Community Update for March 29, 2024

Posted on March 29, 2024

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Happy Friday, Petaluma!

We are feeling the spring energy as we move forward with exciting projects and special events all over town. Read on for important updates on the Petaluma North SMART station, Oak Hill Well, D Street, Howard Street, and Kenilworth Park projects. Don’t miss the upcoming opportunities to get involved!

Then, be sure to check your inbox next week for a special Safe Streets Community Update edition dedicated to all the work being done to make our roads safer for all who travel them.

Thanks for being you, Petaluma. Have a wonderful weekend!



New Interim Director of Public Works & Utilities, Gina Benedetti-Petnic

The City of Petaluma is proud to announce that lifelong Petaluma resident, Gina Benedetti-Petnic, will be taking the lead as interim Director of Public Works & Utilities (PW&U) following the recent departure of Christopher Bolt, who resigned to take a new position as the Director of Engineering and Operations at Stanford University. We are grateful for Christopher’s efforts and leadership during his two and half years with the City, and we wish him the very best in his new position. 

Gina joined our team in 2018 as the City Engineer and was promoted to the Assistant Director of Public Works and Utilities in 2020, where she helped guide and manage significant City projects including the reconstruction of N. McDowell Blvd., the upcoming Lucchesi Skatepark, and many more highly impactful projects around town. 

“As a lifelong Petaluman with deep roots in this community, I can think of no better way to show my love for Petaluma than to lend my skills and experience to supporting projects that touch the lives of so many who live here.” Gina explains, “Engineering has always been a passion as it is a very hands-on way of creating a better experience for communities. I am honored to do this work in this city I care so deeply about.”  

Learn more at the news post HERE.



Downtown Parklet Survey

Share your thoughts on the Petaluma Parklets “Free Range Program”

In response to COVID-era restrictions on indoor dining, the city launched a pilot program called Free Range, which repurposed public parking spaces into places for our community to gather, support local restaurants, and connect through food. Now, we’re asking for your feedback on the future of Parklets in Petaluma’s downtown. Take our survey below to share your thoughts!




Oak Hill Well Update

We are crossing the final items off of our pre-construction checklist and anticipate construction of the Oak Hill Well to begin in early April. 

Well construction is expected to last 4 to 6 weeks. Actual drilling should only take approximately 5 days (drilling will occur for a couple of days, pause to fine tune final placement, then resume for a couple of days until finished).  

We have updated our site plan to include sound walls around the complete construction site, rather than the smaller sections that were originally planned. This will help reduce construction noise and ensure the least disturbance to park goers and residents.  

Thank you for your patience as we check off the final items on our pre-construction checklist and move forward with this important project.

Visit to learn more. 



McDowell Closure April 13 & 14   

Petaluma North SMART station construction is underway! Completion of the station is expected in late December 2024.

Construction will require reconstructing the railroad crossing at N. McDowell Blvd., which will necessitate the closure of N. McDowell Blvd. from Corona Road to Southpoint Blvd the weekend of April 13 & 14.  

The closure will begin around 10 pm on Friday, April 12, and is anticipated to last through the early morning hours of Monday, April 15. A detour will be in place using Sunrise Parkway, Maria Drive, Sonoma Mountain Parkway, and Corona Road. All residents and businesses will continue to have access during the closure. If possible, please plan to use an alternate route during this time to avoid traffic delays.

Also during this weekend, the SMART rail line will be closed from the Sonoma County Airport station to the Cotati station Regular weekend service will be provided from the Petaluma Downtown station to the Larkspur station. The dates of the Partial System Closures may change due to weather conditions impacting construction.

Visit to learn more and sign up to receive updates from SMART.



Join Us Monday, April 8 to Discuss D Street

We have been exploring ways to improve safety and accessibility on the D Street and 5th Street corridors. These projects will allow us to gather traffic and safety data ahead of the full D Street reconstruction project currently scheduled for 2026. 

 Thank you to all who have taken the time to share your perspective.  With your input in mind, we will be presenting design options to the City Council for consideration April 8, 2024. 

Please join us to view the designs and share your thoughts.  

When: Monday April 8, City Council meeting begins at 6:30pm
Where: Council Chambers at City Hall, 11 English Street 

To view the meeting agenda, materials, instructions to access Spanish interpretation, and information on how to provide written comments ahead of the meeting, please visit:

Visit and to learn more. 



Mark Your Calendars – Howard & Liberty Street Discussion Wednesday, April 10

Later this year, we will be making upgrades on Howard and some nearby side streets to improve safety and accessibility for all road users, update underground water and sewer lines, and smooth the roadway surface.  

Through community feedback, we’ve learned that safety at the intersection of Liberty/Howard/A Streets is a high priority. 

One idea is to convert Liberty Street to one-way (northbound) between the A Street and Western Avenue intersections. Potential benefits could include decreased traffic speed, increased parking, and improved safety conditions. 


  • Learn more about the proposed change on Liberty Street 
  • Explore potential safety and accessibility benefits 
  • Review and provide feedback on the proposed improvements 

WHEN: Wednesday, April 10, 6pm
WHERE: Council Chambers at City Hall, 11 English Street, Petaluma  

Spanish interpretation is available upon request. To arrange for interpretation, please email: [email protected]

Visit to learn more.



Kenilworth Park Next Steps – Join the Meeting Wednesday April 17 

Thanks to all who joined us for the Kenilworth Park Revitalization community drop-in event last month! We received some great feedback on the latest park design plans and concepts. Some of the things our community wants to see in the new design are:

  • Lots of shade, plenty of trees and natural play features
  • Safer pedestrian access to the park from the surrounding areas

Artist, Oleg Lobykin, brought models of his proposed artwork for the park to the event. Attendees enjoyed speaking to the artist, sharing how they would like to interact and play with the art pieces, and providing feedback on which pieces they liked most. Interested in the proposed public art and process? Please visit to learn more.  

Join Us Wednesday, April 17! 

Next, we will be sharing our updated design at a joint meeting of the Recreation, Music, and Parks Commission and Public Art Committee. Please join us and share your thoughts on what the future of Kenilworth Park should look, feel, and play like? 

When: Wednesday April 17, 6pm
Where: Council Chambers at City Hall, 11 English Street 

Spanish interpretation is available upon request. Please email [email protected] to request interpretation. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please visit to learn more.



Blue Zones Petaluma Kickoff

Sunday, April 14th, 12 pm – 3pm
SRJC, Petaluma Campus

680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma, CA

Come learn about our Blue Zones Project Petaluma! Discover the secrets of the blue zones – rare longevity hotspots where people live the longest, healthiest lives – and connect with your neighbors and community. This FREE event will have food tastings, music, inspiring activities, movement, and fun for people of all ages. RSVP HERE



Volunteers Needed!

Butter & Egg Days Parade & Festival
Saturday, April 20th

It takes a small army to put on a successful parade that brings 30,000+ people into downtown Petaluma. Be a part of the action by volunteering to help with the Butter & Egg Days Parade on Saturday, April 20th. There are several areas for which volunteers can sign up, including safety monitors, green/sustainability stations, banner carriers, beverage gardens, set up and parade logistics, and more.

All volunteers should plan to attend the Volunteer Training Meeting on April 9th. Dinner will be provided as well as details about the event, a meet and greet with team leaders, and an overview of individual tasks for Parade Day. A few weeks after the event we’ll host a Volunteer Thank You Party, which includes dinner and a chance to win fun raffle prizes.

Sign-up to volunteer online at, simply click the “Volunteer Application” button. The minimum age requirement to volunteer is 13. Students can receive community service hours for volunteering. For more information or to have a volunteer form emailed to you, please contact 762-9348 or email [email protected].




The City of Petaluma is looking for talented people to join our team! Please click the links below for more information about our open positions. CLICK HERE for a full list of career opportunities.

Part Time Airport Ramp Attendant

Part Time Recreation Leader (Summer Camps)

Police Officer (Current Academy Attendees and Graduates)

Police Officer – Lateral

Police Officer Trainee

Public Works Inspector I/II/Senior




The City of Petaluma is hard at work for our community. Please check out our upcoming meetings and click on the links below for more information:

April 3, 6:30pm – Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting

April 4, 6:00pm – Airport Commission Meeting

April 8, 6:00pm – City Council/PCDSA Regular Meeting

April 9, 6:00pm – Planning Commission Meeting

April 11, 9:00am – Senior Advisory Committee Meeting

April 11, 4:00pm – Transit Advisory Committee Meeting

April 11, 6:30pm – Climate Action Commission Meeting

April 15, 6:30pm – City Council/PCDSA Regular Meeting

Check for upcoming meetings, agendas, and how to participate on the City’s meeting webpage:

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