My fiancee and I are retired and considering relocating to Santa Rosa later this year. We had heard that SR

Asked by Richard, 94025 Tue Jun 17, 2008

may have a problem with gang violence but were shocked by this quote from KCBS Radio today: Drive by shootings are now commonplace in Santa Rosa, where most of Sonoma County's estimated 2,800 gang members live. Is SR really this unsafe?

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Kenneth Schr…, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Wed Jun 18, 2008
Hey Richard,

SR, like most large cities, has some gang activity. SR is divided into 4 quadrants: NE, NW, SE, and SW. These quandrants are based on their location to HWY 101 and HWY 12. Most of the crime areas tend to be in SW and SE Santa Rosa and their proximity to the fairgrounds and race track. My parents live in NE Santa Rosa in Middle Rincon Valley, a very nice subdivision near Skyhawk. NW also has some wonderful areas around both Coffee and Copperfield Park. Both of which, are beautiful and well maintained.

I would also reccomend looking into Windsor, Sebastopol, and the city of Sonoma for retirement. These cities are with 10 minutes of Santa Rosa and are very relaxed with wonderful places to spend the day.

If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to let me know.
All the best,


Kenneth Schrier - Realtor
Kenneth Schrier Real Estate Group
CPS Property Advocates
Rohnert Park, Ca.
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0 votes
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Sat Jun 21, 2008
Living in Menlo Park I doubt if you've seen very much diversity. Remember, our population has a healthy mix of many ethnicities. Our Hispanic population is now into its 2nd generation of immigrants. One of our major economic indicators being agriculture and with this come the many workers who toil in the various crops and wineries. This, coupled with a huge service sector bring opportunity for many aspiring citizens. One of the outgrowths of this is a gang prescence. However, I doubt if one retiring from Menlo Park will be settling in a price point where daily interaction of gangs is expected.
The KCBS report is hyperbole and the term "commonplace" I find very disturbing and open to interpretation. I show property throughout Sonoma County daily. I have NEVER felt threatened by or have seen, interacted with, gang violence. I've been here all my life and all throughout my professional Realtor life of 30+ years. It's a shame that a town with the moniker,'designed for living" should be tagged by a media outlet as an area where "drive by shootings are now commonplace"--Must have been a slow news day at KCBS.
1 vote
NonRealtor, , 23456
Wed Jun 18, 2008
I saw a tv show. Just stay on your side of the street and don't wear red color clothes and you should be ok. Keep your hands at your side, you don't want to be mistaken for a rival gang member.
1 vote
Jdog707, , Santa Rosa, CA
Fri Oct 22, 2010
whoops it was actually 32 in 2006 here is the link
0 votes
Jdog707, , Santa Rosa, CA
Fri Oct 22, 2010
Ther is definately a gang problems in santa rosa but most of it is just young adults claiming territory, graffiti, and every once in a while ther is a shooting. I read an article that said in 2008 there was 32 drive by shootings so it does happen just not very often. The worst that happens is 2 cliques meet up and there is a big fight, occassionaly a stabbing but this is only in certain places, like apple valley indian village west ninth roseland bellvue and sometime west third and moorland ave.
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Paul, Home Buyer, Santa Rosa, CA
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Drive-by shootings a commonplace?! Who comes up with this sensational drivel? I don't even think drive-bys are common in "bad" areas like Indian Village, West 9th, etc. I lived in Roseland (which is considered a "bad" area) for 6 years and never had 1 incident. On the other hand, I grew up in the L Section of Rohnert Park and during my time there, a crazed man named Ramon Salsito murdered his wife and daughters, even though Rohnert Park is considered "nice". Horrible things can happen anywhere. Heck, I've lived in Minneapolis which has a way higher crime rate than Santa Rosa, so I kind of laugh when people associate Santa Rosa with crime. I don't know much about Menlo Park other than it's pretty affluent, so your perception of crime might be different.

I would agree with other people are saying here. To be on the safe side, stick with NE Santa Rosa, but there's even parts of Rincon Valley and Bennett Valley that are sketchy. Make sure you do your homework and get police reports for the neighborhoods you're interested in and drive around, generally you can get a feel for which neighborhoods are bad.

So to answer your question briefly: No Santa Rosa is not like Richmond :P
0 votes
Richard, , 94025
Wed Jun 18, 2008
Thanks for your answers, everyone!
0 votes
Taylor Mason, Agent, Sonoma, CA
Wed Jun 18, 2008
Santa Rosa in general is a very safe area... This is not L.A. and never will be. However, there are a couple of bad areas just like any town. The thing to do is call the local PD and find out what the crime rate is for the particular area your interested in. If you want to get more serious and here my opinion on what area you should be in then call me or go to Clearly, the price range your in tells me what area you should be in and may tell you to buy a nice condo in a nicer area rather than a run down home in an area not so desireable.

Clearly, your first step is to meet with a lender and find out what your majic number is. Get pre-approved and who knows your number drawn in the sand may be $250,000 because that keeps your payments at $1800.00 per month. The only way to find out is meet up as it is harmless and you will at least know where you stand when you leave.. Go ahead I dare you to call me at (707) 484-0295 or go to
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Pam Buda, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Tue Jun 17, 2008
Hi there--there definitely is a gang presence in Sonoma County, as most places these days. That said, I personally, and most of the people I know, feel very safe here. There was even a crime incident in my very rural neighborhood a month or two ago--the family down the street on 500 acres had 2 bad guys drop their car and take off through the vineyards to the Laguna. Their family has owned that property for 160 years and that was a first. It is important in any community to check the crime databases and government agencies. You could also search the Press Democrat (local newspaper) for their recent articles on the topics. The Santa Rosa PD does have a gang unit which you might also be able to contact.

FYI I have no plans to move any time soon, nor do any of my friends or clients but you need to satisfy yourself for any community you are considering.
0 votes
Dave DeVos, Agent, Crossville, TN
Tue Jun 17, 2008
Richard, Come to the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee - less crime, less taxes, less hassle, better four season weather. lots of trees and space. Call me 888-824-2121 and I'll send you lots of websites. DAVE
0 votes
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