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Cotati is a city in Sonoma County, California, United States.

Cotati's hexagonal downtown plaza is listed as a California Historical Landmark, one of only two hexagonal town layouts in the United States. The population was 6,471 at the 2000 census.

The Coast Miwok civilization thrived in the Cotati area since at least 2000 BC, with principal villages built near major streams, but typically above the floodplain, ironically illustrating more foresight than modern urban planning planning. In July of 1844, the Mexican government granted Rancho Cotate (encompassing present-day towns of Cotati, Penngrove and Rohnert Park, and originally home of the Coast Miwok native people) to Captain Juan Castenada, a Mexican military commander from Texas, in payment for his military services in the region as a soldier under General Vallejo. The grant took its name from Kotati (Kota'ti), a Coast Miwok village although a legend arose that Rancho Cotate was named after a local Indian named Chief Cotati.

Rancho Cotate consisted of 17,238.6 acres. Captain Castenada moved to San Francisco without developing it; Castaneda failed to fulfill legal requirements and, therefore, lost control of the rancho. The land was eventually sold in 1849 to Dr. Thomas S. Page, a former resident of Valparaiso, Chile; the land holding remained in the Page family for over eighty years. Rancho Cotate was recorded in California state records as follows:

Subject to seasonal flooding from the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the land was used to graze cattle and sheep. In October 1870, the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad completed the first railroad from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, and a town formed around the wood and water stop called Page's Station, then Cotati.

Cotati's unique hexagonal plaza and street grid plan was designed during the 1890s by Newton Smyth as an alternative to the traditional grid. Dr. Thomas Page's barn once stood where the plaza is today, and each of the streets surrounding the plaza is named after one of his sons. In 1892 the Page family created the Cotati Land Company to subdivide their ranch into parcels of five to twenty acres.

In 1963, less than a year after the incorporation of the lands north of town to form Rohnert Park, voters unanimously approved incorporation of Cotati as a separate city.


Cotati is governed by a city council with five members, who rotate through the offices of mayor and vice mayor.

Education The city is served by Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District. The main high school serving Cotati is Rancho Cotate High School which is actually located in neighboring Rohnert Park.

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SFNorthbay.com and it's subsidiary website would like to thank Wikipedia for its contribution to this portion of encyclopedic information. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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