Petaluma’s historic Scott Ranch property is home to open meadows, iconic red barns, bucolic Kelly Creek, and habitat for federally threatened California red-legged frogs. And it’s right next door to Helen Putnam Regional Park, a much-loved public open space. When a residential development company bought Scott Ranch and planned to build 93 homes on this sensitive land, Petaluma residents engaged in the CEQA environmental review process and ultimately negotiated with the developers to find a compromise. Thanks to extensive community support, unanimous approval from the city council, and the power of CEQA, the most environmentally sensitive 47 acres of the 58-acre property – including the frog habitat – will be converted into an extension of Putnam Park, with habitat restoration, accessible trails, and protection of the historic barns.

Photo credit: Paige Green

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