Groundwater Resources paeg
Meetings Groundwater Government Traffic Urban Sprawl Land Use Quality of Life Links

Land Use


The huge Event Center planned for Roberts Road and Petaluma Hill Road will need pricy EIR. Read this letter to Ms. Jean Kapolchok, a LAFCO alternate hired to "navigate" county rules and zoning regulations. Salient passage highlighted.

2550 Ventura Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403-2829
(707) 565-1900 FAX (707) 565-1103
February 24, 2003

Jean Kapolchok and Associates 2245 Montgomery Drive, Suite D Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Subject: Environmental Determination for Proposed Calvary Chapel Church at 7100 Petaluma Hill Road - PLP02-0062

Ms. Kapolchok:

The Permit and Resource Management Department has reviewed the environmental issues relating to the proposed church complex application at 7100 Petaluma Hill Road and determined that the impacts to groundwater and traffic are potentially significant and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be required in order to further process the file. This determination was made after additional information was received by staff at the BZA hearing of December 19, 2002 and from the public following that hearing. The additional information included a more detailed description of the proposed operation (the information on the proposed operations provided by the applicant at the BZA hearing was a significant expansion of uses over what the original application stated) and documentation received in the last two months related to a lawsuit between the City of Rohnert Park and adjacent water users.

As per County procedures, PRMD will be the lead agency and will contract with a private individual or firm to complete the EIR. The applicant/owner will pay for all costs associated with the preparation of the document, plus PRMD administrative costs (20% of the contract cost). The cost of an EIR for this project is estimated at between $75,000 and $125,000.

The EIR will evaluate all potential impacts from the proposed project, with the primary focus being on traffic and groundwater. PRMD staff is requesting that a detailed description of all proposed operations be provided by the applicant which includes, but is not limited to, all assemblies, number of classes and age groups of children in school, concurrent use of buildings and facilities, after school classes and sports, youth group meetings and functions, adult meetings and functions, special events, etc. In addition, the designer shall provide information on the size of all water storage tanks, fire suppression systems and preliminary floor plans of all buildings showing all proposed plumbing fixtures.

Although a complete list of parameters for the groundwater analysis has not yet been determined (staff and the consultant will need to determine those), at a minimum, the document must analyze water consumption for the church complex, draw-down of groundwater over a prolonged period for the church use, review of water issues related Calvary Chapel Church Environmental Determination Letter February 24, 2003 - Page 2 to Rohnert Park, Sonoma State University and surrounding properties, cumulative impacts from other pending/approved developments and impacts to the recharge of the groundwater basin.

Staff will also be working closely with the traffic engineering consultant to ensure that the traffic analysis conforms with the County requirements. Based on the updated project description, the consultant will, at a minimum, study the key intersections along Petaluma Hill Road from Penngrove to Rohnert Park, analyze the cumulative impacts of the proposed project and any pending/approved developments on the road system, consider the impacts of the concurrent use of the property when separate activities occur on different portions of the site, discuss short term impacts at the close of assemblies/services and the impacts resulting from special events.

The decision by staff to require an EIR is appealable to the Board of Zoning Adjustments. Please contact me at 565-1352 if you have any questions or would like clarification on any of these issues.

Steve Padovan Project Planner

cc: Calvary Chapel Church Bob Flora

See below for some history

Large event center planned:

Petaluma Hill Road and Roberts Road

Dear Penngrove Area Residents,

The latest news is that the property owners of the Penngrove parcel located at the corner of Petaluma Hill Road and Roberts Road have applied to the County to build a Church and extensive additional facilities in an area that is zoned DIVERSE AGRICULTURE and is zoned 1 home per every 20 acres under the existing Sonoma County General Plan.

The details include building a new church complex, sanctuary, classrooms, administrative offices, gymnasium, amphitheater, barns and playfields with hours of operation from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Yes, the lights on the sports field will light up the night sky.

The applicant's request is for a new church and school complex on a 19.55-acre parcel. There will be a total of 48,620 square feet of building area and 251 parking spaces, with the potential for an additional 88 spaces in a gravel overflow lot. It is anticipated that up to 159 students will be enrolled at the private school. Religious services will occur primarily on Sundays with approximately 450 persons attending in the morning and about 125 in the evening. In addition, there will be a Thursday night service for 150 persons and there are future plans for a Saturday evening service depending on demand.

Weddings, funerals and other occasional social events and gatherings for the congregation will also take place at this site. The applicant has also proposed up to five larger gatherings per year that would be considered special events. The maximum number of attendees at these events shall not exceed the capacity of the sanctuary, which is 600 people.

Sound familiar? This is part of the same exact issue Penngrove Residents just sued Rohnert Park over. A 900 ft. deep well has already been developed along Petaluma Hill Road to provide water supplies to the complex. Rohnert Park is mad and wants to know why in appearance Penngrove residents support this development when they the City were taken to court over the same issues of traffic, declining groundwater supplies, loss of groundwater recharge lands, and breach of existing County adopted policy that is supposed to protect Penngrove. I can attest to the fact that the few surrounding property owners who have been notified of the project by Penngrove residents (not the County Staff) of the proposal that under the current circumstances it is not acceptable. The project is expected to receive a negative declaration without having an Environmental Impact Report prepared. In simple terms this means unless a lot of people protest the proposal this Thursday it will be approved.

Having spent the past 4 years in the trenches against Rohnert Park over these same issues I find this proposal and related impacts unacceptable. Current County zoning does not allow for this kind of development on these lands. An exception to existing County General Plan rules cannot be tolerated.

Make your concerns part of the record!

Fax letters of protest or send e-mail to Project Planner Steve Padovan: Phone: 565-1352, Fax: 565-1103, e-mail:

You also may contact your 2nd District Supervisor Mike Kerns, e-mail:

Under the current County General Plan zoning this same acreage allows for the building of 1 home. There are significant reasons as to why the existing County General Plan is so restrictive in this area. old-timers and newcomers are encouraged to read a copy of the Penngrove Specific Plan and the Sonoma County General Plan as they relate to these specific Lands of the County.

Issues to be discussed are General Plan Consistency, Traffic/Road Improvements, Environmental Analysis, (including water and septic), and Neighborhood Compatibility (including visibility, noise, lighting and aesthetics).

Consider the ramifications of such a facility and attend the meeting and address your concerns.

John King







Petaluma Hill Road was declared a "Scenic Route" years ago. Nevertheless, County planners seem intent on burying this beautiful byway in urban sprawl. The road now slows to a crawl during rush hours due to thousands of extra drivers rushing to numerous ill-planned projects in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and elsewhere.

A proposal for a giant religious complex is the latest scheme that will overburden an already overburdened area

The picture shows the corner of Petaluma Hill Road and Roberts Road.

Read the proposal for a use permit for this gigantic installation, and please, don't laugh!

click here to download the whole proposal in PDF

Do you have Adobe's Acrobat installed on your machine?

If not click on this icon:





©2003 :: Request Email Bulletins :: Contact Us :: :: Who We Are :: Supporters ::