The Kenwood Press
News: 06/15/2016

Public hearing on community separators



Community separators are rural open space lands identified in Sonoma County’s General Plan that separate cities and other communities. They preserve city and community identity by providing visual relief from continuous urbanization.

Late last year, the County Board of Supervisors directed the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD) to: 1) prepare a ballot measure for November 2016 to extend the voter-approved Community Separator protections; and, 2) consider where to expand existing community separators and possibly designate new ones.

The county’s 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 in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers located at 575 Administrative Dr., 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 overlay zone. These changes will not affect the land use designation of these properties.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on that matter at a future date.

Information is available for public review prior to the hearing at PRMD during normal business hours and on the PRMD website at www.sonoma-county.org/communityseparators. Written comments may be submitted to PRMD, 2550 Ventura Ave., Santa Rosa, 95403 or PRMD-CommunitySeparators@sonoma.county.org.