Description: In 2019, the City of Petaluma, CA adopted an “Urgency Ordinance” imposing a temporary moratorium on new fueling station uses within the City. The temporary moratorium provided time for the City to study the potential impacts (including air quality, health risk, safety, and traffic circulation) that new fueling stations may have on nearby schools, parks, neighborhoods and other sensitive receptors.
The temporary moratorium also allowed the city to explore legislative options that could include changes to zoning ordinances to limit or prohibit fueling stations; requirements to prepare an Environmental Impact Report; adopt specific use criteria for fueling stations in all zones or where proximity to sensitive receptors such as residential neighborhoods, schools, parks, etc. may be of special concern; limit the size of fueling stations based on number of pumps or annual fuel throughput, etc.
The initially imposed 45-day moratorium was subsequently extended to two years.
On March 1, 2021 the City of Petaluma adopted zoning amendments to prohibit new gas station land uses. The new ordinance also prohibits the enlargement, extension, reconstruction or relocation of 16 existing gas station uses except for four specific categories of modifications, which include (1) those to improve soil, groundwater and stormwater quality; (2) those necessary to improve traffic safety; (3) those to enable battery charging stations for Zero Emission Vehicles; and (4) those to install facilities for the storage, conveyance and dispensing of hydrogen to Zero Emission Vehicles.
In September 2021, the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority adopted a resolution to support all Sonoma County local governments in passing ordinances prohibiting the construction of new gasoline stations in their respective jurisdictions. By July, 2022 the Sonoma County cities of Cotati, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, and Sebastopol had adopted their ordinances; Windsor and Santa Rosa both had draft ordinances in process.
Goal: Restrict fossil fuel infrastructure development (retail facilities)
Measurement: Number of gas stations in Petaluma city limits restricted to current 16, unless special condition satisfied
Time to Implement: Two years
Petaluma’s Urgency Ordinance 2681 imposes moratorium on approval of gas stations (adopted May 6, 2019)
Petaluma’s ordinance to Prohibit New Gas Station Land Uses and Enact New Regulations for Zero Emission Vehicles (adopted March 1, 2021)
City Staff report and initially proposed urgency ordinance
California Government Code 65858 permitting urgency ordinances
The First Town in America to Ban New Gas Stations
Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations (CONGAS)
Sonoma County is one step closer to a ban on new gas stations
City of Petaluma Planning Manager