The Felta Road area of Healdsburg is right at the border of the Dry Creek Valley Appellation and the Russian River Valley Appellation, just west of Westside Road. Felta’s claim to fame includes Westside School, a charming elementary school throwback to a bygone era when teachers knew all the students and the school was a family. Apart from the school, Felta’s location just five minutes to Healdsburg makes this a highly sought after neighborhood.
There are only 25 homes in the area, so scarcity defines the opportunity to live in the Felta neighborhood. It also has contributed to the sense that this is an exclusive neighborhood. The most recent building activity has been on the extravagant scale and the new homes on Felta Ridge Road are among the most expensive in Sonoma County. People wouldn’t invest the millions of dollars they are putting into their homes if they didn’t think this was one of the chosen spots on all the earth, as Luther Burbank was fond of saying about Sonoma County in general.
One of my favorite pieces of property in this neighborhood is available now. It includes one of the earliest structures in Healdsburg, a mill built by the Heald brothers that is now a barn. The property includes several thousand feet of Mill Creek frontage featuring waterfalls and spawning steelhead in season. There is an artistan crafted post and beam main residence, a guest cottage, huge stands of redwoods and a building site reminiscent of the Falling Waters home built by Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s an amazing piece of the earth for the right family to cherish.
Geographically, Felta lies west of Westside Road and between Mill Creek and Felta Creek. The underlying geology includes the Franciscan melange common to most of Sonoma County. However, there is a significant area of volcanic basalt that underlies some of this area. One Felta property was a quarry for columnar basalt in the early days of Sonoma County. The areas with this volcanic base tend to have excellent water potential.
The valley floor contains some vineyards and open meadows as well as the school. The hillsides are mainly redwood and oaks with stands of douglas fir, bay, and madrone contributing to the botanical diversity of the area. Felta will never be a bustling neighborhood because of the limited number of properties available. I think it’s safe to say it will always be beautiful.