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Sonoma County zoning board backs freeze on Freestone commercial development

May 19, 2017

(PD) - Sonoma County’s zoning board agreed Thursday to seek a temporary freeze on new commercial development in the rural town of Freestone so that inconsistencies in local land-use designations for the area can be resolved before any new proposals are considered.

The most immediate effect of the recommendation, which requires action by the Board of Supervisors, could be to slow or curtail the proposed conversion of a 205-acre farm off Bodega Highway into what was once intended to be a wine-related event center, though county planners have curbed the initial proposal.


At issue is a “limited commercial” land-use designation that was created for the 1989 update to the county’s general plan and applied to 26 parcels in Freestone, a bucolic town with a couple of dozen homes at the meeting of Bodega and Bohemian highways. The 26 properties include a one-time residence later converted to the Freestone Artisan Cheese shop and a portion of the farm Santa Rosa entrepreneur John Webley now hopes to develop, though he has not disclosed his latest plans.

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