Photo: Larry McCombs

Cloverdale seeks to sprawl

The ongoing debate over Cloverdale’s growth continues.

Cloverdale wants to extend its city limits to include Asti—home to the historic Asti Winery and hundreds of acres of natural and agricultural lands—as well as other unincorporated areas, parts of which are outside the 2010 voter-approved urban growth boundary. Urban growth boundaries (UGBs) determine where a city can and cannot grow and are one of the most effective policies for open space protection. Allowing Cloverdale to disregard the established UGB would be a huge step backward for Sonoma County, the only Bay Area county with UGBs around each of its incorporated cities.

It would also undermine the integrity of UGBs and similar open space-protection policies throughout the region.

Together with Sonoma County Conservation Action, Greenbelt Alliance has submitted a joint comment letter [PDF] to the Sonoma Local Agency Formation Commission expressing our opposition to the inclusion of Asti, the Industrial Area, Rains Creek, and lands outside the UGB in the western hillsides. Adjusting Cloverdale’s UGB to incorporate these areas would put some of Sonoma County’s best wineries, farmland, and open spaces at great risk of sprawl development.

At the March 5 commission meeting, we were joined by a host of Cloverdale and Sonoma County residents and representatives from several conservation groups in voicing our strong concerns about Cloverdale’s plan. The commission shared our concerns and instructed the City of Cloverdale to work with Sonoma County and community stakeholders to find a solution to the issues in the draft Municipal Service Review and Sphere of Influence Update, which is the document in question. Greenbelt Alliance was invited to represent the environmental and conservation community in this process.

To get involved or learn more, contact Lana Russell-Hurd at lrussellhurd@greenbelt.org.

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