New home builders in Sonoma County, Calif. are staging a comeback in the wake of the housing crash and last year's damaging wildfires.
Keith Woods, CEO at Santa Rosa-based trade group North Coast Builders Exchange, agrees that the pace of building has sped up this spring and summer, and The Press Democrat cites the hundreds of homes being rebuilt after the fires as fueling the pace. Local officials are saying the community needs thousands of new housing units in the next few years, including high-density housing, and affordable housing bond-aided subsidized units. Woods forecasts that the next five to 10 years “will be one of the busier building eras that we’ve ever had here.”
Skeptics have suggested that various roadblocks nonetheless may limit construction. They point to a lack of progress for years in building transit- oriented housing in Railroad Square on land owned by the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency. Similarly, they note the recent resistance of neighbors to a proposal by developer Bill Gallaher to build 870 housing units on the county’s old hospital complex along Chanate Road in east Santa Rosa.