Sonoma County Office of Education Buys Residential Property in Pursuit of Housing for Educators
The Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) on Wednesday, Nov. 30, completed the purchase of a residential property at 3280 Juniper Ave. in Santa Rosa, adjacent to SCOE’s Amarosa Academy campus.
With the $630,000 purchase that reflects the property’s appraised value, SCOE now owns a contiguous, rectangle-shaped parcel of land stretching from the front of the Amarosa campus along Dutton Avenue back to Juniper Avenue. The county office of education will be asking the City of Santa Rosa to rezone the land to allow for construction of a high-density housing development targeted toward educators and other public employees.
Current plans, which are subject to revision, call for the building of at least 60 rental units, although details are still being finalized. The housing, known as Casitas de Amarosa, will be on the same parcel as Amarosa Academy, an alternative education campus that serves about 45 7th through 12th grade students who have experienced challenges in traditional school settings.
Incoming Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Amie R. Carter, Ed.D., is prioritizing making Sonoma County a more welcoming home for prospective educators, and building housing that school staff can afford is a key step toward that goal.
“Building housing that school staff can afford is essential to our mission of serving students,” Carter said. “This housing will help us realize our goal of strengthening and diversifying our educational workforce.
“We are excited to cooperate with the City of Santa Rosa, Amarosa’s neighbors, and state officials as we seek to get our campus rezoned and start construction,” said Carter, whose term begins in January.
The purchase of the Juniper Avenue parcel and the initial development plans were initiated by current county Superintendent Steven D. Herrington, Ph.D., who is retiring when his third four-year term expires in December.
“Casitas de Amarosa was one of my main project goals during my last term,” Herrington said. “COVID delayed the project from moving forward, but I am so proud to have it back on track.
“As the project moves forward, we will be in discussions with the California Housing Finance Authority and other state and local partners, mindful that Casitas de Amarosa may serve as a model for other government agencies seeking to make their communities more affordable for public employees.”