The coastal residents of the Bodega Bay area are intent on preserving the quality of life they have found here. Additionally, there are laws and physical limitations on water supplies and traffic capacity that greatly affect any plans for development in the Bodega Bay area.

The California Coastal Act of 1976 ensures the protection and preservation of the coastal environment, while at the same time maintains public access to the coast. The California Coastal Act established the need for Coastal Plans for limiting development and maintaining the natural beauty of the coast. Local governing bodies are responsible for the Coastal Plans in their area. Since Bodega Bay is unincorporated, Sonoma County has jurisdication over the Bodega Bay area coast. Sonoma County’s Coastal Plan was certified by the California Coastal Commission in 1980.

The only major new development plans for the greater Bodega Bay area were approved in late 1994. The Harbor View subdivision, whose goal was to add 70 single family and 14 low income housing units to the housing inventory, experienced multiple legal issues that prohibited completion of the project. Currently, Harbor View, which is located just north of the Tides restaurant on the east side of the highway, has built and leased the low income housing units. Harbor View is the only significant new housing development included in current county planning documents, including the Coastal Plan and the General Plan.