Rohnert Park Residents Still 'Friendly City,' As Advertised

ROHNERT PARK, CA — Is Rohnert Park as friendly as its city motto suggests? Residents think so. Approximately 44,420 people live within the city’s borders in a mix of urban and suburban lifestyles. Once a rural farming community, those farms have disappeared into shopping areas and schools, but residents remain friendly as ever, the city contends.

Rohnert Park was laid out in the 1950s as a master-planned community, one of the first in the nation, according to a VisitSonomaCounty.com spokesperson. The community spans US Highway 101 and is bordered by tall redwoods and towering trees at the borders of the 15 neighborhoods, each with its own school. Nearby, the Russian River flows, Roberts Lake, and numerous restaurants, activity centers, golf courses, and weekly farmers markets always ensure something to do.

The welcome sign for drivers heading into Rohnert Park was erected in October 1961, and the city added its motto in the 1980s, thereby becoming “The Friendly City.” That sign was renovated for the town’s 50th anniversary in 2012.

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Niche.com ranks Rohnert Park in the top third of diverse cities to live in California. According to that survey, it is in the top half of Best places for young professionals to live. Sonoma County ranks at #2 and #3, respectively. Multiple coffee shops, restaurants, and sparks lend to the small-town community feeling. Still, about half of the residents are renting.

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Residents sing Rohnert Park’s praises for the scenery and the “homey feeling” that makes it a great place to live. Others are concerned about the population boom and difficulty finding affordable housing.

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Businessman Robert Cantu, of Western Builders, reflected on what makes Rohnert Park such a friendly community on the city’s website.

“After years of layering on state, regional and local government regulations, the viability and practicality of construction projects is more challenged than ever. Policies are not often solely in the hands of our local government bodies but procedures and culture are. The City of Rohnert Park is ‘The Darling’ of Sonoma County when doing business with the City. They begin with the end in mind and with an attitude that makes navigating the complicated processes of entitlement and permitting a streamlined success!”

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