Civic Engagement calendar courtesy of Petaluma Urban Chat

Wednesday, January 26 (This week) – Petaluma Public Works – Community workshop on North McDowell Boulevard reconstruction
Wednesday, January 26 (This week) – Scannell Properties – Public outreach on Scannell development proposal at 500 Hopper Street
Thursday, January 27 (This week) – Petaluma Urban Chat – Monthly agenda-free gathering
Thursday, January 27 (This week) – Know Before You Grow – Forum in General Plan series on StrongTowns thoughts on municipal finances
Tuesday, February 1 – Petaluma Vehicle Miles Traveled Committee – Continued discussion of mitigation approaches (assumed date)
Wednesday, February 9 – Know Before You Grow – Forum in General Plan series on “Confessions of a Recovering Engineer”
Monday, February 14 – Petaluma Urban Chat Book Club – Discussion of chapters 10 and 11 of Doug Farr’s “Sustainable Urbanism”
Thursday, February 17 – Petaluma General Plan Advisory Committee – The goals for the meeting haven’t yet been announced
Tuesday, February 22 – Petaluma Planning Commission – Review of Scannell development at 500 Hopper Street
Wednesday, February 23 – Know Before You Grow – Introduction to Oyster Cove, a proposed downtown mixed-use development
Wednesday, March 9 – Know Before You Grow – Forum in General Plan series on Vision Zero, a goal of no traffic deaths
Wednesday, March 23 – Know Before You Grow – Forum in General Plan series on walkability
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GREETINGS & THOUGHTS 
Three calendar changes that should be specifically highlighted:
+ The visitability ordinance that was to be reviewed at this evening’s Council meeting has been removed from the agenda, nor does it appear on the February 7 agenda.  Presumably, it will return later in the winter.
+ Late last week, Urban Chat was alerted that Scannell Properties will conduct an online introduction to their Hopper Street project on Wednesday of this week.
+ Scannell also advised Urban Chat that their Hopper Street project would go before the Planning Commission on February 22.
Otherwise, the big event for Urban Chat and Know Before You Grow this week will be the Thursday KBYG forum on the StrongTowns perspective on the U.S. land development model and how it impacts municipal finances and our shared future.  There is a buzz building around this forum with invitations going out throughout the North Bay and beyond.  This forum will hopefully be the beginning of an extended conversation.  To join the conversation at the start, join us Thursday evening.
Questions or comments?  Let me know. – Dave Alden
P.S. If you wish to be removed from this email list, or have folks to add, please advise.
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MORE DETAILS – All events are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to participate in person or on-line.
Wednesday, January 26 (This week) – Petaluma Public Works – Petaluma Public Works has scheduled a virtual community workshop to discuss the proposed reconstruction of North McDowell Boulevard, specifically the accommodation of pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit.
This is an important topic.  However, my comments may not align with the expectations of Public Works.  While spending money on sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus stops is certainly important, I’ll make the StrongTowns argument (see February 9) that unless we design the street for a lower vehicular speed, our non-vehicular investments will be of little value.
The meeting will begin at 6:00pm.  More information can be found here.
Wednesday, January 26 (This week) – Scannell Properties – Scannell Properties, developer of the proposed project at 500 Hopper Street, has alerted Urban Chat that they will host a public outreach meeting to introduce their project to the public.  For those not familiar with the site, this is the former Pomeroy property along the river, midway between the Mary Isaak Center and the downtown SMART station.
An early vision of this project was shown to the Planning Commission when the Amy’s Kitchen corporate center was reviewed, but many changes may have occurred since then.
The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm.  The link to attend and to participate is here.  The passcode, if required, is 279777.
Thursday, January 27 (This week) – Petaluma Urban Chat – Given the Covid discomfort of many of the likely attendees, the January meeting of Petaluma Urban Chat will be on Zoom.  The meeting, like most monthly Urban Chat meetings, won’t have an agenda but will instead be open to the urbanist topics raised by the attendees.  It’s always a fun and free-wheeling conversation, one that offers new ideas and opens windows for expanded personal involvement in local issues.
The meeting will convene at noon.  The link to attend and to participate is here.
Thursday January 27 (This week) – Know Before You Grow – In a video recording from last year, StrongTowns founder Chuck Marohn will talk about how towns historically grew while remaining financially sustainable and whether the U.S. has learned from these historical lessons.  Three StrongTowns members from the North Bay, Santa Rosa architect Mitch Conner, Sebastopol architect Paul Fritz, and me, will handle Q&A.  All three of us are long-time StrongTowns members who have spoken with Chuck many times.
The meeting will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to participate is here.
Tuesday, February 1 – Petaluma Vehicle Miles Traveled Committee – As noted previously, this meeting has again been postponed.  This meeting was initially scheduled for Tuesday, November 2 and has now been pushed back three times.  I’m awaiting the background on this latest postponement.  I’ve assumed this new February date based on past meeting dates.
The committee is expected to continue the discussion of mitigations for projects that fall outside the newly adopted VMT thresholds.
The meeting is expected to convene at 6:00pm.  The link to the agenda and the link to attend and to participate in the meeting will be provided when available.
Wednesday, February 9 – Know Before You Grow – StrongTowns founder Chuck Marohn will talk live via Zoom regarding his recently released book “Confessions of a Recovering Engineer”.  The book is organized around Marohn’s mid-career realization that there is much wrong in the American approach to transportation engineering and financing.
The meeting will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to participate is here.
Monday, February 14 – Petaluma Urban Chat Book Club – The Urban Chat book club will finish Doug Farr’s “Sustainable Urbanism” with a discussion of chapters 10 and 11.
The meeting will convene at 6:30pm.  The format is hybrid, with some participating in person and others through Zoom.  If you wish to take part, let me know and I’ll provide the street address or link.
Thursday, February 17 – Petaluma General Plan Advisory Committee – This will be the ninth meeting of the GPAC. The intended goals for the meeting haven’t yet been announced.
The meeting will convene at 6:30pm.  The link to the agenda and the link to attend and participate in the meeting will be provided when published.
Tuesday, February 22 – Petaluma Planning Commission – The Planning Commission will do an initial review of the proposed Scannell development at 500 Hopper Street.
The meeting will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to the agenda and the link to attend and participate in the meeting will be provided when published.
Wednesday, February 23 – Know Before You Grow – We’ll get a first look at the proposed Oyster Cove project, along the Petaluma River downstream of the D Street Bridge.  In the words of one of the development partners, “UrbanMix is proposing to transform a vacant/underutilized industrial site into a mixed use project with strong trail connections.”  I haven’t seen the current configuration but saw an earlier version a year ago and was excited by the possibilities.
The meeting will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to participate is here.
Wednesday, March 9 – Know Before You Grow – This will be a forum in the General Plan series on Vision Zero and the Vision Zero Network, an organization based around a goal of no traffic deaths.  While I can’t yet announce the specific speaker, I can guarantee that the presentation will be a worthy complement to the words of Chuck Marohn a month earlier.  Between StrongTowns and the Vision Zero Network, we’ll have an abundance of ideas for improved traffic safety.
The meeting will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to participate is here.
Wednesday, March 23 – Know Before You Grow – This will be another transportation-oriented forum in the General Plan series.  This one will be on walkability.  America Walks CEO Michael McGinn will present the big picture on walkability, with Urban Chat member Teddy Herzog adding local context.
The meeting will convene at 7:00pm.  The link to participate is here.