Controversial affordable housing project OK’d in rural Cloverdale

By Kathleen Coates, The Press Democrat, January 12, 2022

“Cloverdale planning commissioners, despite objections from community members … voted 3-2 [on January 11] to approve a 75-unit affordable housing project.

“The Alexander Valley Family Apartments, which will be built in a rural area along the Highway 101 frontage road and house low- and very low-income families, has been opposed by neighbors and others who say they fear the highly trafficked area with only partial sidewalks will be unsafe.

“Many spoke in favor of the project at the last commission meeting on Nov. 2, including Ezequiel Guzman, president of Latinos Unidos, who pointed to the great need for farmworker housing.

“The Planning Commission would have only been able to reject the proposed development if there was no way to fix any of the issues community members and commissioners raised about increased traffic and risks to public safety.

“In addition, according to staff, opposing or tabling the project, as many members of the public urged the commissioners to do, could leave the city open to a potential lawsuit.

“ ‘I think the city has to do a lot better job to prepare the city for projects like this,’ [said Planning Commissioner Chad Asay, who voted yes,] referring to infrastructure such as sidewalks and lighting.”

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