Oakmont News Staff Report
Asking the fire department to reevaluate the use of Channel Drive, OVA President Steve Spanier said a recent Community Wildfire Protection Plan report devalues the “importance of evacuating people and saving lives.”
In a detailed letter to Santa Rosa Fire Department, Spanier said the draft document for the Protection Plan seriously undercounts the number of residents who would need to escape in an emergency.
Oakmont has been working to gain emergency egress through Channel Drive, but the fire marshall has said the route must be reserved for emergency vehicles. The Oakmont Community Development Committee recently presented a study to the OVA Board on possible emergency egress routes that avoid an often-bottlenecked Highway 12.
“The Office of the Santa Rosa Fire Marshall has forbidden us from using Channel Drive, because fire emergency vehicles have priority, the road is narrow, and oncoming evacuees would interfere with the fire vehicles. We think this view devalues the importance of evacuating people and saving lives. We believe there is plenty of room for accommodations that will meet the needs of all parties,” Spanier wrote.
He said the plan needs to include accurate information about Oakmont and accommodations that need be made for Oakmont to have better emergency egress. “Describing Oakmont Village as being only 1,631 parcels, when in fact we have over 3,200 homes and 5,000-plus residents, golfers, business owners and employees, and RV drivers considerably understates the need for us to have an alternative egress to Route 12.”
Spanier has invited representatives of the fire marshall’s office to meet with Oakmont leaders and “discuss an arrangement that meets the needs of both parties.”
Links to the draft report CWPP report, Spanier’s letter, a map and the OCDC egress study can be viewed at oakmontvillage.com/news .