Goodbye, Sonoma Parks...

Sonoma County set aside a $100 million park program due to concerns that the Rural Heritage Initiative would freeze land use and building rights.

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July 30, 2000, 7:30 AM PDT

By California 2000

Sonoma County supervisors set aside a $100 million park development program until after the election due to concern that the Rural Heritage Initiative would freeze land use and building rights and preempt the program. The Rural Heritage Initiative, supported by several environmental groups, would freeze development in agricultural zones of the county for 30 years. Changes in the general plan could be made only by countywide vote. Supervisors add that the initiative would force 60 of the 100 park projects planned to go to countywide vote, which would cost taxpayers up to $50,000 each time. Initiative supporters contend that the language of the legislation provides an exception for parks that are primarily "nonintrusive," such as hiking trails or nature sites, and that supervisors are trying to politically maneuver the initiative into failure. County Counsel Steven Woodside countered that most parks would not qualify for the exemption because they would include recreational facilities such as ball parks.

Thanks to California 2000 Project

Wednesday, July 26, 2000 in Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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