post-COVID, they'll be enough demand. "Probably housing given the shortage that we have of all kinds in the county after the fires and in general."
Seismic reports and other information about the property will be made available Tuesday. Bidding in the on-line auction closes November 9th
A weekday early morning podcast that offers a first look at the top local news stories and weather forecast you need to start your day.
Sonoma County news stories featuring the latest in breaking news, county government, elections, environment, cultural happenings, and updates on your communities, from Petaluma to Cloverdale, and from Sonoma to Bodega Bay, and everyplace in between.