New zoning requirements recommended to supes
At its June 19 hearing, the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department’s (PRMD) planning commission approved changes to zoning requirements for a number of parcels adjacent to Sonoma Hwy. near Boyes Hot Springs. In a unanimous vote, the commission supported staff’s proposal to increase the number of parcels that would require a design review permit for new development, potentially affecting 121 properties between Rancho Bonito Way and Serres Dr. The issue will advance to the Board of Supervisors for final approval in a few months.
On Feb. 4, the Board of Supervisors approved amendments to the General Plan and Zoning Code to streamline, simplify and allow for greater awareness of development guidelines applicable to specific places in unincorporated areas.
As a result, and in response to concerns regarding development in the corridor, PRMD staff analyzed the 121 parcels in question.
Staff recommended that 37 parcels be designated Scenic Landscape Unit and Scenic Resource Combining Zone. Staff also provided public notice to an additional 84 parcels in the study area should the Planning Commission wish to consider designating the entire 121 parcel study area for Scenic Landscape Unit and Scenic Resource Combining Zone.
These changes do not affect any base zoning or allowed land uses. The zone changes either clarify design review requirements or add a new design review requirement.
Additional information on the zoning amendments countywide can be found at www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/docs/dev_guidelines/index.htm.
Two new developments, an approx. 8,400-square-foot complex with a vacation rental permit for five guest bedrooms, located at 67 Locke Ct., and two very large structures at 70 Moon Mountain Rd. and 16581 Sonoma Hwy., are examples of development with frontage on the highway that was approved without design review. The staff report stated that these two examples “illustrate the potential for cumulative visual impacts along the Highway 12 scenic corridor in this area and the inadequacy of existing SR standards for Scenic Corridors especially for smaller lots fronting the scenic corridors.” While it is unknown whether the new changes will affect the projects currently underway at 70 Moon Mountain Rd. and 16581 Sonoma Hwy., as PRMD is currently waiting for a new contractor and new design drawings, they may have the potential to affect other development going forward.