General Plan 2020 Open Space Community Separators


Description Spatial Attributes

Theme: General Plan 2020
Theme: Open Space and Resource Conservation
Theme: Community Separator
Theme: Scenic Resources

The community separators dataset represents the Open Space and Resource Conservation Scenic Resources Element 2.1 of the Sonoma County General Plan 2020 as adopted on September 23, 2008 by Resolution No. 08-0808.  This dataset includes revisions to the Community Separator adopted by Resolution #11-0463 on August 23, 2011.

The community separators element assists in identifying eight areas that preserve the visual identities of communities by maintaining open space areas between cities and communities.  These areas need to remain open or retain a rural character in order to avoid corridor-style urbanization.

Therefore, the community separators function as rural open space to separate cities and other communities, contain urban development, and to provide city and community identity by providing visual relief from continuous urbanization. Although community separators are rural areas that have open space characteristics, many of these areas are also scenic. The lands within community separators are frequently subject to pressure for development because they are close to developed areas and major roads. 

The community separators represent one of three scenic resources component categories of the Sonoma County General Plan 2020 Open Space and Resource Conservation Element.  The other scenic resource categories are Scenic Corridors and Scenic Landscape Units.  The Figure OSRC-1 ( shows these designated scenic resource areas.

The following eight areas have been designated as Community Separators:
Petaluma/Rohnert Park
Rohnert Park/Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa/Sebastopol
Windsor/Larkfield/Santa Rosa
Northeast Santa Rosa
Glen Ellen/Agua Caliente

The intent of the plan is that policies, guidelines, and standards be clear and direct so that property owners and citizens may easily understand its provisions and how they apply to parcels of land as well as their cumulative impact on future environmental conditions and quality of life.

The broad purpose of the Sonoma County General Plan is to express policies which will guide decisions on future growth, development, and conservation of resources through 2020 in a manner consistent with the goals and quality of life desired by the county's residents. Under State law many actions on private land development, such as specific plans, area plans, zoning, subdivisions, public agency projects and other decisions must be consistent with the general plan. The goals, objectives, and policies set forth in the plan will be applied in a manner to insure their constitutionality.

Per Title 7, Division 1 of the Government Code of the State of California. Article 5, Section 65300 et seq, the County of Sonoma is required to adopt a comprehensive general plan to guide its future physical development.  Therefore, as required by law, the 2020 Sonoma County General Plan was officially adopted on September 23, 2008.

Related Resources:
Sonoma County General Plan 2020 Index [includes amendments since adoption]

Sonoma County General Plan 2020 Open Space and Resource Conservation Scenic Resources Element

Since the GIS data was developed for planning purposes and use in publication of maps and/or database creation, the data is for illustrative purpose only and is not suitable for parcel specific decision making. 

Therefore, the GIS data presented herein are approximations and further land development determination is at the discretion of the PRMD planning staff which may require a parcel specific site review (to draw parcel specific conclusions).

Supplementary Information
Creation methodology & resources:
1) new dataset/layer added to ActiveMap application [Ver1 SP2] 
*NOTE: prior versions of ActiveMap hosted a similar dataset named "Scenic and Natural Resources" - this dataset is a new subset of that layer yet represents the Open Space and Resource Conservation Scenic Resources Element 2.2 of the Sonoma County General Plan 2020
* refer to Data Quality - Attribute Accuracy tab for historical dataset modifications by ActiveMap version release number
2) dataset includes General Plan Amendment Resolutions as of 02/21/2012
3) for ActiveMap Data Capture December 2011 [ver. 2.2], rectified dataset to PRMD.CDR_PARCELS 09/30/2011 (validated topology; edited to rectify dataset to new parcels); PRMD.CDR_PARCELS [aka AM Parcels]


Status of the data

Time period for which the data is relevant

Publication Information

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