Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday approved zoning rules that they said would ensure a “conservative” and “cautious” approach to renewable energy development on the county’s farms, ranches and remote forested lands and hillsides.
The regulations for commercial projects on agricultural property cover more than three-quarters of the county, or more than 700,000 acres.
They will allow projects on about 140,000 agricultural acres where they were previously prohibited. Applicants would have to go through a rezoning process, including hearings before planning commissioners and the Board of Supervisors. They will also ban ground-mounted commercial projects on about 70,000 acres of the highest-value cropland, including mostly vineyards.