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Springs Splash - August 2016 - Thomas Martin


Springs Splash - August 2016 - Thomas Martin

by Tom Martin

Community Members Gather to Propose and Plan!

In late July over sixty (60) Springs residents met at the Charter School with County representatives and personnel from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to further discuss ideas to be included in the Specific Plan for the Springs Community.

What Is a Springs Specific Plan?

A Springs Specific Plan is a set of wishes for how citizens and businesses hope to see the Springs corridor at a future date, The final plan will be presented to the Board of Supervisors in 2018. In the meantime residents will have an opportunity to present ideas at future meetings and on line. 

How do I get my ideas heard?

Fifteen local representatives serve on a Community Advisory Team (CAT). If you have ideas you wish included in a plan contact one of the CAT members. Also, watch for announcements of future meetings and be certain to attend.

Mia Cabrera (

Veronica Napoles (

Richard Dale (

Michael Ross (

Teresita Fernandez (

Rick Ruiz (

Patricia Galindo (

Gary Saperstein (

Maite Iturri (

Pedro Naples Serrano (

Scott Johnson (

Yuliana Camerena (

Rich Lee (

Ryan Lely (

Cathy Wade Shepherd (

To present your views immediately – today – complete a community survey in English or Spanish by going to

What area does the Springs Specific Plan cover? 

The Plan covers a corridor one block or two on both sides of Highway 12 from Agua Caliente Road to Verano Avenue where it extends eastward as far as Fifth Street West.

At the July meeting…the ABAG facilitators provided 11” X 14” sheets with photos of various forms of architecture. Some sheets had photos of buildings and structures currently in place along Highway 12. Others were pictures of buildings, promenades, and varying architectural styles. Residents in separate groups reviewed the documents, and wrote their comments, good and bad, on the sheets. Then each assembled group gave a report about their values and recommendations regarding the information presented. 

There seemed to be a consensus on a few recommendations. For example, Mission style or southwestern architecture should be used to reflect Sonoma’s history; there should be only single story structures along Highway 12; walking should be encouraged through the use of breezeways, plazas, and walkways. Services need to be improved with a pharmacy and markets. There seemed to be universal agreement that no “big box” stores are needed. Controls of traffic and transportation were mentioned many times. 

In the Springs… the times are likely to be changing! Make your voice heard on these planned changes.

Community Separator Issue to be on November Ballot!

In 1996 Sonoma County voters approved a twenty-year “community separator” concept that did two things. First, voter approval would be needed in order to increase population development in areas identified as “community separators,” and second, voter approval would be needed to reduce the size of an approved community separator. The measure had a twenty year lifespan.  

In mid-July the Board of Supervisors voted to place a measure on the November ballot that, if approved, would continue the program for twenty more years. Proponents wanted a thirty year period, but the supervisors amended the proposal to twenty years. In addition, portions of county land were added to regions in the County identified as “separators.” 

Locally, the properties proposed for inclusion as community separators are undeveloped properties at the Sonoma Developmental Center, portions of open land in Kenwood, and additional land south of Madrone to approximately Serres Drive nearer the Springs. Areas south of Sonoma were proposed for additions as well. Watch in the press for maps of the proposed areas for inclusion as community separators. 

The Board of Supervisors will have a final vote on this proposal Aug. 2. Voters will have the final word on community separators on Tuesday, Nov. 8!

Are you a Hipster?

A recent real estate advertisement referred to a Springs home for sale as being located in a “hip community.”  Yes, the Springs is “hip!”