Sonoma City Hall
Teri Shore

Teri Shore

Support Measure W to Protect Sonoma’s Open Spaces

Good news for open space, climate and affordable housing!

Greenbelt Alliance is urging voters in the City of Sonoma to vote yes on Measure W to renew the existing Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) for another 20 years. We are now launching the campaign to pass Measure W with our partners and we need your help!

Whether you live in the City of Sonoma or elsewhere, please endorse Measure W to show your support for protecting greenbelts, preventing sprawl, and increasing affordable housing in the right places. You can also volunteer, get a lawn sign, or contribute to the campaign by visiting https://sonomaugb.com/home.

The City Council of Sonoma voted 4-1 to place Measure W before the voters to renew the Urban Growth Boundary to protect open space and farmlands from development while adding strong new provisions to allow 100 percent affordable housing exemptions if needed.

The UGB is a line beyond which its city border cannot extend and development cannot occur without majority voter approval by its citizens, except in particular and well-defined cases, including for 100 percent affordable housing. All nine cities in Sonoma County have voter-approved UGBs—most of them already renewed.

Renewing the City of Sonoma’s UGB will:

  • Protect open space and farmland
  • Prevent sprawl
  • Promote city-centered growth where public services already exist
  • Encourage a diverse, climate-wise and healthy community
  • Support Affordable Housing 
  • Keep the voice of voters central in deciding the city’s future

The original Urban Growth Boundary was placed on the ballot through the initiative process, approved by 64% of its voters in 1999, and went into effect in 2000 for a period of twenty years, expiring at the end of 2020.

Measure W to renew the UGB contains the strongest land-use mandate for affordable housing in city history, requiring that 100% of any land added to the UGB must be used for affordable housing, and that 51% of that land must be used to provide housing for low and very low income residents. A 4/5th vote of the City Council is required for such an exemption.

If the voter protections for the City of Sonoma’s Urban Growth Boundary are not renewed in 2020, its boundary can be modified by the vote of a simple majority on the City Council at any time. This would put the future of Sonoma on the ballot in every City Council election, every two years. It puts enormous development pressure on the City Council members and staff without the power of the voter-approved UGB backing them up. It’s also important to note that the voters can revise the UGB before the 20 years is up if needed with a vote of the people.

If you’d like to support the Yes on W campaign to renew the Sonoma UGB by endorsing, getting a lawn sign, volunteering, or making a donation, please contact Yes on W – Citizens to Renew the City of Sonoma’s Urban Growth Boundary, 755 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476, FPPC #1419285, or email them at RenewSonomaUGB@gmail.com.

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