Moving towards a smarter Sonoma County
Greenbelt Alliance is committed to promoting people-oriented neighborhoods and protecting the gorgeous open spaceAny parcelA lot, or contiguous group of lots, in single ownership or under single control, usually considered a unit for purposes of development. or area of land or water that is essentially unimproved and devoted to an open space use for the purposes of (1) the preservation of natural resources, (2) the managed production of resources, (3) outdoor recreation, or (4) public health and safety. in Sonoma County. We were instrumental in helping the County establish its urban growth boundaries (UGBs)—one of the most effective tools for combating sprawlThe process in which the spread of development across the landscape far outpaces population growth. The landscape sprawl creates has four characteristics: a population that is widely dispersed in low-density development; rigid separation of uses, so that homes, commerce and workplaces are segregated from one another; a network of roads laid out to separate land into huge blocks and offering poor access; and a lack of well-defined, thriving activity centers, such as downtowns and town centers. Most of the other features usually associated with sprawl – a lack of transportation choices, relative uniformity of housing options, and difficulty walking from place to place – result from these conditions.. Sonoma is the only county in the Bay Area with UGBs around each of its incorporated cities.
More recently, we played an important role in getting the City of Santa Rosa to include sustainable features in the North Santa Rosa Station Area Plan, which was adopted in September 2012. This plan will help guide the development of what we envision to be a thriving neighborhood around the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) station.
In the coming months, Greenbelt Alliance plans to work with local leaders to help increase awareness of the recently adopted North Santa Rosa Station Area Plan. We are proud to be part of a diverse coalition of labor, environmental, and sustainabilityCommunity use of natural resources in a way that does not jeopardize the ability of future generations to live and prosper. advocates who helped shape the plan. But now is the time to ride this wave of momentum and move forward to the next step: implementation.
Additionally, we will continue to show our support for a pedestrian-bicycle connector bridge over HighwayHigh-speed, high-capacity, limited-access transportation facility serving regional and county-wide travel. Highways may cross at a different grade level. 101. It will be critical for the westside landing of the bridge to be placed appropriately. Stay tuned for information about outreach events around this issue.
With the Cities of Cotati, Rohnert Park, and Sebastopol’s general plans set to expire, we’ll also keep an eye on those update processes. Cotati has already begun its update process and will need to renew its urban growth boundaryAn urban growth boundary defines where development should and should not happen. The line circumscribes an entire urbanized area and is used by local governments to guide land-use decisions..
We want to see Sonoma County transform into an even better place to live, so we have to be smart about how the county grows. Together, let’s create thriving neighborhoods throughout the county where people can walk to the grocery store, conveniently hop on public transit, bike to work safely, and afford to live in the place that they love.
Get in touch with Greenbelt Alliance’s North Bay Field Representive, Anu Dhaliwal, at firstname.lastname@example.org.Tags: SMART, urban growth boundary