Age-Friendly Sonoma County is committed to ensuring that Sonoma County is a great place to grow up and to grow old. We are here to help our cities become more “Age-Friendly” fostering health, well-being, inclusion and participation – across the lifespan.
An Age-Friendly Community benefits the whole community.
To support this process, we are meeting with city leaders to inform them about the Age-Friendly Sonoma County initiative, learn about areas of existing natural alignment and provide Age-Friendly resources that we believe will be helpful to their on-going planning and services.
Below are some current highlights of this city’s process…
Our First Meeting – Petaluma City Leaders and Age Friendly Sonoma County:
We have a meeting scheduled with City Manager John C. Brown on October 10, 2016.
How is the city incorporating an Age-Friendly perspective in city planning and strategic goal considerations?
More information coming soon.
Petaluma’s Existing Age-Friendly Alignment
Strategic Goals for City Planning and Development
The City of Petaluma has a long and successful history of collaborative partnership with local non-profits and community service agencies. These partnerships have produced innovative programs that have benefited people of all ages throughout the community, particularly more vulnerable populations of seniors, low income families and the homeless. Since the early 1980’s, through many election cycles, the Petaluma City Council has prioritized affordable housing and community development activities to assist people with low and moderate incomes, including older adults who need and rely on such supportive programs and services.
In the current 2015-2023 Petaluma Housing Element Report, the City maintains this vision seeking to “preserve the City’s existing affordable housing and ensure the long-term affordability of new below-market rate units” (Goal 5). Policies within this stated Goal 5 include: maintaining the Mobile Home Rent Stabilization Ordinance; promoting the construction and maintenance of housing for the elderly; continuing to support the “Rebuilding Together – Petaluma” program and more. These policy goals reflect continued emphasis on meaningful priorities that address fundamental “Age-Friendly” concerns that can enable older adults to “age in place.”
Appendix A of the Housing Element provides a thoughtful discussion about the needs of the City’s senior population, including social and infrastructure context. In it, the City addresses issues that are common to seniors throughout Sonoma County including the need for house sharing opportunities and the value of allowing for more junior second units/accessory “apartments” in residential homes. In addition it encourages the importance of establishing senior housing in locations near public transit (for people who no longer drive) and the necessity for affordable “auxillary services” such as housecleaning, healthcare, and food access “when illness and disability limit their capacity to fend for themselves.”
Petaluma is one of just four cities in the county that currently has a Senior Citizen Advisory Committee (the others identified are Healdsburg, Rohnert Park and Windsor). This City Committee helps identify areas of interest and need for seniors and active adults and provides advice to the City Council and other departments pertaining to the well-being of Petaluma seniors. There is clearly a natural bridge of interest, vision and action between the “Age-Friendly” initiative and the existing and continued good work happening on with and on behalf of older adults in Petaluma.
Petaluma has a wide array of social, health, housing, transportation, cultural and other community services that are available to older adults and the community at large. See below.
Current Age-Friendly Community Assets:
Petaluma Senior Citizen Advisory Commission
iRide Petaluma - Senior Transportation Program
Petaluma Regional Public Library
Petaluma People Services Center – Senior Programs
Rebuilding Together – Petaluma
Additional Petaluma Resources:
Map – Petaluma and County Unincorporated Areas
Petaluma Historical Library and Museum
Santa Rosa Junior College – Petaluma Campus
Petaluma 2010 ADA and Accessibility Plan
Becoming Even More “Age-Friendly”
According to the 2016-2020 Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging Area Plan, adults 60 years and older comprise 21% of Petaluma’s total population and the city has been proactive in seeking new ways to meet the needs of its senior residents. Like elsewhere in the county, state and world, the number of older adults is projected to increase in Petaluma over the coming years and decades and clearly city leaders are thoughtfully addressing ways to meet the opportunities and challenges. This is true regardless of whether Petaluma and the other Sonoma County cities decide to pursue the formal path of becoming a World Health Organization “Age-Friendly Community.”
Age-Friendly Sonoma County is here to provide resources and support to city leaders and a growing number of Age-Friendly community advocate volunteers. We are here to help ensure that Sonoma County is a great place to grow up and to grow old, promoting well-being across the lifespan.
Age-Friendly Sonoma County Volunteers – Petaluma:
County Steering Committee Member – Petaluma Representative:
These volunteers will provide leadership for the countywide Age-Friendly initiative including guiding principles for the first two years of the WHO/AARP program process.
Petaluma Age-Friendly City Task Force Members:
These volunteers will guide the Age-Friendly process for their city. They will include city residents and other individuals who live in the surrounding unincorporated area that identifies with this particular city.
Age-Friendly Community Advocates:
These volunteers will provide Age-Friendly advocacy through shorter term, more focused and one-time activities that support the work of the County Steering Committee, the City Task Forces and other related Age-Friendly events.
To learn more about Age-Friendly Volunteering, click here. We look forward to hearing from you!