File #: 2021-0169   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 2/17/2021 In control: Agricultural Preservation And Open Space District
On agenda: 3/23/2021 Final action:
Title: 2020 Matching Grant Program Funding Recommendations
Department or Agency Name(s): Agricultural Preservation And Open Space District
Attachments: 1. Summary Report, 2. Map of Matching Grant Program Projects complete, active, and proposed..pdf

To: Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

Department or Agency Name(s): Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

Staff Name and Phone Number: Jennifer Kuszmar, 565-7266

Vote Requirement: Majority

Supervisorial District(s): Countywide




2020 Matching Grant Program Funding Recommendations



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

Accept Recommendations for Projects and Funding Amounts for the 2020 Matching Grant Program Cycle.



Executive Summary:

The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District offers a competitive Matching Grant Program for open space projects within and near Sonoma County cities and unincorporated communities every two years. During the 2020 funding cycle, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District received nine applications totaling over $12 million in funding requests. Staff and the Matching Grant Program Subcommittee is recommending funding six projects for a total of $5,805,600 and is requesting the Board of Directors to accept these recommendations.




Through the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District’s (“Ag + Open Space”) Expenditure Plan, Sonoma County voters have authorized Ag + Open Space to fund urban open space, natural resource restoration, and recreation projects through a competitive Matching Grant Program (“Program”). The Program is available to cities, the County, other public agencies, and 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations.


Since 1994, Ag + Open Space has accepted over fifty projects into the Program totaling over $37 million in each of the county’s nine incorporated cities and in numerous unincorporated areas. Program funding has allowed our public and nonprofit partners to leverage funds to develop and implement diverse and innovative projects throughout Sonoma County’s communities. Some projects funded through the Program include the Windsor Town Green and Keiser Park in Windsor; Sonoma Garden Park and Nathanson Creek Restoration in Sonoma; Alman Marsh and Paula Lane Open Space Preserve in Petaluma; Prince Gateway Park and Bayer Neighborhood Park and Gardens in Santa Rosa; Tomodachi and Skategarden Parks in Sebastopol; Giorgi Park in Healdsburg; Falletti Ranch in Cotati; and numerous projects in unincorporated areas such as Forever Forestville in Forestville, and Creekside Park in Monte Rio.


For all Matching Grant Program projects, Ag + Open Space receives permanent protection of lands through a conservation easement, or in some cases a trail easement, as a condition of funding. If a project includes a public recreation component, Ag + Open Space may also receive a recreation conservation covenant to permanently protect public access.


2019 Matching Grant Program Update

Following the 2018 funding cycle, Ag + Open Space staff worked to update and revise the Program materials based on input from the Board, applicants, partners, and a subcommittee of members from the Advisory Committee and Fiscal Oversight Commission.  Updates to Program materials included improved transparency in the review and evaluation process and development of a new evaluation matrix; clarification on the intent of the program and inclusion of application questions and evaluation criteria focused on program intent; and revision of requirements for matching funds. Revisions to the Program materials were accepted by the Board in November 2019 and were finalized in time for the launch of the 2020 Program funding cycle in January of 2020.


2020 Matching Grant Program Funding Cycle

In January 2020, Ag + Open Space opened the 2020 Matching Grant Program funding cycle, with a $4 million budget approved by the Board at the same time as the updated Program materials. Due to the unprecedented circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ag + Open Space extended the application deadline from the initial April 30 deadline to September 30 to allow potential applicants ample time to prepare and submit their applications. Ag + Open Space received nine applications for a total funding request of just over $12 million.


Application Review and Evaluation

During the application review process, an inter-disciplinary committee of Ag + Open Space staff, including members of the management team, reviewed and evaluated applications using the Evaluation Matrix. The inter-disciplinary staff team met twice to discuss projects and to develop preliminary recommendations. The Evaluation Matrix utilizes applicant responses to score each project in the following categories: Program Intent, Benefits, Need, and Readiness. The maximum score is 100. The Program Guidelines also describe “Other Considerations” that are analyzed as a part of the evaluation process such as community support, project performance, and geographic diversity.

Staff compiled the evaluations and presented the scores and preliminary recommendations to a Matching Grant Program Subcommittee comprised of representatives from the Advisory Committee and Fiscal Oversight Commission (Subcommittee).  Staff met with the Subcommittee three times. Once to review all of the applications, a second time to discuss preliminary funding recommendations, and a third time to finalize funding recommendations. These recommendations were presented to the Advisory Committee on February 25, 2021 and the Fiscal Oversight Commission on March 4, 2021. The Advisory Committee and Fiscal Oversight Commission supports these funding recommendations for Board consideration.


Matching Grant Program Savings

The 2020 Program cycle was highly competitive with applications representing opportunities to permanently protect large swaths of land near some of the County’s most populous areas. The recommendations proposed below are above the $4 million budget for the 2020 Program. However, staff has identified $1.7 million in savings from three projects previously accepted into the Program.  These projects are as follows:


The City of Rohnert Park was accepted into the Program in 2007 for a $711,270 project that would provide access to Crane Creek Regional Park from the Copeland Creek Trail on the Sonoma State University Campus. The 2007 project proposed to develop a 20-foot wide trail easement along a property owned by Brookfield Homes. In the time since acceptance into the Program, Ag + Open Space has granted the city extensions on the project. In 2016, Brookfield Homes transferred their 128-acre parcel to the City. The originally proposed trail connection proposed crossing at Petaluma Hill Road has changed and project costs have increased. The City of Rohnert Park applied in this funding cycle for the current and expanded project, which includes deeding 75-acres to Sonoma County Regional Parks for expansion of Crane Creek Regional Park.


In 2008, Sonoma County Regional Parks was accepted into the Program for a $252,000 project at Riverfront Regional Park. This project has experienced numerous delays and the grant has expired. Regional Parks does not wish to request any further extensions on this project and has expressed a willingness to forgo this grant funding.


Finally, the City of Petaluma applied and was accepted into the Program in 2018 for a $750,000 grant to acquire 20 acres of the McNear Peninsula. Since acceptance, a nonprofit organization - the Petaluma River Park Foundation - entered into a purchase contract with the property owners and acquired the 20-acre parcel on the McNear Peninsula. Therefore, the City of Petaluma no long needs this acquisition grant.


These three projects total $1,713,270 in savings. Staff is recommending that these savings be applied to projects in this application as outlined below.


Funding Recommendations

Staff and the Subcommittee have developed recommendations for a suite of projects, including funding amounts for each project. These recommendations were presented at the Ag + Open Space Advisory Committee on February 25 and to the Fiscal Oversight Commission on March 4, 2021. The Advisory Committee and the Fiscal Oversight Commission supported the staff and Subcommittee recommendations.


The recommendation to fund six of the nine applications for a total of $5,805,600 will result in over 145 acres of permanently protected open space lands in and near several Sonoma County cities and communities including Rohnert Park, Bodega Bay, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, and Windsor. These funding recommendations include the $4 million budgeted for the 2020 cycle, the $1,713,270 in Program savings, and an additional $92,330.


Board Action

Staff and the Subcommittee request the Board accept these recommendations for projects and funding amounts for the 2020 Matching Grant Program cycle. As projects are implemented, staff will return to the Board with requests to encumber funds, accept conservation easements and recreation covenants, and authorize the execution of grant agreements


Projects Recommended (listed in the order ranked via the project evaluation matrix)




Sup. District

Project Type

MGP Request

Staff and Subcommittee Funding Recommendations

Crane Exp./Copeland Ext.

City of Rohnert Park


Acquisition + Improvement



Bodega Bay Trail

Sonoma County Regional Parks





A Place to Play

City of Santa Rosa





Petaluma River Park

Petaluma River Park Foundation





Keiser Park Extension

Town of Windsor





Healdsburg Montage Park

City of Healdsburg





Petaluma River Preserve and Trail

Protect Petaluma


Acquisition + Improvement



Journey's End Community Park

Burbank Housing





Sonoma Garden Park

Sonoma Ecology Center












Summaries of all applications and funding recommendations can be found below.



Projects are listed in scoring order using the new evaluation matrix.


1.                     Crane Creek Regional Park Expansion & Copeland Creek Trail Extension

Average Matrix Score: 91


APPLICANT                                          City of Rohnert Park                     

LOCATION:                                            Rohnert Park

SUP. DISTRICT:                     1 (but portions of proposed project are located in Districts 2 and 3)

ACREAGE:                                            ~75.5 acres (acquisition + acreage for trail connections)

MGP REQUEST:                                            $1,360,600

MATCH:                                                                 $2,828,630


                                          SECURE:                       $100,800 - Project Admin (Regional Parks)

$2,619,930 - Implementation (Land value, City In-Lieu/TDA/Infrastructure reserve, Regional Parks, Parks Foundation, Measure M)


ANTICIPATED:                     $107,900 (Project Admin - City)




PROPOSED PROJECT: The Crane Creek Regional Park Expansion and Copeland Creek Trail Extension will bring the experience of recreational open space closer to the communities of Rohnert Park, Cotati and Sonoma State University with a larger regional park reached directly through multi-use connections and crossings that are safe and accessible to all. The project includes five distinct components, including 1) transfer and acquisition of 75.5 acres to expand Crane Creek Regional Park; 2) construction of Copeland Creek trail extension to Crane Creek Regional Park; 3) construction of the Copeland Creek connector path from intersection of Petaluma Hill Road and Laurel Drive to Copeland Creek bridge; 4) construction of full signalized crossing and improvements at intersection of Petaluma Hill Road and Laurel Drive; and 5) construction of Copeland Creek trail extension segment through Sonoma State University to the intersection of Petaluma Hill Road and Laurel Drive.

BACKGROUND:  In 2007, the City applied for and was accepted into the MGP for a project that proposed to extend the Copeland Creek trail and connect to Crane Creek Regional Park along a 20’ trail easement on property owned by Brookfield Homes after crossing Petaluma Hill Road. Ag + Open Space has granted extensions on the 2007 MGP project, which are due to expire in December 2021. In 2016, Brookfield Homes transferred their 128-acre parcel to the City. During a title search after the City owned the property, a previously unknown 16-foot wide remnant parcel adjacent to the Park and the City’s parcel was discovered. In 2020, the City secured control of the remnant parcel through a combination of negotiated acquisitions and an uncontested eminent domain proceeding. The originally proposed trail connection, including the location of the crossing at Petaluma Hill Road, have changed since the original 2007 application and project costs have increased. The City is applying in 2020 for the current and expanded project.



                     Program Intent: The project will provide new permanent protection of approximately 75.5 acres of expanded parkland at Crane Creek Regional Park. The project is also adjacent to existing lands protected by Ag + Open Space conservation easements (Ho and Grossi). The project will also create new pedestrian and bicycle links from an extension of the Copeland Creek trail to Crane Creek Regional Park.

                     Need: The project will provide new access from the west side of Crane Creek Regional Park across Petaluma Hill Road. This proposed trail connection is a high priority in the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and the Sonoma County Transportation Authority’s Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

                     Benefits: Once completed, this project will result in the completion of revegetation and restoration for sediment reduction and water quality improvement on Copeland Creek. This project will also add 75 acres to Crane Creek Regional Park, providing opportunities for new outdoor recreational opportunities for Sonoma County residents, and directly from neighborhoods in Rohnert Park. The proposed Class I trail will also serve a broad diversity of users.

                     Readiness: The City has an MND and has 60% conceptual designs completed. The City and Regional Parks have ample experience overseeing similar projects. The City’s application proposes a greater than 1:1 match with over 97% secured.


RECOMMENDATION: This project received the highest average total score on the evaluation matrix, and the highest score in nearly every category. This project is recommended for full funding up to the requested $1,360,600 as it will fulfill the intent of the program, including the permanent protection of over 75 acres of lands for public recreation. Other reasons full funding is recommended include but are not limited to 1:1 match funding is secured and significant project milestones have been accomplished. Another reason for recommending full funding that is not considered in the scoring is that this would be the first project located in or near the City of Rohnert Park.


2.                     Bodega Bay Trail - Coastal North Harbor

Average Matrix Score: 81


APPLICANT                                          Sonoma County Regional Parks                     

LOCATION:                                            Bodega Bay

SUP. DISTRICT:                                          5

ACREAGE:                                            ~0.7 acres (0.6 mile trail @ 10’wide)

MGP REQUEST:                                            $795,000

MATCH:                                                                 $1,085,000


                     SECURE:                                            $283,000 Project Admin (Measure M, PMF, SCTA)

SECURE:                                          $15,000 Planning, Design, Env. Compliance, Permits (Measure M)

                     SECURE:                                          $295,000 Implementation (SCTA M, Parks M, Volunteers, SCRPF)


ANTICIPATED:                                          $12,000 Project Admin (State Parks Recreational Trail Program)

ANTICIPATED:                     $480,000 Implementation (State Parks Recreational Trail Program, Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District)


TOTAL MGP PROJECT COST:  $1,880,000 ($8,125,000 for entire Bodega Bay Trail)


PROPOSED PROJECT: The Bodega Bay Trail - Coastal North Harbor segment, subject of this application, will be approximately 0.60 miles (3,168 linear feet) of new trail in length and 8 to 10 feet wide. The Project starts by connecting the existing Bodega Bay Trail - Coastal Prairie segment to the north on County property, continuing south and meandering through the Sonoma Coast State Park Bodega Dunes Campground area to the intersection of Bay Flat Road and Eastshore Road. The Trail then parallels Eastshore Road for 258 linear feet to the terminus point. The Trail will be constructed with 1,825 linear feet of 8 foot wide resin-stabilized aggregate, approximately 1,100 linear feet of boardwalk, 170 linear feet of wood puncheon and drainage lenses, wood retaining walls, and 258 linear feet of asphalt pavement along Eastshore Road. The purpose of the project is to extend the California Coastal Trail and to provide a safe pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists that is separated from the road. The development of the Trail will improve travel between existing residential, recreational, and commercial areas in Bodega Bay. This portion of the trail would traverse through County-owned land as well as existing State Park land.


BACKGROUND: Project initiated by community seeking safe pedestrian and bicycle passage in Bodega Bay. The Bodega Bay Trail is part of the California Coastal Trail alignment. For budgeting, planning purposes, and to help identify the four geographic locations of the Bodega Bay Trail, the County has used five different project names as follows: Coastal Prairie, Coastal North Harbor, Coastal Harbor, Smith Brothers Road, and Cheney Creek Bridge. The focus of this funding request is the Coastal North Harbor segment. This is the next priority segment in the larger project, extending a completed trail section from the coastal uplands to the Bay.



                     Program Intent: The project will result in new trail connections that are a part of a local, regional, and statewide trail plan. This project will result in permanent protections of a public trail and improved pedestrian and bicycle access to Bodega Bay.

                     Need: The project meets numerous goals and policies in the Sonoma County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan in the Sonoma County General Plan. Once completed, this project will result in safe access for pedestrians and cyclists off Highway 1.

                     Benefits: The project will result in safe, non-vehicular access in the Bodega Bay area. Proposed restoration and enhancement will benefit native species.

                     Readiness: Regional Parks has completed trail designs and an initial study. Regional Parks’ application proposes a greater than 1:1 match with over 50% secured. Regional parks has ample experience in constructing and maintaining similar projects.


RECOMMENDATION: This project ranked the second highest in average total scores and scored well in in every category. This project is recommended for full funding up to the requested $795,000. Reasons that the project is recommended for full funding include, but are not limited to, that the project meets the intent of the program; will result in trail connections that link local, regional, and statewide trails; significant project milestones are completed; and over 50% of the match funding is secure. Other considerations for this recommendation that were not a part of the scoring include that there are no MGP projects in the Bodega Bay area.


3.                     A Place to Play Community Park Improvements

Average Matrix Score: 78


APPLICANT                                          City of Santa Rosa                     

LOCATION:                                            Santa Rosa

SUP. DISTRICT:                                          5

ACREAGE:                                            ~10 acres

MGP REQUEST:                                            $2,000,000

MATCH:                                                                 $2,041,500


                                          SECURE:                       $11,000 - Project Administration (City General Fund)

SECURE:                     $110,000 - Planning, Design, Env. Compliance, Permitting (City General Fund)

                                          SECURE:                     $1,890,500 - Implementation (Park Development Impact Fee)

                                          SECURE:                     $30,000 - Implementation (City General Fund)


TOTAL MGP PROJECT COST:  $4,041,500 (for Phase 3)


PROPOSED PROJECT: The application proposes to continue implementation of the A Place to Play Master Plan including two, multipurpose, all-weather fields lined for soccer, baseball and softball, spectator seating, hydration stations, lighting infrastructure, anda restroom building. Construction of a nature pavilion, pervious paved trails around the duck pond and connecting the park to the Santa Rosa Creek Trail were included in the application but are not considered in this recommendation.


BACKGROUND: The City adopted the original Master Plan in 1997 and has amended it 3 times to accommodate the needs of the community. The park currently provides six natural turf soccer fields, one little league baseball and softball diamond, one senior league baseball and softball diamond, a dog park, a playground, a remote-controlled race car track, a restroom/concessions building, parking, sidewalks and paved pathways, a wildlife sanctuary surrounding a recycled water retention pond, known as the duck pond, and an emergency well and pump station (under construction). The MGP application requests funding for a third phase of development at the park including the City’s first all-weather fields and first facility for environmental education. The MGP Guidelines consider “projects that replace existing facilities or amenities with facilities or amenities that have the same function or purpose” ineligible for funding.  As there is an existing trail that the City seeks to upgrade, this element of the application is considered ineligible.



                     Program intent: The project will result in as much as 10 acres permanently protected for public recreation for field sports.

                     Need: Community has articulated a great need for all-weather, lighted sports fields. None currently exist in the City of Santa Rosa. The project meets the goals and objectives in the Santa Rosa 2035 General Plan.

                     Benefits: The project will benefit the community in providing increased availability of sports fields in the City, which will contribute to public health through recreation and also the local economy from sports tournaments.

                     Readiness: The City has recently completed an updated park Master Plan. Additionally, the City proposes a 1:1 match, 100% of which is secured. The City has ample experience implementing and maintaining parks projects.


RECOMMENDATION: This project is recommended for up to $1,000,000 for athletic fields and associated improvements. Reasons this project is recommended for partial funding include, but are not limited to, that the proposed project will meet the intent of the program by providing new recreational opportunities for all-season field sports where no such facilities exist and the City proposes a 1:1 match that is secured. Other considerations supporting this recommendation but which are not included in the scoring include, but are not limited to, that there are no MGP projects in this quadrant of the City. Based on the City’s cost estimates, grant funding combined with the City’s match should be adequate for the construction of at least one multi-purpose field and key associated improvements.



4.                     Petaluma River Park

Average Matrix Score: 71


APPLICANT                                          Petaluma River Park Foundation                     

LOCATION:                                            Petaluma

SUP. DISTRICT:                                          2

ACREAGE:                                            ~21 acres

MGP REQUEST:                                            $2,000,000

MATCH:                                                                 $2,263,433


ANTICIPATED:                                          $120,000 - Project Admin (PRPF volunteer)

$163,543 - Design/Env. compliance/permitting (SLT Haas Foundation; PRPF volunteer; PRPF donations)

$1,039,890 - Construction (PRPF donations, PRPF volunteer)

$940,000 - O&M (PRPF volunteer, PRPF donations)                     

Note on Match: Since applying, the applicant has an additional $300,000 that will likely be utilized to complete the project.




PROPOSED PROJECT: The purpose of this MGP Project is to transform 20.75 acres of currently fallow open space on the McNear Peninsula into a beautiful park for people, art and the environment that will be Petaluma’s Central Park in fulfillment of a vision formulated over 30 years ago. Using the latest evidence-based conservation and habitat creation and enhancement methods the project will stabilize and improve significant portions of the river bank, create new wetland habitat and establish native plantings of grasses, shrubs and trees throughout the site.  A network of trails including 2000 feet of ADA trails, restrooms, small boat dock/viewing platform and educational signage will provide access to the public. Numerous local and regional partners have been and will be recruited to participate in a substantial and authentic community engagement process to be coordinated by the Sonoma Land Trust.   The process will inform the Master Plan so that the Park reflects the broadest possible consensus and the needs of all sectors of our community including, especially, the disadvantaged and underserved.


BACKGROUND: City of Petaluma applied in 2018 MGP to acquire this parcel. In the interim, the Petaluma River Park Foundation was founded and was able to fundraise enough money to purchase the parcel in late 2020.



                     Program Intent: The project will result in over 20 acres of permanently protected land for public gathering and recreation in and near the Petaluma River. The property is adjacent to Steamer Landing Park, which is protected through an Ag + Open Space conservation easement. The project also includes planned seasonal wetland restoration and shoreline enhancement.

                     Need: The City’s River Access and Enhancement Plan, adopted in 1996 identifies McNear Peninsula as a key acquisition and the development of a public park on the property as a priority of the plan. The McNear Peninsula is identified in the Central Petaluma Specific Plan as well as the City’s General Plan as important open space/public land.

                     Benefits: The proposed project will provide new recreational opportunities in mid-town Petaluma, where numerous residential development are proposed. The property will also be used for outdoor education programs. The conceptual plans include tidal shoreline restoration; native plantings, and wetland restoration; increased tidal marsh habitat will accommodate future changes in conditions related to climate change/sea level rise; restored shoreline will also reduce erosion and sedimentation.

                     Readiness: Conceptual designs have been developed for the property and additional community engagement is planned. The applicant proposes a greater than 1:1 match, though all but $300,000 has not been secured. The applicant is a newly incorporated nonprofit with limited experience constructing, operating, and maintaining a public park. They have, however, successfully fundraised enough money to finance the acquisition of the property and have developed a memorandum of understanding with numerous local agencies.


RECOMMENDATION: This project is recommended for up to $1,000,000 amount for initial public access as described in the Phase 1 concept plan. Reasons this project is recommended at this funding amount include, but are not limited to, that the project will meet the program intent of protecting new open space lands for outdoor public gathering and recreation and protection and restoration of natural resources. Partial funding is a reflection in part of the scoring for the project, the lack of secure matching funds, and the applicant’s lack of experience implementing similar projects. This partial funding amount will result in adequate funding to complete initial public access improvements on the property.


5.                     Keiser Park Expansion

Average Matrix Score: 70


APPLICANT                                          Town of Windsor                                          

LOCATION:                                            Windsor

SUP. DISTRICT:                                          4

ACREAGE:                                            2.33 acres

MGP REQUEST:                                            $650,000

MATCH:                                                                 $650,000


                     SECURE:                                            $15,500 - Project Admin (Town)

                                                                                    $109,500 - Planning/Design/Env. Compliance/Permitting (Town)

                                                                                    $425,000 - Acquisition (Town)

                                                                                    $100,000 - O&M (Town)




PROPOSED PROJECT: In an effort to compliment the planned and anticipated future amenities, the Town is exploring options to expand Keiser Park to accommodate active and passive open space. The Town has identified five lots, totaling 4.9 acres located adjacent to Keiser Park. While the Town is committed to an ongoing effort to expand and enhance Keiser Park, this current application (Project) represents the first phase of acquiring 2.33 acres (four lots) of new community parkland. These lots are located to the east of the park and through the agreement process can connect to the current Conservation Easement in Keiser Park.


BACKGROUND: The Town of Windsor (Town) adopted the current Keiser Community Park Master Plan for Louis B. Keiser Community Park (Keiser Park) in August of 2007. This included development of land the Town purchased in partnership with Ag +Open Space in 2003. Phase One of this plan was completed in 2011 and included the development of three ball fields, a playground, basketball courts, parking and a restroom/concession building with maintenance storage. Phase Two of the Keiser Community Park Master Plan (Master Plan) calls for a competitive and recreation aquatic facility, parking and a large children’s play area. Phase Three includes a 35,000 square foot multi-use recreation center and additional parking. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update (PRMP) was adopted in 2017 and provides direction for the growth of the Parks and Recreation Department through 2030. In addition to the identified amenities, the PRMP process identified that the Town is deficient by 10 acres of community parkland per the Town’s standard of providing 2.5 acres of developed community parkland per 1,000 residents. Due to the central location of Keiser Park within the community, Windsor High School, and an improved trail system, the expansion of the current park footprint is a highly desirable location to meet this deficit. While the Windsor High School campus has a variety of athletic facilities, it does not have its own tennis courts or pool facility.



                     Program Intent: The project will expand existing open space at Kaiser Park, where Ag + Open Space holds a conservation easement over a portion of the park. The project will also provide new neighborhood access to the park.

                     Need: The Town has recently updated their General Plan and Park and Recreation Master Plan and have identified a need for additional parkland and specifically for expansion of Kaiser Park.

                     Benefits: The project will provide an addition 2.33 acres of public parkland with new access from adjacent neighborhoods. Through this project, the Town will also work with the community to identify how the expanded park will be utilized.

                     Readiness: The landowners of the subject parcels have articulated to the Town that they are willing to sell their parcels and the Town has had each parcel appraised. The Town of Windsor has ample experience acquiring land as well as operating and maintaining park land. The Town proposes a 1:1 match, 100% of which is secure.


RECOMMENDATION: This project is recommended for funding up to $650,000 for acquisition. The reasons for this recommendation include, but are not limited to, that the project meets the intent of the program by acquiring new open space lands to be used for public access in perpetuity and the Town proposes a 1:1 match which is secured. Ag + Open Space proposes that the MGP funding go toward acquisition, with the Town’s matching funds going toward remaining acquisition costs as well as the park master plan update.


6.                     Healdsburg Montage Development Park

Average Matrix Score: 68


APPLICANT                                          City of Healdsburg                                                               

LOCATION:                                            Healdsburg

ACREAGE:                                            ~ 36 acres

MGP REQUEST:                                            $1,000,000

MATCH:                                                                 $2,800,000


                     SECURE:                                            $491,000 - Planning/Design/Env Compliance (Developer)

                                                                                    $2,309,000 - Construction (Developer)





PROPOSED PROJECT: This project involves the development of a 36-acre community park on the northern side of Healdsburg. The site is associated with the Saggio Hills/Montage development where the developer is contributing the 36 acres of land and a total of $3,000,000 towards design and construction of the park. The park will consist of (i) active recreation use areas; (ii) passive recreation use areas; (iii) public trails; (iv) existing and new wetlands; (v) a riparian zone for Foss Creek; (vi) parking areas; (vii) a pavilion area; (viii) landscaped areas . Preliminary project estimated costs are $10,000,000. The project is currently in the concept design stage with bidding anticipated in late 2021 and construction is expected to begin in 2022.

BACKGROUND: The project has been in the works for over 15 years. Through the development agreement the developer has agreed to deed 36 acres of land to the City for creation of a public park. Developer will provide some initial improvements, but the primary source of funding for construction of the park will come from the City. This property has the potential to provide new connections and access to Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve.


                     Program Intent: The proposed project will protect 36 acres for outdoor public recreation. The project will also provide connections to the Ag + Open Space protected Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve and planned affordable and senior housing. Additionally, the project will result in restoration of portions of Foss Creek.

                     Need: This project has been identified in the General Plan and Area Plan and has been anticipated for at least 15 years.

                     Benefits: The project will provide benefits to the community in creating new passive and active recreation opportunities in northern Healdsburg and creating new connections to Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve. The project will also protect and restore natural resources on the property.

                     Readiness: The project has been in various stages of design since 2006. Master planning process has been led by a 45 member Parks Design Team and conceptual plans have been developed. The City has ample experience constructing, operating, and maintaining park projects and has partnered with a design team experienced in public park projects. The City proposes a greater than 1:1 match, 100% of which is secure.


RECOMMENDATION: This project is recommended for funding up to the requested $1,000,000 for development of a public park. Reasons for this recommendation include, but are not limited to, that the City has secure match that exceeds the grant request; the project will result in 36 acres of new outdoor public recreation opportunities protected in perpetuity. Although this project has the lowest score of all recommended projects, in particular in the project readiness category, the project represents a unique opportunity to permanently protect a property this size with connections to other protected lands near planned new residential developments.





1.                     Petaluma River Preserve and Trail

Average Matrix Score: 63


APPLICANT                                          Protect Petaluma                     

LOCATION:                                            Petaluma

SUP. DISTRICT:                                          2

ACREAGE:                                            ~16 acres

MGP REQUEST:                                            $2,500,000

MATCH:                                                                 $3,000,000


                     SECURE:                                            $10,000 - Implementation (Jonas Philanthropies)

                                                                                    $2,500 - (Rose Foundation)




PROPOSED PROJECT: Acquisition and enhancement of 16 acres along the Petaluma River. The Petaluma River Preserve and Trail project also seeks to create a portion of the public-access Petaluma River corridor trail, as well as a demonstration/nature park on this site, where it comprises sensitive habitat.


BACKGROUND: The Petaluma River is identified in both the City of Petaluma’s General Plan and River Access and Enhancement Plan both call for protection of the river and its natural resources. A proposed development (Sid Commons) is proposed on the 16-acre site that is the subject of this application. A CEQA lawsuit has been filed to oppose the development. The property owners (the Johnsons of Acclaim Properties) have indicated they would be open to the sale of the property and they have managed to suspend the CEQA lawsuit for now, allowing the Protect Petaluma time to identify essential funding opportunities.



                     Program Intent: The proposed project seeks to acquire 16 acres of land along the Petaluma River for restoration and enhancement of natural resources and for public recreation.

                     Need: The proposed project could fulfill goals, objectives, and priorities identified in the City’s General Plan, Petaluma River Access and Enhancement Plan.

                     Benefits: The proposed project would create new outdoor recreational opportunities along the Petaluma River. The proposed project would also protect and enhance natural resources.


                     Readiness: The applicant did not fill out the table with the project schedule in the application. The application did not include an appraisal or other estimation of value for the property to support the funding request. The application proposed a greater than 1:1 match, but less than 1% is secured. The applicant is a newly-formed nonprofit with little experience acquiring land and constructing, operating and maintaining restoration projects and/or public parkland.


RECOMMENDATION:  This project received a low ranking overall, primarily due to lack of readiness and a lack of secured match. This project is not recommended for funding, but the applicant is encouraged to apply in the 2022 cycle once the project is further along. A future application would need to include documentation of a willing seller, documentation from the City of Petaluma that the project is consistent with the City’s General Plan, and an appraisal, amongst other items missing from this application.


1.                     Journeys End Community Park

Average Matrix Score: 59


APPLICANT                                          Burbank Housing Development Corporation                                          

LOCATION:                                            Santa Rosa

SUP. DISTRICT:                                          3

ACREAGE:                                            1 acre (application states 13, but the park will only be 1 acre)

MGP REQUEST:                                            $1,325,096

MATCH:                                                                 $1,766,354


                     SECURE:                                            $150,000 - Project admin (Kaiser Foundation)

$140,283 - Planning/Design/Env Compliance/Permitting (Kaiser Foundation)


ANTICIPATED:                                          $1,252,525 - Construction (Developer)

                                                               $223,546 - O&M (Developer)





PROPOSED PROJECT: The Journey’s End Community Park (JECP) will be a one-acre public, community park centrally located on a 13.31-acre fire recovery site planned for redevelopment. The site was the home of the former Journey’s End Mobile Home Park which was severely damaged in the October 2017 Tubbs Wildfire. The community park will serve as the focal point for the new neighborhood providing a central gathering area and social hub within a new high-density, transit-oriented neighborhood comprised of 162 senior affordable units and up to 370 market rate units. Burbank Housing Development Corporation, under a newly formed development entity known as BRJE Housing Partners LP, will develop the affordable units and design and entitle the project, including the JECP. Any funds awarded under this MGP will supplement Burbank’s contribution to the park construction. Given the limitations on affordable housing financing, the JECP will be constructed by a market rate developer along with the market rate housing units. Redevelopment of the entire site is estimated to cost approximately $273 million. Design, construction and maintenance (over a 10 year period) of the JECP is estimated to cost approximately $3.091 million.


BACKGROUND: The project site was the home of the former Journey’s End Mobile Home Park until it was severely destroyed in October 2017 by the Tubbs Wildfire. In January 2020, the Santa Rosa City Council formally approved closure of the prior mobile home park. Subsequent to that all of the remaining mobile homes were removed from the project site. Today, the project site is vacant with only asphalt and limited vegetation remaining on site.



                     Program Intent: The proposed project would protect a one-acre property for community gathering and recreation.

                     Need: The project would provide a new recreational opportunity in an area of Santa Rosa where few parks exist and no future parks are planned under the City’s General Plan.  The project would also serve future affordable housing residents and employees of nearby businesses, such as Kaiser Permanente.

                     Benefits: The new park would serve more than 1,400 future residents of the redeveloped site, as well as nearby residents and employees, encouraging healthy living opportunities through design.  The project also supports transformation of a space destroyed during 2017 fires and would create a sense of identity in the redesigned space.

                     Readiness: The applicant has submitted concept design and planning application to the City. Burbank Housing has ample experience in in designing, entitling and constructing new affordable housing communities that include recreational amenities. The application proposes a greater than 1:1 match, 16% of which is secured. The market rate developer has yet to be identified, contributing to a lack of readiness for the project.


RECOMMENDATION: This project is not recommended for funding and is encouraged to consider re-applying in 2022 when plans, including identification of a market rate developer, are confirmed. The application received a low ranking overall, primarily due to lack of readiness, the amount of the secured match, and meeting few program intent targets. Additionally, under the proposed project, the public park would remain in private ownership, which is ineligible per the MGP Guidelines.



2.                     Sonoma Garden Park Education Center and Habitat Restoration Demonstration

Average Matrix Score: 59


APPLICANT                                          Sonoma Ecology Center                                          

LOCATION:                                            Sonoma

SUP. DISTRICT:                                          1

ACREAGE:                                            ~ 6 acres                     

MGP REQUEST:                                            $496,895

MATCH:                                                                 $498,500


                     SECURE:                                            $20,000 - Project Admin (Donation and City of Sonoma)

                                                                                    $151,000 - Implementation (donations)

$261,000 - O&M *and education programs (City of Sonoma, SGP sales, volunteers)


ANTICIPATED:                     $16,500 - Planning/Design/Env. Compliance/Permitting (donations, volunteer hours)

$50,000 - Implementation (professional services, donations)




PROPOSED PROJECT: Updated Master Plan in 2019 and the first priority projects are rebuild the Bond homestead as a learning center that includes a public restroom, manage vegetation around the homestead area to make it safe to open to the public and restore oak woodland habitat, and improve the property through installation of habitat hedgerows that will provide multiple environmental benefits and serve as a demonstration that could be replicated by agricultural landowners throughout Sonoma. In addition to the ADA accessible restroom and small office, the learning center will include a septic system, parking area, and accessible paths to the garden. The development of a learning center is deemed ineligible for MGP funding because it is significant infrastructure which is not eligible for funding per the guidelines.


BACKGROUND: In 1977, this site was donated to the City of Sonoma by Pauline Bond and has been operating under an agreement between the City and the Sonoma Ecology Center since 1993. The former Bond homestead was demolished in 2013. The City and SEC have received 2 previous MGPs for work on this property and Ag + Open Space has an existing CE over the property.



                     Program Intent: The proposed project would develop a learning center, including an ADA accessible restroom, on land not currently open to the public. Additionally, the proposed project would remove nonnative and invasive species and plant native plants. This property is already subject to an Ag + Open Space conservation easement therefore no additional open space lands are protected through this project.

                     Need: The City, SEC, and community want to have a permanent restroom facility as opposed to the portable that is currently on the site. This has been identified as a high priority.

                     Benefits: A number of the benefits listed in the application apply to the ineligible task of building a learning center. Other benefits, associated with the eligible restoration component of the project would improve habitat for native plants and animals.


                     Readiness: The proposed project includes a 1:1 match with 86% secured. The applicant has ample experience completing restoration and planting projects.


RECOMMENDATION: This project is not recommended for funding as significant infrastructure/buildings are not eligible for funding. Further, this project received a low ranking overall, particularly in the program intent category, as the property is already subject to a conservation easement and is currently meeting the intent of the program and providing numerous public benefits. Eligible components of the application do not improve the overall ranking for the project.



Prior Board Actions:

November 12, 2019:                     The Board approved updates to the Matching Grant Program.

November 13, 2018:  The Board accepted five projects into the Program for a total funding amount of $3,681,943.

October 25, 2016: The Board accepted seven projects into the Program for a total funding amount of $3,408,124.

October 14, 2014: The Board accepted seven projects into the Program for a total funding amount of $2,582,715.

September 18, 2012:                      The Board accepted staff and subcommittee funding recommendations and accepted six projects into the Program for a total of $2,000,000.

December 6, 2011:                      The Board approved revisions to the Program.


Fiscal Summary


FY 20-21 Adopted

FY 21-22 Projected

FY 22-23 Projected

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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

A total of $5,085,600 in funding is being recommended for approval.  The fiscal impacts of this action will not be realized until Ag + Open Space completes negotiations of all grant related requirements and they are authorized by the Board to execute a Matching Grant Agreement. No budget adjustment is required for the proposed increases. The funding for each project will be budgeted within the fiscal year it is anticipated for completion.


Staffing Impacts:




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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):



1.                     Map of Matching Grant Program Projects: complete, active, and proposed.


Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board:

1.                     2020 Matching Grant Program Guidelines

2.                     2020 Matching Grant Program Application

3.                     2020 Matching Grant Program Applications