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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Protecting Sonoma Coumty Land for the Future

Agreement Protects Natural Area along Highway 12
Conservation easement keeps 165-acre Danielli property “forever wild” and preserves historic agricultural use.

In an area surrounded by existing or planned residential development and vineyards, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District will purchase an easement over the 165-acre Danielli property which will keep approximately 148 acres natural and provide for 17 acres of agricultural use.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, acting as the District’s Board of Directors, approved the $1.48 million agreement between the District and Lola Danielli. The purchase price represents a 10% or $164,500 reduction of the appraised value, and the agreement eliminates the potential for development of six parcels and provides for continued agricultural and existing residential uses on the property.

“We thank Lola Danielli and applaud her family’s efforts to voluntarily preserve their land,” said Valerie Brown, First District Supervisor. “Together we’re maintaining our county’s quality of life and ensuring wildlife habitat.”

The property has been in the Danielli family since the 1940s and will adjoin two existing open space easements that will create 420 acres of contiguous wildlife habitat. Forever protected are the oak woodland, conifer forest, meadows, chaparral, and seasonal creeks that characterize the property.

“It was always the wish of my parents to keep this land open and undeveloped,” said property owner Lola Danielli. “Working with the District has allowed us to keep this land natural and protect these vital resources for future generations.”

The expanse of the property runs from the northeast side of Sonoma Highway across from the Oakmont subdivision, halfway between downtown Santa Rosa and Kenwood, to nearly a mile into the hills on the northeast side of Sonoma Valley. Elevations range from 400 to 850 feet along the property’s two ridges. Additionally, it is located within a major groundwater basin that recharges the water supply to Santa Rosa Creek.

“More than half of the nearly 83,000 acres we’ve conserved protects the County’s natural areas and critical habitats.” said Bill Keene, General Manager of the District. “By setting aside these protected areas, we are able to preserve our native plants and animals, promote clean air and water, and provide educational opportunities for the community.”

About the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District
The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. Since 1990, the District has protected more than 83,000 acres. Agricultural and open space lands have been protected through a 1/4-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1990 and reauthorized in 2006. For more information, please visit

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