Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Specific Plan?
A Specific Plan is a planning tool for refining a community’s vision for a particular area. Usually, communities use Specific Plans for areas that are to be master planned for new neighborhoods and services, or, as is the case with Sonoma Boulevard, in existing areas that need clarity about their direction for the future. The community can use a Specific Plan to guide land use activity, development and reinvestment in the planning area. Per State Law, the Specific Plan must be consistent with the General Plan. The Sonoma Boulevard Specific Plan is being coordinated with the concurrent Vallejo General Plan update.

Per State Law, a Specific Plan must include the following information:

  • Text and diagrams showing the distribution, location and extent of all land uses, including open space;
  • Proposed distribution, location, extent and intensity of major components of public and private transportation, sewage, water, drainage, solid waste disposal, energy and other essential facilities needed to support the land uses;
  • Standards and guidelines for development, and standards for the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources, where applicable;
  • Program of implementation measures including regulations, programs, public works projects and financing measures; and
  • Statement of the Specific Plan’s relationship to the General Plan.

Where will the Specific Plan apply?
The Specific Plan applies to the parcels along Sonoma Boulevard from Redwood Street on the north to Curtola Parkway on the south.

Why is a Specific Plan necessary when we have the Sonoma Corridor Design Plan?
The 2013 Corridor Design Plan made specific recommendations to make the corridor more accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians, including new bicycle lanes, street trees, improved sidewalks, and other pedestrian amenities. It also established a broad foundation for understanding what general types of land use activity the community might expect and prioritize along Sonoma Boulevard. However, the Plan did not go into the same amount of detail about the parcels along Sonoma Boulevard. It recognized that subsequent planning activities – including a Specific Plan and amendments to the Zoning Ordinance – would need to be undertaken in order to overcome existing regulatory and policy barriers to better development patterns and to properly address development potential as it relates to the Boulevard and to adjacent neighborhoods. The Specific Plan is a comprehensive way of moving those recommendations forward by identifying programs and development standards that animate the recommendations and general ideas found in the Corridor Plan.

Will my zoning change?
The existing zoning is being analyzed to understand all that it allows or does not allow, with regards to both land use and physical form, and how this compares to the Corridor Plan’s direction. Form-Based Codes (FBC) may be applied to the Sonoma Boulevard.

What is a Form-Based Code (FBC)?
Form-Based Codes (FBCs) provide an alternative approach to Euclidean/Conventional zoning that emphasizes physical form, rather than separation of uses. They have been utilized to reinforce walkable, sustainable, mixed-use environments that build upon the existing character of places.