Downtown Specific Plan Area Revitalization

Cotati, California

Foothill Associates managed preparation of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/ MND) and National Environmental Policy Acty (NEPA) Categorical Exclusion on behalf of the City of Cotati relevant to street improvements proposed as components of the City’s Downtown Specific Plan. We also coordinated with Caltrans District 10 and managed the preparation of site-specific technical studies, including California tiger salamander habitat assessment and Section 106 evaluation.


The project area includes Federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Jurisdictional Aquatic Features and is located on documented potential habitat for several species, including the federally-listed endangered Sonoma County population of California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense). In addition, project development requires right-of-way acquisition within and adjacent to the historic downtown plaza, which is considered a California Historic Landmark, although the site was previously not evaluated under National Register criteria. Historic evaluation was required for structural resources on parcels where right-of-way acquisition was proposed and was required to include an evaluation of the Downtown Plaza for eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places


Foothill Associates closely coordinated with the City of Cotati and resource agencies (Caltrans, State Historic Preservation Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife) to accurately document site-specific resources and conditions and provide agencies with adequate documentation under which proposed improvements could be authorized, including informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relevant to development occurring within a subsection of the greater project corridor and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers verification of delineated jurisdictional aquatic features within the project boundaries.


The City of Cotati is proposing improvements within an approximate 1,600 linear foot area along Old Redwood Highway between La Plaza and Highway 116 as the initial phase of the Downtown Cotati Specific Plan. The area was underdeveloped and blighted. However, the community envisions the northern gateway as a bicycle friendly, walkable, aesthetically pleasing safe environment consistent with the adopted Downtown Specific Plan, an Association of Bay Area Governments Planned Priority Development Area. Improvements proposed by the City include upgrades to utility infrastructure, roadway rebuilding and resurfacing, construction of additional parking and Class II bike lanes, as well as curb, gutter, sidewalk, and landscape improvements.


California tiger salamander habitat assessment.