Coffey Park celebrates new, anticipated wall

Bay Area

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — “One, two, three, coffey strong.”

The strength of a community embodied by the sturdy wall, once again standing tall, ironically symbolizing unity and not a divide.

“I lost my home in the Tubbs fire,” Anne Barbour said.

One of 1,300 homes in Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood leveled during that fire two years ago this October.

Barbour has since rebuilt her house along Hopper Avenue.

One of 42 homes connected to a barrier wall that burned down in the fire.

Initially, she and the rest of her neighbors thought they’d have to foot the bill for a replacement since it stood on private property.

“The cost to each of the homeowners, minimum, would have been about 18 to $25,000,” Jennifer Gray said. “Which can make or break a family.”

During the course of the past 18 months, nonprofits like Coffey Strong and Rebuild Northbay Foundation worked with the city of santa rosa…

“It takes a team, and that’s what this whole thing is, is a team,” Mayor Tom Schwedhelm said.

Private companies donated more than half a million dollars in materials, labor and time in collaboration with Sonoma County to rebuild an even stronger wall.

“It’s just an absolute pleasure to be here,” County Supervisor James Gore said.

The new gateway to Coffey Park is now complete.

A 2,900 foot wall system — and, neighbors didn’t have to pay for it.

“I feel a lot more secure now,” Barbour said. “It’s actually a sound wall, which our other one wasn’t. I feel comfortable that it’s not a retaining wall, but if a car was to come through it, it wouldn’t come all the way through to my house. I feel like there’s more security in our homes because its not scalable.”

Most homes are still under construction, but Barbour said as of last month, at least 100 neighbors have moved back in.

“And, then we have 87-percent in the process, between permitting and occupied,” Barbour said.

More reason to never give up.

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