How does one find out background information on open spaces in Sonoma County?

Asked by Suzy, Sonoma County, CA Mon Jul 5, 2010

I was looking at a couple houses in Healdsburg and Geyserville this weekend, and two such properties backed up to open space. At one of the properties, the agent said the land behind the house was owned by the county. How do I verify that? What is the best government institution to consult?

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Dave Roberts, Agent, Healdsburg, CA
Mon Jul 5, 2010
Deborah's answer is accurate for some open space, but there is land owned by other government agencies that wouldn't show up on those lists. Your real estate agent can pull up the tax records on the MLS system and look at any parcel to check for ownership. You can do the same thing in person at the Sonoma County PRMD or even in the Recorder's office. Easiest, though, is to just ask your agent to do the research on your behalf. They won't have to leave their desk and it only takes a couple of minutes.
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Essex Mortga…, , Santa Rosa, CA
Mon Jul 5, 2010
There are various agencies who own or hold open space in the County of Sonoma - Here are a couple of them - the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and the Sonoma Land Trust owns and manages open space in the county also the water district owns vast amounts of land in the county.I would check with the cities of Healdsburg and Geyserville in regards to the properties you are considering.I hope this helps a little ...and good luck.Feel free to contact me should you need more assistance - Jeffrey Martino Young Branch Manager of Essex Mortgage Bank in Santa Rosa,Ca, 95404 toll free 1-877-870-2676 .
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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Mon Jul 5, 2010
Hi Suzy,

The Sonoma Land Trust is a non-governmental, non-profit land trust founded in 1976. Land Trusts exist to protect and preserve open lands through purchase acquisitions of land or conservation easements, donated lands, and stewardship. The SLT (as do many Land Trusts) works closely with governmental agencies, and will be able to provide you much information about open space in Sonoma.

The Sonoma Open Space District provides a map on their website which details lands conserved through the District and private lands which are in conservation plans. Here is an interactive map.

I have participated in education programs through the Land Trust Alliance (1600+ Land Trusts across the nation) and have met people associated with the Land Trusts in Sonoma. The next Land Trust Rally in this fall in Connecticut. Maybe I will meet some Sonoma foks again.

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