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SANTA ROSA, CA-The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors this week approved leasing a 45-acre parcel of land just outside the Rohnert Park city limit for an organic farm as part of the county’s Small Farms Initiative.

It is the second approval in Sonoma County of a farming operation on the urban fringe. The supervisors, acting as the Board of Directors of the county’s Agricultural and Open Space District, in June approved a smaller farm operation north of Santa Rosa near Windsor.

Orchard Farms, an organic farming operation, intends to grow organic produce and cut flowers on 20 acres of the parcel, which is located off of Snyder Lane.

Residents living in the Park Estates adjacent to the property told the board they were concerned about a proposed farm stand on the site, as well as potential noise, dust and increased traffic. Residents in this area have complained about several nearby businesses and have tried to prevent commercial development in the area.

Several proponents of the farm said small farms in the county are disappearing because there is no affordable land for them and existing small-scale vegetable farms are feeling the pressure of rising land values.

Supporters also extolled the benefits of having a small farm and its produce so close to Rohnert Park’s city limits.

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