Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sebastopol's Gravenstien Apple festival

45th Annual Gravenstein Apple Fair

Sebastopol's Gravenstein Festival is a fun event where you can spend the day, learning, eating, drinking, and enjoying good food.
Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol, CA




Heres what to expect:


  • Live music on 2 stages
  • Arts and crafts
  • Food vendors
  • Cider, local beer, and wine
  • Children's activities
  • Culinary demonstrations
  • Life on the farm
  • Heirloom Gravenstein apples



When:

Saturday August 11th 10am - 6 pm
Sunday August 12th 10am - 6 pm

Nice display of tractors over the decades


Where:

Ragle Ranch Park
500 Ragle Rd
Sebastopol, CA

Cost: 

Adults $15
Seniors & veterans $12
Children (6-12) $8


More info:





I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sold 5630 Del Monte





Rincon Valley





Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2
Yr built: 1960
1830 sq ft
Lot: 9583
Sold: 8/20/2012
Price: $380,000

Great backyard with view of Annadel

Nice Harvest Yellow oven

Nice deck off the living room

Dated kitchen


Living room/Dining room combo







I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


Wine Country Polo's Premier Event

Wounded Veterans Benefit Polo Tournament

Wounded Veterans Benefit
Wine Country Polo

Come and enjoy a day of fine food, wine tasting, champagne, and polo in Rincon Valley.  This is the 9th annual benefit for veterans in our community that have been wounded and need our support.  I attended the event for the first time last year, and had a blast!  Met some great people, learned a lot about polo, won a private tasting for 6 at Trione Winery and brought home some fantastic wine.  

Photo by: Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties "Your Rincon Valley Realtor"
Who doesn't love a horse!

The event starts at 10am
The opening ceremony is at 11:30
Silent Auction
Polo game #1 begins at 12:00
VIP lunch begins at halftime (12:30)
Vaulting Demonstration
The Chandon Champagne Divot Stomp 1:30
Ladies hat contest 1:45
Polo game #2 2:30
Awards 3:30









One of our favorite annual events


When:  Sunday Aug 12th 10am - 3:30pm
Where: Wine Country Polo Fields Oakmont
Cost: $65 - $175 pp
More information: Polo


Enjoy lunch under the shade of the trees
Photo by: Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties
WWII jeep on display




I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sonoma County Horse Racing

I'm excited about 2 events that are coming up


          • Sonoma County Horse Racing
          • Hat Day at the racetrack

Photo by: Will Bucquoy ~ WB Photography


I'm not big into betting on the the horses,  but every year when the county fair comes around  Gwen and I go to Hat Day at the track.  Here's why:
  • For $65 you are invited to a private track side lunch
  • Admission to the fair
  • Grandstand seating for a day of Horse racing
  • No-host bar
  • Hat competition
  • Silent Auction
  • Raffle
It is a fun way to spend the day at the track and meet interesting people.  When the lunch is over Gwen and I hit the grandstand for a few races.
Gwen showing off her silly "Chicken Hat" Phot by: Will Bucquoy WB Photography


The Sonoma County Fair: Aug 2 - 12th
Wine country Horse Racing: Aug 2 -5th and Aug 9- 12th
Hat Day: Aug 11th 12:30 - 5
Tickets: $65 ea
More information: Hat Day





I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


Survey of Rincon Valley Homes Sold in June 2018

Single Family Homes

(excluding Oakmont)

Rincon Valley Single Family Home Sales June 2018
Numbers and letters to the left coorospond with sales on the map

Devil's in the details: click anywhere on the data graph to enlarge it



I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


Friday, July 20, 2018

How Times Have Changed

Real Estate: Then and Now


CPS, a poorly chosen name for a real estate company
I became a licensed California Sales Associate in 2003.  I worked for a major franchise in Northern California but I did not really like it.  I felt it was set up to operate as if we were all stupid.  It seemed that the company rules/regulations were designed to protect the franchise from the dumbest of the dumb.  I left and became a broker as early as I could, about 3 years into it (2006).  I started Saint Francis Properties and focused on serving the Rincon Valley community 
Saint Francis Properties, serving Rincon Valley since 2006

Back in the early days, print media was king!  I spent tons of money running my listings in the classified section of the Press Democrat and taking out half and full-page ads in Homes and Land Magazine.  Print media got the best results, but it came at a high cost.  When people said "It takes money to make money in real estate", they meant it!  I'd easily spend $1000 a month advertising my listings, and my services.  

It's easy for anyone to see homes for sale with online tools
Buyer's would meet me at the brokerage, and I'd drive them around for half a day looking at homes that I thought might interest them.  I'd try to limit the number of homes to 5 or 6 because people would get bored, or confused about all the homes they'd seen.  Now, buyers find their own homes on the internet using sights like Realtor.com, or GreatHomes.org.  They call me and say "I'd like to see 5193 Firestone", and I meet them there.  It's rare that I drive clients around anymore.  

I have a hard time saying that anybody inspired or prepared me very well within our office.  It was "sink or swim", and you better learn to swim fast!  I think the turning point for me was in 2005 when I took a Technology in Real Estate seminar by Dick Betts at our local association office when I made a concerted effort to have an online presence.  

Dick talked about the power of the mobile devices comparing Palm, Motorola, and Blackberry.  Remember when the iPhone wasn't even discussed?  He spent about half our time together talking about the power of blogging.  I'd never heard of it!   He talked about ActiveRain, RealTown, and some other platforms.  I'd say that was the best advice I have ever gotten from anybody regarding my business.  Some of my original posts still come up in Google searches and have resulted in many closed real estate deals.  

Fast forward 15 years.  I rarely use print media except to advertise my open houses.  I have noticed that most of the visitors to my open houses learn of them through apps like Trulia, Zillow, and GreatHomes.org.  Perhaps the open house guide in the paper will be coming to an end soon too.  I blog weekly and still get calls from clients who found me while searching the internet for a Rincon Valley Realtor. 

If you are a new agent,  hang in there and be proactive with marketing.  If you have been in the business for a while, embrace technology and stay in the game.  Don't sit idle.  Technology is a fast game changer.  Agents and brokers need to predict what the next big change is going to be.  It is no longer important to have a brick and mortar store on Main Street.  Now you need to be accessible on the internet.  Be prepared for business models like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin to try to take your market share away with automated services.  Ask yourself, what will real estate look like 5 years from now? 


I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


FAQ: What are Liquidated Damages

Liquidated Damages Explained



Introduction 

Real estate transactions sometimes fail; that’s a fact of life. When they do, the parties face the potentially bewildering task of figuring out who might be at fault and whether either has recourse against the other. The resolution of contract disputes can be quite complex.

Liquidated damages clauses can eliminate some of this complexity. When made a part of a real property purchase contract, a liquidated damages clause enables a buyer and seller to agree up front, before problems arise, the amount of monetary damages a party will be entitled to in the event the other party fails to perform properly (i.e., if the other party "breaches" or "defaults on" the contract).

While liquidated damages clauses can be used in many different ways, this legal memorandum only addresses clauses liquidating damages to a seller in the event of a buyer’s breach of a real property purchase contract—the most common type of liquidated damages clause used in the real estate industry. Liquidated damages clauses liquidating damages to a buyer in the event of a seller’s breach, in leases, or in other types of contracts may be subject to different rules, and generally should not be used without first consulting with an attorney.

Q 1. What does the typical liquidated damages clause in a real property purchase contract say?

A. Liquidated damages clauses in real property purchase contracts can be drafted in a wide variety of ways. However, most such clauses provide that, if the buyer fails to complete the purchase as a result of his or her default, the seller is entitled to the buyer's deposit as compensation for the buyer’s breach. While a liquidated damages clause can, in many cases, identify an amount of money other than the buyer's deposit as liquidated damages, the buyer's deposit is the most commonly used benchmark.

Screen shot of Liquidated Damages paragraph in a 2017 CAR purchase agreement


Q 2. Must a liquidated damages clause comply with any special legal requirements to be deemed enforceable?

A. Yes. A liquidated damages clause liquidating damages to a seller in the event of a buyer's breach of a real property purchase contract is presumptively valid if:

The amount of money identified as liquidated damages is not excessive (see Question 3); and
The clause satisfies certain formatting requirements (see Question 4). 1
Contracts for the sale of subdivision interests regulated by California's Subdivided Lands Act (generally new subdivisions of five or more parcels) must comply with certain additional requirements, as discussed below.

Q 3. Are there any limits on how much money a seller can safely collect from a buyer as liquidated damages?

A. To be deemed valid, a liquidated damages clause in a real property purchase contract liquidating damages to a seller should reflect a "reasonable estimate" of the actual loss that the seller would suffer in the event of a buyer's breach. 2 While the "reasonableness" of a liquidated damages clause depends on many factors, the basic objective of the law is that sellers not use liquidated damages clauses to "punish" buyers unfairly, or to make a large profit over and above their actual financial injury.

An additional, more specific rule applies if the real property being sold is a dwelling containing not more than four residential units, one of which the buyer intends, at the time the purchase contract is made, to occupy as a principal residence. In these types of transactions, a liquidated damages clause identifying all or part of a buyer's deposit as liquidated damages will be presumed reasonable if the amount actually paid pursuant to the clause does not exceed more than 3% of the property's selling price. A party challenging the validity of such a clause (typically the buyer) would have the burden of proving that the amount identified is unreasonable. Conversely, if the amount actually paid exceeds 3% of the selling price, the liquidated damages clause is presumed to be unreasonable, and the party seeking the damages (typically the seller) might have to prove that the amount identified is reasonable.3

Parties to residential real property purchase contracts usually should not agree to a liquidated damages clause that identifies more than 3%of the selling price as liquidated damages without discussing the matter with an attorney. For this reason, liquidated damages clauses in many preprinted real property purchase contracts, including those published by C.A.R., automatically limit liquidated damages to 3% of a residential property’s selling price, to prevent buyers and sellers from inadvertently agreeing to a potentially excessive amount of liquidated damages.

For sales of subdivision interests regulated by California's Subdivided Lands Act, the law specifically limits the liquidated damages a subdivider can collect from a defaulting buyer to the amount of purchase money advanced by the buyer toward the purchase of the property.4

Q 4. Does a liquidated damages clause have to be in any special format?

A. To be deemed valid, a liquidated damages clause in a real property purchase contract liquidating damages to a seller should conform to the following formatting requirements:

If the contract is preprinted, the clause must be in at least 10-point bold type, or contrasting red print in at least 8-point bold type.
The clause must be separately signed by each party to the contract. 5
Liquidated damages clauses in C.A.R.'s purchase agreements conform to all applicable formatting requirements.

Q 5. What is the potential benefit of a liquidated damages clause in a real property purchase contract?

A. A liquidated damages clause provides a buyer and seller with a degree of certainty; they know at the beginning of their transaction the amount of money the buyer might forfeit, and the amount the seller might recover, in the event the buyer breaches the contract. Fixing the amount of the seller's recovery in advance may make it easier to resolve subsequent disputes between the buyer and the seller.

Q 6. Given the benefits of liquidated damages clauses, shouldn't buyers and sellers always insist on one?

A. Not necessarily. A liquidated damages clause is an estimate of the damages a seller might be entitled to in the event a buyer were to breach a contract. This estimate could differ significantly from the actual damages ultimately suffered by a seller.

For example, assume that a buyer’s deposit was $5,000, but the actual financial loss to the seller when that buyer wrongfully failed to perform ended up being $7,000. In this case, a liquidated damages clause fixing the seller’s recovery at $5,000 would probably preclude the seller from recovering the additional $2,000 of damages. Here, the seller might regret having agreed to liquidated damages. On the other hand, assume that the actual financial loss to the seller ended up being only $4,000. In this case, a liquidated damages clause could result in the buyer forfeiting more than the seller’s actual damages, and the buyer might regret having agreed to liquidated damages.

Q 7. Should a REALTOR® advise a client whether or not to agree to a liquidated damages clause?

A. No. As illustrated in the previous question, the decision to agree or not agree to a liquidated damages clause may depend on a combination of legal and economic factors, along with a client's own personal concerns. Though many REALTORS®' clients decide to agree to liquidated damages clauses, a client with serious questions regarding such a clause should consider discussing the matter with an attorney if needed.

Q 8. Does a liquidated damages clause automatically entitle the seller to the buyer's deposit if a transaction does not close?

A. No. As already stated, a liquidated damages clause only determines the amount of money a seller can recover from a buyer, and then only if the seller can prove that the buyer breached the contract. A buyer may fail to close a transaction for a variety of acceptable reasons (e.g., where the buyer's obligation to purchase was contingent on the buyer obtaining financing, and the buyer could not reasonably obtain financing). To recover liquidated damages, the seller generally must prove in court or arbitration that the buyer's failure to close the transaction was wrongful.

A limited exception exists for certain sales of subdivision interests regulated by California's Subdivided Lands Act. A subdivider’s contract may include a procedure whereby an escrow holder is authorized to release a buyer's deposit to the subdivider pursuant to a liquidated damages clause if the subdivider provides a specified notice to the escrow holder and buyer declaring the buyer to be in default, and the buyer does not object to the subdivider’s notice.6

Q 9. If a buyer and seller disagree as to whether the buyer breached a contract, can the seller refuse to release the buyer’s funds being held in escrow?

A. Generally, a prudent seller will instruct an escrow holder not to release escrowed funds to a buyer only if he or she has a good faith belief that the buyer breached the contract. Without such good faith belief, the seller runs the risk that the buyer will institute a lawsuit or arbitration, not just to recover the escrowed funds, but also to recover penalties or damages from the seller.

If the subject property is real property containing one to four residential units, one of which, at the time the escrow was created, the buyer intended to occupy, an additional, more specific rule applies. This rule provides that, unless the seller is withholding the buyer's funds pursuant to a good faith dispute with the buyer, the seller's failure to authorize the release of the funds within 30 days following a written demand from the buyer may subject the seller to a penalty equal to three times the amount of the undisputed funds (but not less than $100 nor more than $1,000), in addition to reasonable attorney's fees. A "good faith dispute" is defined, in part, as a reasonable belief of one's legal entitlement to withhold the escrowed funds.7

If the property is part of a subdivision regulated by California's Subdivided Lands Act and the escrow does not close on or before the mutually agreed closing date, any portion of the buyer's deposit(s) not being claimed as liquidated damages by the subdivider must be returned to the buyer within 15 days after the agreed closing date. This obligation must be stated specifically in the subdivider’s contract.8

Q 10. If a buyer and seller disagree as to whether the buyer breached a contract, can an escrow holder honor a buyer's request to release his or her funds?

A. Once a buyer and seller have properly executed escrow instructions to an escrow holder, the escrow holder generally will not release funds to a buyer over a seller’s objection unless so ordered pursuant to litigation or arbitration proceedings.

Q 11. Could a seller collect monetary damages from a buyer for breaching a real property purchase contract that did not contain a liquidated damages clause?

A. Yes. The fact that a real property purchase contract does not contain a liquidated damages clause does not mean that a buyer could escape liability for failing to perform. It simply means that the amount of damages the seller could recover would not have been pre-negotiated, and therefore the seller might have to prove, in court or arbitration, the amount of his or her actual monetary injury. Establishing the financial loss resulting from a breach of contract can be a complex process, and may require the presentation of evidence in court or arbitration. Generally, a seller will need the assistance of an attorney to properly calculate the actual damages he or she has sustained in a failed real estate transaction.

Q 12. If a buyer and seller agree to a liquidated damages clause, are the seller's remedies limited to pursuing liquidated damages, or could the seller pursue other legal remedies, such as specific performance?

A. Monetary damages represent only one type of legal remedy available to a seller. There are other types of legal remedies that a seller can pursue when a buyer breaches a contract, including specific performance (a type of legal action to compel a party to a contract to complete his or her performance under the contract). Typically, a liquidated damages clause only limits the amount of monetary damages a seller can collect as compensation for a buyer's breach of contract; it does not by itself prevent the seller from pursuing an action for specific performance.9

For sales of subdivision interests regulated by California’s Subdivided Lands Act, the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) publishes a sample liquidated damages clause which includes language limiting the subdivider’s remedies to liquidated damages.10  Because the DRE enforces the Subdivided Lands Act, the provisions of its sample liquidated damages clause may provide subdividers with guidance in drafting enforceable liquidated damages clauses.

Q 13. The previous question suggests that sellers can often choose from amongst various legal remedies when a buyer defaults. Which is the best legal remedy?

A. Choosing an appropriate legal remedy usually depends on many different factors, including the extent of one's injury, the complexity of pursuing a particular remedy, and potential legal costs. For example, an action for specific performance, to compel a buyer to complete his or her contractual obligations, is generally much more complex than an action to recover liquidated damages, may be more difficult to win, and maybe more costly than an action to recover liquidated damages. A seller who is interested in exploring the benefits and detriments associated with different legal remedies generally should consult an attorney.

Q 14.  If a buyer makes more than one deposit pursuant to a purchase contract, will a liquidated damages clause entitle a seller to all of the buyer's deposits if the buyer defaults?

A. Not necessarily. If the real property being sold is a dwelling containing not more than four residential units, one of which the buyer intends, at the time the purchase contract is made,to occupy as a principal residence, each payment that is to constitute liquidated damages to the seller must be supported by a separately signed or initialed, properly formatted liquidated damages clause. In addition, the total of all such deposits would be used in determining whether the clause exceeds the "3% presumption" discussed in Question 3.11 In limited cases, an increased deposit may be available to a seller as liquidated damages despite the failure of the parties to execute a separate liquidated damages clause, but generally only where there is other evidence that the parties were aware that the increased deposit would be subject to a liquidated damages clause.12

C.A.R. publishes Receipt for Increased Deposit/Liquidated Damages (C.A.R. Form RID), which allows the parties to a real property purchase contract to agree to multiple liquidated damages clauses covering multiple deposits.

Q 15. What would happen if fewer than all parties initialed a liquidated damages clause?

A. Because liquidated damages clauses are optional, it is important that contracting parties clearly indicate in their contract whether or not they intend to be bound by a liquidated damages clause. If some, but not all, parties initial a liquidated damages clause, it can be difficult to determine whether they intended to be bound by the clause, or whether they intended to enter into a contract at all. Some purchase contracts attempt to prevent such ambiguities by specifically stating that the contract is not binding until all parties reach an agreement to initial or not initial the liquidated damages clause. C.A.R.'s purchase agreements typically include language to this effect.

In the absence of such contractual language, the enforceability of the clause would be subject to interpretation by the courts. In one case, a California appellate court ruled that a liquidated damages clause, though not properly executed, was enforceable or voidable at the buyer’s option, but not the seller's option.13   Various factors can affect the outcome of lawsuits, making it possible for different courts to reach different conclusions on similar facts. For this reason, contracting parties generally should not rely on court opinions as justification for leaving ambiguities in a contract.

Q 16.  Is a "nonrefundable deposit" clause the same as a liquidated damages clause?

A. No. A nonrefundable deposit clause typically provides that the buyer must forfeit his or her deposit to the seller even if the buyer has a valid reason for not closing the transaction. By comparison, a liquidated damages clause entitles a seller to the buyer’s deposit only if the buyer breaches the contract (see Question 8). It can be difficult to draft an enforceable nonrefundable deposit clause; only an attorney should attempt this.

This legal article is just one of the many legal publications and services offered by C.A.R. to its members.

Readers who require specific advice should consult an attorney.

The information contained in this article was obtained from:

California Association of REALTORS®
525 South Virgil Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90020

The information contained herein is believed accurate. It is intended to provide general answers to general questions and is not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice. Advice in specific situations may differ depending upon a wide variety of factors. Therefore, readers with specific legal questions should seek the advice of an attorney.


Inflatable, floating playground

Spring Lake's latest attraction: Floating playground

Photo by: Jim Cheney Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties "Your Rincon Valley Realtor"
Spring Lake's floating playground


The Spring Lake lagoon is now open for public swimming.  This lifeguard protected swimming lagoon is the perfect place to spend a hot Rincon Valley day.  

The lagoon is surrounded by 360° of sandy beach.  There is plenty of room for kids to play, with additional room for lap swimming in the center of the lake.  The beachside cafĂ© & boat rentals make this an easy place to spend the day.  

Last year an inflatable “playground” was added and has been the hit of the lagoon.  The playground consists of a network of linked slides, bridges, climbing walls, balance beams and a trampoline all floating in the lagoon.

When:  11 am – 6 pm Memorial Day – Labor Day
Where: Spring Lake swimming lagoon 393 Violetti Rd Santa Rosa
Cost:  $7 parking fee.  Walk-ins free
Inflatable playground $10 per hour






I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Rincon Valley's Spring Lake

Photo by: Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties "Your Rincon Valley Realtor"
Spring Lake Park entrance off Violetti Rd

Rincon Valley has one of the BEST parks in Santa Rosa!  If you are trying to decide what part of Santa Rosa to move to, this article will give you one more reason to want to live in Rincon Valley.  

Spring Lake is a 320-acre county regional park located in eastern Santa Rosa between Summerfield Rd. and Montgomery Drive.  Spring Lake was originally built in 1961 as part of global flood control program for Rincon Valley, Bennett Valley, and downtown Santa Rosa.  In 1974 Spring Lake was further developed into what is now one of Sonoma County's most used parks. Spring Lake really is your "one-stop" park.  
Photo by: Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties "Your Rincon Valley Realtor"
Spring Lake's major purpose is to prevent flooding in downtown Santa Rosa


Spring Lake: is the parks services biggest attraction.  The 72-acre lake which (except during extreme drought) is usually full year round is a great place to boat, fish, kayak, paddle board, and bird watch.  There is a 2.3-mile paved trail that circles that lake, great for walking, biking, and jogging.   The trail is wheelchair accessible.  Boats are available to rent at the lake.  No swimming or gas-powered engines are allowed in/on the lake. 

Boating: Sailing, kayak, stand up paddleboard, and small boats with electric motors may use the lake.  A boat ramp can be accessed off the Newanga entrance at a cost of $4 per boat.  Kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and peddle boats can be rented during the summer months near the Violetti entrance.  No swimming is allowed in the lake. 

Fishing:  Big mouth bass, Sunfish, Catfish, and other fish can be caught in the lake.  Fishing poles can be rented from the concessionaire off Violetti Rd.  A fishing license is required.

The Lagoon:  The swimming lagoon is a 3-acre spring fed swimming area adjacent to Spring Lake.  The swimming lagoon is open to the public Memorial Day thru Labor Day.  It is surrounded by a sandy beach with lots of manicured lawn and mature trees to sit under on a hot day.   Picnic tables and some barbecue pits are available for use.  It's the perfect place to escape hot summer days.  The lagoon is lifeguard protected.  Recently an inflatable playground was added to one end of the lagoon where kids can play for an additional fee.  Inner tubes can be rented at the concessionaire stand.
Photo by: Jim Cheney Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties "Your Rincon Valley Realtor"
New to Spring Lake is the floating inflatable playground


Picnicking & barbeque:  There are 200 picnic tables throughout Spring Lake including 5 group sites that are wheelchair accessible. Some sites have barbeque's

Snacks and full meals can be bought at the Otter Cafe
The Otter Cafe:  Serves affordable lunch and dinner items, along with snacks and beer & wine.  There is an outdoor seating area with lounge chairs and tables where patrons of the cafe can sit and look over the lagoon. 



Camping: Spring Lake offers camping with 31 sites that can be reserved.  RV's, trailers, and tent camping are popular.  There are 3 cabins that have recently been added and a site for group camping that can accommodate up to 75 people.  Camping is accessible from the Newanga entrance.  Camping is daily Memorial Day-Labor Day, and weekends and holidays only during the rest of the year

Hiking/walking/jogging/biking: There are 10 miles of hiking and biking trails around Spring Lake.  There is one main 2.3-mile paved trail that circles the lake.  
Photo by: Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties "Your Rincon Valley Realtor"
A 2.3 mi. walking/jogging path cirles Spring Lake


Environmental Discovery Center: The Environmental Discovery Center is a hands-on interactive science museum designed for elementary school-aged children.  Open Wed-Sun, 12 to 5 pm.  Access the Discovery Center from the Violetti entrance.

Summer Camp: Spring Lake is host to many kid's summer camps through both the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County Parks.  Visit their websites to see what is available.

Other Events: Sonoma County Parks hold other events at Spring Lake such as:

Photo by: Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties "Your Rincon Valley Realtor"
The annual "Water Bark"
Water Bark
REI equipment boat trials
Fishing lessons
Intro to SUP
Science Saturdays
Paddle Board Yoga
Event Calendar



Where: Spring Lake

South entrance 5585 Newanga Ave Santa Rosa (camping, boat ramp, Horse trailers)
North entrance 393 Violetti Road Santa Rosa

When: Park is open year round 7 am - sunset
Swimming lagoon & Otter Cafe Memorial Day-Labor Day

Cost:
$7 per car
$4 per boat
Both are free with park membership.
Park Membership: $69
Dogs: yes with some restrictions see park web page for more info Ranger: 707.539.8092

More info:  Spring Lake









I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633