The Kenwood Press
News: 08/01/2017

Comments sought for impact of Elnoka development

An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared for the proposed Elnoka project, a 676-unit senior oriented development off of Sonoma Hwy. next to the western edge of Oakmont.

At this point in the process, the City of Santa Rosa is seeking input regarding the scope and content of the EIR, including mitigation measures that should be considered.

All comments should be sent by 5 p.m., Aug. 11, and can be mailed to Senior Planner Andy Gustavson, City of Santa Rosa Planning Division, 100 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa CA, 95405; or email

City planners have created a Notice of Preparation (NOP) that gives a description of the project and probable environmental effects. The NOP can be obtained by emailing Gustavson.

The developer, Oakmont Senior Living (OSL), filed an application for the Elnoka Project earlier this year, a continuing care retirement community with 676 rental living units for those 60 and older, made up of 74 cottages, 528 senior apartments, 62 units in an assisted living and memory care facility, and 12 units of employee housing.

Amenities would include a recreation center, swimming pool, sports and bocce courts, pet parks, community gardens, and walking and bike trials.

According to the NOP, traffic issues will be one area that will be scrutinized carefully, as well as noise and visual impacts, and effects on creeks and wetland areas on the site.

Proposed access to the site would be from a gated entrance on Sonoma Highway, with a secondary entrance from Melita Road. A traffic signal would be required at the Sonoma Highway entrance.

According to the NOP, full build-out of Elnoka would result in approximately 975 residents, and 194 full and part-time employees. There would be an average of 75 employees on site daily.

OSL first bought the property in 2005, and has been trying ever since to develop a housing project that could gain approval from the Oakmont community next door, city planning staff, city politicians, and the general public.

During the course of the city’s planning process, there will be a number of public hearings.