Santa Rosa, CA – June 10, 2016 – Community Separators are rural open space lands identified in the County’s General Plan that separate cities and other communities. They preserve city and community identity by providing visual relief from continuous urbanization. The Board of Supervisors has directed the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD) to:
- Prepare a ballot measure for November 2016 to extend the voter-approved Community Separator protections; and
- Consider where to expand existing and designate new Community Separators.
The Sonoma County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing to review the proposed ballot measure to extend the voter-approved Community Separator protections. Other hearing topics include expansion of Community Separators, related policy amendments, and rezoning to add the SR (Scenic Resources) overlay zone. The hearing will take place at 1:05 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, 2016 in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers located at 575 Administrative Drive, Room 102A, Santa Rosa.
PRMD held four public workshops on Community Separators in March and April 2016 to gather input for possible expansion areas and to prepare the draft ballot measure. Lands proposed for inclusion into Community Separators are generally located in the Open Space District’s acquisition areas called Priority Greenbelts, between the cities of Healdsburg and Cloverdale, and north of the community of Penngrove. These properties would be designated on the General Plan Open Space maps and rezoned to add the SR (Scenic Resources) overlay zone. These changes will not affect the Land Use designation of these properties.
“Community Separators preserve each community’s identity and are an important tool to prevent sprawl,” said Supervisor Efren Carrillo, Chair of the Board. “While they do not preclude development otherwise allowed by the General Plan, Separators help reduce speculation and pressure on lands outside city's urban growth boundaries.” The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the matter at a future date, which will be publically noticed.
Project information is available for public review prior to the hearing at PRMD during normal business hours and on the PRMD website at sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Regulations/Community-Separators. Written comments may be submitted to PRMD, 2550 Ventura Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 or PRMD-CommunitySeparators@sonoma-county.org.