Board Walk ~ Susan Gorin

Susan Gorin Susan Gorin represents the First District as a member of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, an area that includes the entire Sonoma Valley.


Board Walk: Update On A Springs Community Plaza 

Posted on July 6, 2024 by Susan Gorin

On May 15 my office held a bilingual community meeting in the Springs on the topic of the long-discussed Springs Community Plaza. Our goal was to share an overview of Springs Plaza efforts to date, and solicit community feedback under this framing question: what features and programs do you want to see in your plaza?

A Springs Community Plaza has been desired by the community for decades. The 22 Boyes Blvd location (currently a county parking lot adjacent to the Post Office) has long been identified as a preferred location, with historic photographs, including one from 1943, showing the site used previously as a plaza.  

After a review of the background, attendees were asked to work together to envision and prioritize what they’d like to see at a future Springs Plaza under four categories: Infrastructure, Amenities, Landscaping and Programs and Events. Springs neighbors – some who had known each other for decades, others who had just met that evening – shared their aspirations and observations on what kind of plaza would best serve all members of the community. After the initial brainstorming, we asked attendees to prioritize which concepts they deemed most important to a future plaza, with five rising to the top: shade trees, art (in the form of classes, fairs, and public art such as murals and sculptures), a farmers’market, bathrooms, and seating. Based on these priorities, I hear from the community the desire for a space that encourages both passive and event-based activity, one that is both utilitarian and artistic, and lastly one that is inviting, comfortable, and beautiful.

Additionally, on June 7, my office hosted a roundtable with business owners in the Springs to hear their perspective on a Community Plaza. Working with staff from the Economic Development Board, we heard from a small but mighty group of business owners and prospective business owners in the area who all expressed enthusiasm for the project. They envisioned a vibrant public space that would complement the sense of place already developing in the Springs: colorful, welcoming, family-friendly, artistic, and comfortable. They also expressed that this space should be more than just a park, but also create opportunities for crafts, creativity, and commerce. A place for picking up coffee, or finding locally-made pottery, or chatting with shopkeepers or watching a performance. Most importantly, they wanted to help. 

I would have liked a plaza to be built before I retire at the end of this year, but projects like this take time, and I think we have been able to lay some groundwork. It is my intention to leave a strong illustration of the community interests for a plaza that have been shared with me over my tenure. 

Some next steps include exploring potential expansion of the plaza footprint – it is at present just a tiny postage stamp of a plaza and we are looking at ways to make it slightly larger. Additionally, the Springs Specific Plan DEIR (Draft Environmental Impact Report) recirculation is coming this year, and a Springs Plaza at the 22 Boyes Blvd location was identified in the draft plan in 2022. 

Lastly, we will need to put together a project description, draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), and explore opportunities for a potential matching grant to help fund the project. 

There is a lot of work left to be done, but I truly believe that, with the support of this community, a Springs Community Plaza is in our future. Please stay engaged, feel free to write to me with any input you may have, and let’s make this happen!

One thought on “Board Walk: Update On A Springs Community Plaza 

  1. Now is the time for the county to buy the post office/ old church mouse buildings. As the merchants said, as space for crafts, creativity and commerce.

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