Really? The Farm Bureau is running our politics now? Time to take the $ out of politics.
Costly housing bonds
EDITOR: First, Sonoma County wanted to put a $300 million bond on the ballot to finance affordable housing.
But it was opposed by the Farm Bureau, so the county dropped it. Now the city of Santa Rosa is putting a $124 million bond on the ballot because we homeowners don’t have the clout the wine industry has.
The bond would add $29 per $100,000 assessed value on your home, and the city says it would only add about $110 per year to the average home. If you do the math, that works out to a $380,000 home. Very few homes are assessed in that low range.
This tax would apply to all of us who lost our homes in the October wildfires, including my family and my daughter’s family. We aren’t sure if our insurance is going to cover our rebuild cost, and they want us to pay more taxes.
Also, high taxes contribute to the high cost of housing. But our politicians don’t seem to understand that. And for people who think that because they rent it doesn’t pertain to them, think again. If your landlord‘s taxes are increased, you can bet rents will go up to cover the cost. So how does all this make housing affordable?
Not the whole story
EDITOR: Healdsburg does have its housing issues, but if Pete Golis wanted to do an accurate and fair column, he would have mentioned how hard we are thinking and working to reduce the affordable housing shortage here (“Acknowledging the reality of two Sonoma Counties,” Aug. 26). Local workers, families and minorities often have to drive to work in town.
Interesting that he criticizes us for defeating Measure R, which would have permitted unlimited “market rate” (i.e. $1 million-plus) homes for the well-off (often second homers). He didn’t mention that local voters passed Measure S funding for affordable units, or that a “middle income” measure is on the next ballot.
Nor was it said that our City Council will limit any future large high-end hotels downtown from taking building sites off the market. Would it be preferable that local government support hotels over housing? Should a failed business become a hotel or tasting room when it can’t pay high property rents? We don’t think so. Healdsburg welcomes builders of low- and moderate-priced housing for workers, families, singles and seniors.
Housing for boomers
EDITOR: I read with interest last Sunday’s article about housing and in particular the comment that “the (baby) boomers aren’t leaving but affordable housing for the millenials isn’t being built” (“Report: County aging, reliant on commuters”). Yes, big waves of us boomers moved to Sonoma County decades ago when it was affordable, before the tourist industry turned it into Wine Country. No, we aren’t leaving because we have spent our careers here, participate in our communities, have our friends and families here, and we still love it.
However, many of us really would like somewhere to go within Sonoma County. If there were attractive age-targeted alternatives — cottages, duplexes, compact homes, ideally with shared open space, walking and bike paths and even access to transportation and services — we would certainly be happy to sell our too-big-for-us family homes and put them on the market for those millennials.
It’s all about housing choices, and there are not many for the baby boomers who want downsized options. What’s being built now is more of the same — large family houses and fancy apartments. I sure know the kind of place I’d like to move to, from our four-bedroom, three-bath house, but it’s neither being planned nor built.