Our patterns of development resemble the earlier days of numerous other places that have by now sprawled hopelessly. Fortunately, we have those examples, and have begun to take some corrective measures in Sonoma County.

Although streets and roads are usually viewed as transportation, they can also be classified as land use, along with other transportation facilities such as parking and fueling facilities, transit stations and operating facilities.

Aside from land allocated to other collective needs - provision of water, waste facilities, power generation and distribution, resource extraction, etc., most of the remaining land is reserved for what might be called the "end uses", i.e., the buildings and outdoor spaces in which we reside, work, produce, trade and recreate, and reserve for nature itself. In urban areas at least, land is used in relatively equal parts for transportation and for all other activities.

Some parking is part of the street right-of-way. But much of it is built into other land uses, as a requirement imposed by government on owners and developers. It has become the largest single subsidy of automobile use, yet is seldom recognized as a subsidy.

There may not be any Transit Oriented Development yet in Sonoma County, but there is a lot of discussion about it, and examples of it will materialize as further steps are taken toward passenger rail.




Transit Oriented Development

Patterns of development

Buildings and spaces

Development density

Affordable housing