General Plan Update

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On April 18, 2022, staff will seek initial Board of Supervisors and public comments on updating Sonoma County’s General Plan. Since the last comprehensive update in 2008, the County (and region) has seen significant changes on issues such as health, climate, and equity. Most recently, the Board of Supervisors approved its Strategic Plan in 2021 with a focus on five pillars: Healthy and Safe Communities, Organizational Excellence, Racial Equity and Social Justice, Climate Action and Resiliency, and Resilient Infrastructure. Staff proposes to use this framework to guide the development of the General Plan update. Please add your email to the General Plan Update subscriber list to receive automatic notifications of upcoming meetings and information.

Meeting details and materials can be found on the Sonoma County Legistar Calendar.

We Want to Partner with You

We want to partner with you, your friends, family, and neighbors to ensure that our future General Plan reflects the diverse perspectives of all citizens. What does being a citizen of Sonoma County mean to you? How can the County improve your quality of life? How can the County enhance public services and infrastructure? Where should people live and work? How will changes in the County influence the future of your children? With your participation, the General Plan Update will answer these and many other questions about our shared future.

We want to engage with you in ways that are most convenient for you, let us know the best way to reach you.

Sign up for email updates to stay connected to the General Plan Update process.

We hope you will join County’s effort to craft the new General Plan for our community’s strong future.

What is the General Plan?

The General Plan is a master policy document that provides the general framework for all zoning and land use decisions within a community. The plan provides guidance, prioritizes, organizes, and directs the patterns of land use throughout the unincorporated County in ways that best serve the interests identified by citizens and stakeholders. The County’s General Plan was last updated in 2008. View the County’s current General Plan.

The General Plan typically consists of a vision of the community’s future that reflects the hopes and aspirations of its citizens. These are translated into a set of policies for the community’s physical development. The general plan bridges the gap between community values, visions, and objectives, and physical decisions such as planning application approvals for development projects.

The plan is required to have at least eight mandatory elements addressing: land use, circulation and mobility, housing, conservation and open space, noise, safety, and environmental justice. In addition to policies that apply throughout the County, the General Plan may include area plans which create more specific policies for smaller geographic areas. This update process would not replace the County’s existing area plans such as the Bennett Valley Area Plan, South Santa Rosa Area Plan, or Petaluma Dairy Belt Area Plan, but may call for new area plans to be developed, or for existing plans to be updated.

For more information, visit the State of California Office of Planning and Research website, which has detailed guidelines for the development of general plans.

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