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Springs Specific Plan


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Updated May 2022:

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and Draft Springs Specific Plan are now available for review. The public review period for the DEIR will run from May 18 to July 19, 2022.

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The Springs Specific Plan is a long-term plan to re-imagine the Hwy 12 corridor as a diverse public space with a community plaza and safety improvements for people walking and biking. The project provides increased opportunities for housing, along with additional recreational, commercial and office space to serve the Springs community.

The Springs Specific Plan is based around community-centered objectives that resulted from over 20 public meetings and outreach events held from 2016 to 2019. These objectives include:

  1. Springs Specific Plan areaRecognize and promote the Springs commercial corridor as a mixed-use “downtown” serving the larger springs community.
  2. Develop a centrally-located community plaza.
  3. Celebrate the unique, multi-cultural identity of the springs,
  4. Increase affordable, workforce, and mixed use housing,
  5. Improve the pedestrian, bicycle, and transit network,
  6. Ensure an adequate parking supply,
  7. Address community safety, and
  8. Create and connect to more parks and open space.

In 2015, Sonoma County began a community-driven land-use planning process for this portion of the Sonoma Valley. Located immediately north of the City of Sonoma, the Springs Plan Area includes parts of the unincorporated communities of Aqua Caliente, Fetters Hot Springs, and Boyes Hot Springs. Covering approximately 178 acres, the plan area is bounded by Aqua Caliente Road at the north and Verano Avenue at the south and is bisected by the Highway 12 commercial corridor.

Like the Springs Redevelopment Plan that preceded it, the Specific Plan would support the community’s vision of the Highway 12 corridor as a community-oriented “main street.” New zoning would support a mix of residential and neighborhood oriented commercial uses, with opportunities for more than 700 housing units. The plan would improve community safety by supporting continued improvements to sidewalks, bike lanes and crosswalks for safer and more convenient walking, bicycling and public transit. A community plaza location was identified in response to broad public interest in improved public gathering spaces, and the Plan identifies locations for better connections with local parks. The Plan would also support the community’s vibrant design and diverse character through the introduction of new design guidelines.

Next Steps

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and the Draft Plan were released on May 18, 2022 and the public comment period will extend until July 19, 2022. For copies of the DEIR and Draft Plan can be downloaded from the Project Documents page. For more information on the environmental review process and how to submit comments, see the Environmental Review tab on this webpage.

Project milestones and tentative timeline:

Date Project Milestones
May, 2022 Release and 60 day public comment period on the DEIR
June, 2022 Planning Commission hearing on DEIR (No vote)
July, 2022 Close public comment period on DEIR, 60 days after the release
Date TBD

Board of Supervisors hearing on final EIR and Specific Plan (Potential vote)

What is a Specific Plan?

A Specific Plan is a comprehensive planning and zoning document for a defined area of the County. Specific Plans implement the General Plan with zoning and development standards that are tailored to regulating land use in a specific area. Plans also analyze what infrastructure is necessary and propose financing mechanisms. The environmental review document prepared for a Specific Plan – an Environmental Impact Report in this case – provides an opportunity to holistically address potential impacts on the environment and to change aspects of the plan to provide the best guidance for future development possible.