Author Archive

December 26 2013

Farewell to The Grid, From Nick Danty

December 26th, 2013Posted by 

It’s hard to believe that six months have gone by since I was hired here at The Grid. At the time of my interview in June 2013, I was working as a limited-term employee at the Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) in Santa Rosa, CA and was bogged down in climate policy analysis and alternative transportation studies. […]

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December 18 2013

Amy Cortese Discusses Hometown Economics In “Locavesting”

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

Amy Cortese’s Locavesting: The Revolution In Local Investing And How To Profit From It is a must-have for anyone interested in small-business financing, economics, or community development. The purpose of the book is to expose readers to a multitude of alternative investment mechanisms that help local and regional businesses grow and thrive. Although Cortese explores […]

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November 28 2013

The In’s And Out’s Of Benziger’s Biodynamic Winery

November 28th, 2013Posted by 

The property now encompassing the Benziger Family Winery was once the site of an outrageous experiment to create a cabernet-infused marijuana strain called “Sonoma Coma.”  Although the pot production ceased once the property was sold to the Benzigers, the 1970’s vibe of health, harmony, and environmental philosophy continues under its new ownership.  The Benziger family’s […]

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November 14 2013

State Transportation Grant Bolsters Long-Awaited Sonoma Valley Bike Trail

November 14th, 2013Posted by 

How incredible would it be to explore Sonoma Valley and its hundreds of wineries without spending a dime on gas or expensive tours?  Apparently it would be pretty incredible, judging by a recent state-funded grant to develop the Sonoma Valley Bike Trail, which will connect the regions wineries and parks. The $191,000 Community-Based Transportation Grant […]

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October 31 2013

Is Rincon Valley’s Sprawl-Oriented Design Beyond Repair?

October 31st, 2013Posted by 

On the eastern edge of the city of Santa Rosa lies the Rincon Valley community, a typical middle-class suburb in the heart of wine country. The neighborhoods in this area, most notably the Skyhawk and Saint Francis developments, were designed in the sprawl fashion seen in many late-twentieth century American communities. Along with a landscape of […]

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October 17 2013

Social Equity Or NIMBYism? Marin County’s Battle With Affordable Housing

October 17th, 2013Posted by 

Marin County is home to thousands of acres of open space; national, state and regional parks; and one of the most staggering equity disparities in the country. According to the American Human Development Project, the median income for the wealthiest community in Marin County, Tiburon, is $80,000; the lowest is Canal at $21,000. The Canal […]

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October 03 2013

Guerilla Planning Strikes Junior College Neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California

October 3rd, 2013Posted by 

The Junior College neighborhood is one of the oldest areas of Santa Rosa, and one of the most walkable. The location of middle schools, high schools, and the junior college within the neighborhood has led to a high level of pedestrian traffic and social interaction between residents. Additionally, the traditional neighborhood layout and house design […]

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September 19 2013

Santa Rosa Infill Project Falls Short of Expectations

September 19th, 2013Posted by 

The idea began with great intentions: tear down a blighted building in Santa Rosa’s underused Courthouse Square and replace it with a multi-story mixed-use tower. The building in question, an antiquated AT&T long-distance switching facility, is an architectural eyesore and a barrier to Santa Rosa’s potential to create a thriving downtown. However, three years and […]

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September 05 2013

Sonoma County’s Mobile App Assisted Rideshare Program Shifts Into Second Gear

September 5th, 2013Posted by 

An innovative ridesharing program has taken hold in Sonoma County, California, as  WeGo Sonoma continues to utilize the real-time mobile rideshare app known as “Carma.” The app allows drivers and riders to post their planned and needed trips, and creates a system of payment so the cost of the trip is shared between both parties. Unlike services […]

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August 22 2013

Unique Form-Based Code Sets Petaluma Above the Rest

August 22nd, 2013Posted by 

Take a stroll through downtown Petaluma, and you will see why it is different from every other city in Sonoma County. It does not sprawl out like a spider web of big-box retailers and suburban developments like Rohnert Park, nor does its downtown emanate from a central plaza like Healdsburg and Sonoma. Instead, Petaluma’s urban core remains […]

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August 08 2013

Coddingtown Mall Anchors Santa Rosa’s TOD Development

August 8th, 2013Posted by 

In 2012, the city of Santa Rosa approved a plan to guide development practices around the site of the future North Santa Rosa Station, the second of the two Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) stops in the city. The station area is split by Highway 101 and contains a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, and […]

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July 25 2013

Climate Actions Plans Grow in Acceptance in Sonoma County

July 25th, 2013Posted by 

While support for climate protection has become fairly ubiquitous in Sonoma County, only one of its nine cities has implemented an official Climate Action Plan (CAP). To be fair, the other eight have adopted sustainability-related ordinances into their municipal codes such as integrated green building standards, water efficiency measures, and rideshare programs. Recently however, the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) began developing an implementation program that will lead […]

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July 11 2013

Thinking Regionally: Sonoma County’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan

July 11th, 2013Posted by 

Sonoma County has been a tourist haven for wine connoisseurs and recreationalists for decades. In more recent years, the county has gained notoriety for its commitments to climate protection, alternative transportation and sustainable communities. This is evident in the planning efforts of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) and the Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan […]

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