Sebastopol is 56 miles north of San Francisco in California, on Gravenstein Highway (CA-116) and Luther Burbank Memorial Highway (CA-12), 7 miles west of Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County Administration Center. It lies 13 miles east of Bodega Bay and the Pacific coastline, 10 miles from the Russian River recreation region. It is 102 miles from the State Capitol of Sacramento and 405 miles north of Los Angeles. Elevation ranges from 65 to 250 feet in the rolling hills.
Sebastopol (City Limits) 7,397 West County market area 50,000 Sonoma County 493,000
Sebastopol has a moderate climate with southwesterly prevailing winds of 10 m.p.h. The average rainfall is 36 inches annually, concentrated between the months of December and March. No recorded snowfall. Frost is possible December through March, usually less than 10 days per year.
Average Normal Temperature
Recreational & Cultural Facilities
Sebastopol has nineteen churches, one public library, one weekly newspaper, one television cable system, multiple parks and playgrounds, and one public swimming pool. There is a Community Center and Art Center, ballparks, public golf course, tennis courts, and the Veterans Memorial Building. Nearby resorts, campgrounds, and State Parks add to the recreation facilities. There are also service clubs, fraternal and social organizations, trade associations, and youth and sports groups. Art, gardening, and music clubs are popular throughout West Sonoma County.
Police & Fire Protection
Sebastopol has its own full-service Police Department. In addition, the County Sheriff’s Department provides protection in unincorporated areas. The Sebastopol Volunteer Fire Department has over 30 volunteers with six trucks. Three adjacent volunteer fire districts also provide service.
Sebastopol has physicians, surgeons, an eye care surgery center, optometrists, dentists, orthodontists, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage centers, psychiatrists, acupuncturists, and two convalescent hospitals.
Check local listings for current information. Burbank Heights is a subsidized senior housing project.
Highways: U.S. 101, State Highways 12 and 116. Sonoma County Transit provides bus service within the County of Sonoma. Also, local buses provide service to both the San Francisco and Oakland Airports for a fee. Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa has passenger and freight services.
Safeway West County Union High School Sebastopol Union School
Pacific Gas and Electric Company at 111 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 · (800) 743-5000 SBC California Telephone Company · (800) 310-2355 Water and Sewer: City of Sebastopol, 7120 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol, CA 95472 · (707) 823-7863
The City of Sebastopol is a small semi-urban community located in California on the western edge of the Santa Rosa plain. It is 50 miles north of San Francisco, 8 miles west of Santa Rosa, 10 miles from Bodega Bay, and about 15 miles from the Russian River. The City, incorporated in 1902, currently has a population of about 7,800 people and serves a trade area population in excess of 50,000 people.
Sebastopol has a Council-Manager form of government, with five Council members elected at large. The City has its own Police, Fire, and Public Works departments, as well as other city departments. With a very low crime rate, Sebastopol remains among the safest cities in Northern California.
Sebastopol’s public schools rank among the highest in the area in terms of student achievement and also enjoy the strong community and parent support.
There are a diversity of housing types in the Sebastopol area, ranging from 100-year-old Craftsman bungalows and farmhouses to modern subdivisions, apartments, and condominiums. In the countryside surrounding Sebastopol, properties with vineyards, apple orchards, redwoods, streams, and other features are not uncommon. Home prices and rental rates tend to be higher than in some other areas of Sonoma County.
The City is located in a region that produces the majority of the world’s supply of Gravenstein apples and, more recently, has become a significant grape-growing region for high-quality wines. Sebastopol is also the gateway to the popular Russian River and coastal recreation areas.
A new General Plan in 1994 set the stage for limited and carefully controlled growth. In 1996 the voters adopted an Urban Growth Boundary consistent with the General Plan.
In the 1990s, several key new businesses were opened, including a multi-plex theater (reborn from an old apple brandy distillery) and two hotels. Two significant civic improvements also were developed: a Downtown Plaza, along with downtown streetscape improvements, and the Laguna de Santa Rosa Wetlands Preserve. In 2008, the City opened a Skategarden Park, including a state-of-the-art skatepark and a community garden. In addition, faced with the planned closure of Sebastopol’s Palm Drive hospital, the community successfully banded together in a remarkable grass-roots effort to buy the hospital and keep it in operation.
The area’s first known inhabitants were the native Miwok and Pomo peoples. The town of Sebastopol formed in the 1850s with a U.S. Post Office and as a small trade center for the farmers in the surrounding agricultural region. As California’s population swelled after the westward migration and the Gold Rush of the 1850s, more and more settlers drifted into the fertile California valleys north of San Francisco to try their hand at farming.
The name of Sebastopol first came into use in the late 1850s as a result of a prolonged and lively fistfight in the newly formed town, which was likened to the long British siege of the Russian seaport of Sevastopol during the then-raging Crimean War. Britain, France, Sardinia and Turkey fought Russia in this war, one of the first wars to be directly reported by journalists and photographers. The Crimean War was also the origin of improved medical care of the wounded, primarily due to the efforts of Florence Nightingale, who formed a nursing corps to care for wounded British soldiers. Evidently, many Americans in the west sympathized more for the Russian than for the British cause as there were at one time four other Sebastopol’s in California; one in Napa County, renamed Yountville, one each in Tulare, Sacramento, and Nevada counties.
The apple industry brought a steady rural prosperity to the town and Sebastopol was incorporated in 1902 with schools, churches, hotels, canneries, mills, wineries, and an opera house to its credit. The 1906 earthquake reduced most of these early buildings to rubble, but as elsewhere in the county, the town was rebuilt.
In the second half of the Twentieth Century, the apple industry struggled to compete with other apple producing regions and gradually declined in its economic significance. With greater personal mobility and the rise of larger shopping centers in other Sonoma County communities, Sebastopol changed from a full-service town with a complete range of stores to one with a more limited range of goods and services.
In the 21st Century, Sebastopol continues to be a vibrant, creative community. In addition to being the arts and creative hub of West Sonoma County, Sebastopol is a leader in local efforts to address climate change. The City itself, and the community as a whole are leaders in energy and water conservation efforts as well as policy initiatives to address this critical issue.
Sebastopol’s special qualities and unique geographical setting attract visitors and residents alike, as well as new commercial and industrial businesses, some with global reach. The community continues to work together towards creation of a sustainable local economy.