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General Plan 2020

Russian River flowing out to the Sea

The General Plan is the blueprint for land use in unincorporated Sonoma County. It includes maps that show where agricultural, residential, commercial and other land uses will be located, and a series of policies that guide future decisions about growth, development and conservation of resources.

The General Plan provides the basis for development while maintaining the quality of life that Sonoma County residents treasure.

Adopted by Resolution No. 08-0808 of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors,  September 23, 2008

Amended by Resolution No. 16-0283 on August 2, 2016

General Plan Update

The County of Sonoma is currently working to update the General Plan. Find out more about the process and how you can participate.

1.1 Authority for the General Plan

Statutory authority for a general plan is expressed in Title 7, Division 1 of the Government Code of the State of California. Article 5, Section 65300 et seq. requires the County to adopt a comprehensive general plan to guide its future physical development. The plan may recognize local conditions in a format that is appropriate for the local agency. Although the General Plan must address a number of different subjects and elements, the County may choose the degree of specificity and level of detail that is appropriate for its circumstances.

1.2 Required and Optional Elements

The General Plan must contain a statement of development policies, including diagrams or maps and text, setting forth objectives, principles, standards, and plan proposals. Seven mandatory elements are Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Conservation, Open Space, Noise, and Safety.

A number of optional elements are allowed. This General Plan includes four optional elements: Agricultural Resources, Air Transportation, Water Resources, and Public Facilities and Services.

1.3 Purpose of the Plan

Sonoma County General Plan 2020 (GP 2020) is a revision of the previous General Plan which was adopted in 1989, and supersedes and replaces that document. This plan carries forward the major goals and policy framework of the 1989 Plan, and retains the overall format. The primary purpose of the revised plan was to conduct a policy review which focused upon specific issues that were of paramount importance to the community.

The broad purpose of GP 2020 is to express policies which will guide decisions on future growth, development, and conservation of resources through 2020 in a manner consistent with the goals and quality of life desired by the county's residents. Under State law many actions on private land development, such as Specific Plans, Area Plans, zonings, subdivisions, public agency projects and other decisions must be consistent with the General Plan. The Goals, Objectives, and Policies set forth in the plan will be applied in a manner to insure their constitutionality.