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Teri Shore

Cotati Renewing Urban Growth Boundary Early

The City of Cotati in Sonoma County plans to renew its urban growth boundary (UGB) with a city-sponsored ballot measure in the November 2016 General Election.

Known for its distinct hexagonal historic plaza, rural character, accordion festival, and as the home of Sonoma State University, Cotati is one of nine cities to adopt an urban growth boundary in Sonoma County—the only Bay Area county that has a UGB in each of its cities.

Cotati residents first approved the urban growth boundary in November 1998 with 71% of the vote. As the city’s general plan was updated last year, Greenbelt Alliance urged the City to consider renewing its UGB in November 2016 instead of waiting until 2017 or 2018. Mayor John Moore, the other councilmembers, and city staff agreed.

The City Council has voted unanimously to maintain the urban growth boundary line, extend the sunset date for 30 years or more, and to consider strengthening policies and language to protect groundwater basins and biologically sensitive habitat.

Thank you to Councilmember John Dell’Osso, who wants the City to consider a UGB that does not expire—similar to those in Napa, Fairfield, and Dublin. Greenbelt Alliance would support such a policy as urban growth boundaries have been proven effective for more than 20 years throughout the Bay Area. Learn more about Greenbelt Alliance’s work on urban growth boundaries and why we need them.

The Cotati City Council also voted to support the renewal and extension of community separators in Sonoma County, which protect the greenbelts between towns and cities.

In April, Greenbelt Alliance joined community members at a public workshop on the Cotati UGB where detailed policies and timelines were reviewed.

Below is a timeline for public review and voter approval of the Cotati urban growth boundary ballot measure:

  • Through May 16: Draft text of measure
  • May 24: Request ballot title and summary from City Attorney
  • June 1: Ballot title, summary, and measure text submitted to City Clerk
  • June 8: City Council calls November 8 election and places measure on ballot
  • June 20: Last day to file arguments for or against
  • June 30: Last day to file rebuttals
  • June 8 – November 8: Public outreach and education
  • Nov 8: Election Day

If you have any questions or would like to get involved, contact Regional Director Teri Shore.

Photo: Teri Shore

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