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photo credit: Courtesy of John Martinez Pavliga/Wikimedia
The city of Petaluma is working on a blueprint for where to build hundreds of new houses, condos and apartments.
1,910 - the number of housing units the state says Petaluma needs to build in the next eight years.
 
City planner Christina Paul said the community has outlined a number of housing priorities.
 
"We have a focus on affordable housing equity, infield development, community character, as well as carbon neutrality and diversity of housing types," Paul said.
 
Petaluma requires at least 15% of units at new developments be classified as affordable. With a conservative estimation, that means adding over 6,000 market rate units to meet that goal.
 
Community Development Director Heather Hines said Petaluma should be able to meet its affordable housing needs without such a large addition of market rate units.
 
"If you looked at it strictly through that lens, yes, it's a lot of above market or at market to get approximately a thousand of the lower income, but we are confident and have a number of pipeline projects already listed that are a hundred percent affordable," Hines said.
 
Inventive ideas like replacing shopping center parking lots with housing developments are included in the draft plan.
 
Local resident Eileen Morris said building housing on Petaluma’s fairgrounds should be on the table.
 
"We have failed for more than a decade to meet our affordable housing goals, and it wasn't always that way in Petaluma," Morris said. "In fact, we took a lot of pride in the fact that we were one of the only cities in the Bay Area to meet our housing goals. So I urge you to look at the fairgrounds. You know, it's next to transit and shopping and schools, everything we say we want in affordable housing."
 
Final approval of Petaluma's next housing plan is expected early next year.
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