Ballot Measure W

November 2020 Election Results:   Measure W was voted in favor of and thereby deemed adopted by 78.68% of the total votes.

Measure W:   City of Sonoma, Urban Growth Boundary Extension

The City Council approved placing this measure on the November 2020 ballot.

Text of Measure W:
To continue existing protections provided by the current Urban Growth Boundary (“UGB”), such as preventing urban sprawl and preserving agricultural land and open space, shall the City of Sonoma extend its UGB until December 31, 2040, and, require that future changes to the UGB be approved by the voters except under limited circumstances requiring a 4/5ths vote of the Council?

Ballot Documents

Measure W - Resolution #39-2020

City Attorney's Impartial Analysis

Argument In Favor

Argument Against

Rebuttal to Argument In Favor

Rebuttal to Argument Against


Additional documents for local ballot measures as well as state propositions for November 2020 can be found at the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters.

Click on the image below to view the current Urban Growth Boundary.

FAQs about Measure W

In 2000, Sonoma voters approved a ballot measure that established in the City’s General Plan a boundary line beyond which urban development was not permitted for twenty years, except under certain circumstances. If approved by a simple majority of voters, Measure W would continue with the existing Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) for another twenty years, with some minor modifications regarding exceptions.

If approved, the measure only allows the UGB to be modified by the voters (or in limited circumstances by the City Council with a 4/5th vote). If not approved, the existing UGB would remain in its current configuration but the City Council could approve amendments to the UGB with a simple majority after December 31, 2020.

Measure W was placed on the November 3, 2020 ballot by the Sonoma City Council.  Background information can be found on the Urban Growth Boundary page.


Measure W would preserve the existing Urban Growth Boundary that was approved by the voters in 2000. A map showing the current UGB can be found here, with the UGB line shown in blue.

Measure W states that urban development will not be allowed beyond the Urban Growth Boundary, meaning development requiring one or more basic municipal services. Certain exceptions regarding water service are provided. Like the current rules, Measure W allows public parks, schools, agricultural and open space uses served by municipal services to be located outside the UGB.  Measure W also allows the UGB to be enlarged to accommodate development of affordable housing, within certain limits.  For details, view the City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis of Measure W and the Measure W Resolution.

Measure W would retain the rules of the existing measure which allow the UGB to be enlarged to accommodate affordable housing with a five acre limit each calendar year and a total limit of twenty acres over the 20-year life of the ballot measure. However, instead of requiring that housing projects eligible for this exception be “primarily” for low and very-low income housing, Measure W requires the project to be 100% affordable, with at least 51% being affordable to low and very-low income. Learn more on the Urban Growth Boundary page and in the City Council Resolution.

For background, visit the Urban Growth Boundary page.  For information about Measure W, including the City Attorney’s impartial analysis of the ballot measure, the City Council Resolution,   and other frequently asked questions, visit the Measure W page. General information about the November 3 election can be found at the Elections page.  If you are a member of a community organization that would like to receive a presentation on Measure W (which can be done remotely), please contact the City at or 933-2210.

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