Q: “We hear about projects going on in the city and then there is no information for a long time, such as the new health care center, police facilities, skate board park. How about an ongoing chart updating the progress? — Millie Thomas, Cloverdale
A:While the Reveille is currently thinking up ideas on how to put Millie’s chart suggestion (or something like it) into action, we decided to put together a brief update on the projects that she mentioned — the health care center, the new police facility and the skate park — all components of Cloverdale’s soon-to-be-developed Thyme Square.
While all of the different pieces of Thyme Square have been parsed out on the site’s lot map, each piece is moving at a different development rate. According to Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director Kevin Thompson, the furthest along is Alexander Valley Healthcare’s (AVH) wellness center.
“We’re going to be releasing the environmental review, the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) document,” he said, adding that he hopes the 30-day review period for the document will begin this week. “We’re hoping to get them to the planning commission early next year.”
Alexander Valley Healthcare had previously entered into a sales and purchase agreement with the city, but “there is much due diligence involved,” Alexander Valley Healthcare CEO Deborah Howell said.
There are more pieces up in the air for the other two developments on the property.
For the police station, “all we have at this point is conceptual design,” Thompson said.
Thompson said that the preliminary design will likely be reviewed by the city council in a meeting in the next few months. The cost of building a new police station is high though, and it will likely be the last piece of Thyme Square to be built.
“The skate park is not nearly as expensive (as the police station) and probably way more doable in the shorter run,” Thompson said, alluding to the likelihood of the skate park being developed first.
While the finances are in favor of the skate park, there’s still work to be done on the development front. The park’s conceptual design will be reviewed by the planning and community development subcommittee on Dec. 17, with it eventually heading to the council for approval on if they want the park to be built.
The Thyme Square development was a topic of discussion at a joint Cloverdale City Council and Cloverdale Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting last month, during which the trustees discussed if they want to grant the city right-of-way for South Washington Street. Granting the right of way would allow the city to extend South Washington and connect it to Healdsburg Avenue. To extend the road, the Cloverdale Citrus Fair also needs to grant the city right-of-way for its portion of South Washington Street.
“We’re still wrangling over that road, but we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to come to an agreement,” Thompson said.
During the joint meeting, district trustees also brought up concerns pertaining to the skate park’s proximity to Washington School. One of their primary concerns with having the skate park in such close proximity to the school is the potential of having older skate park patrons trying to interact with middle school students during school hours.
While trustees said that they disagreed with the location of the skate park, there was also discussion of working in a buffer to the park’s design. Working in a buffer may be difficult, Thompson said, due to a PG&E power pole that sits between the school and where the skate park is proposed to be. While the power pole may be able to serve as a spacial buffer, Thompson said that the city would need to talk to PG&E about if they would be able to put any other type of buffer (plant or otherwise) near the pole.
The design that’s being brought to the planning and community development subcommittee on Dec. 17 looks at the rough property layout (sidewalks, etc.), Thompson said.
“When we get into a real design of the skate park, that will be more of a discussion,” he said.
Correction: The original version of this article said that the skate park draft map was being presented to the planning commission. It isn't — it's being presented to the planning and community development subcommittee.