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Media & Outreach | Press Releases | Media & Outreach | Permit Sonoma

Media & Outreach | Press Releases | Media & Outreach | Permit Sonoma

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Santa Rosa CA   January 27, 2022   Permit Sonoma, Sonoma Countys planning agency, presented the project description framework to guide the redevelopment of Sonoma Developmental Center during this weeks meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The proposed framework combined aspects of the three options previously presented to public on November 1, 2021. It also incorporated feedback from two community workshops that had over 250 participants, five community meetings, and an online survey which had over 720 entries.

James Gore (chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors) stated that there is a lot of passion about the direction of this project. It was a solid framework that we can be confident in, and we are optimistic that it will improve with continued community participation.

The following are the key components of the proposed framework:

  • Expansion and preservation of more than 700 acres open space.
  • For defensible space management and vegetation management, increased distance from the wildland-urban interface.
  • Construction of between 900 to 1,000 housing units, with 250 units of affordable housing deed-restricted.
  • Enhancement of campus green spaces, and preservation and connectivity of historic landmarks such as Eldridge Cemetery, Main Building, and Sonoma House, to make them more connected and easier to use.
  • Local-serving retail, offices and visitor-serving uses contribute to the creation of approximately 1,000 jobs
  • Coordinated mobility system with an emphasis on nonauto travel and a new vehicle connection to extend Harney Drive towards Highway 12.

This is a great opportunity to revitalize a vibrant, sustainable community in the heart Sonoma Valley,” said Supervisor Susan Gorin, whose district also includes the Sonoma Development Center site. There are many perspectives on key issues, including the level and direction of development. I believe we can continue to build on the sites rich historical legacy while meeting current needs such wildlife habitat preservation, civic uses and community gathering spaces to make the center a hub for community life in Sonoma Valley.

Permit Sonoma staff will continue refinement of the project description and community engagement through the environmental review process. A draft Environmental Impact Report is expected be available for public inspection in June 2022. The Planning Commission will hold two public meetings in July and August 2022 for public comment on the draft EIR. They may also adopt a resolution that recommends that the Board of Supervisors certify a final EIR in September 2022 and adopt a final Special Plan.

The County of Sonoma and the State of California formed a unique partnership in 2019 to allow local input into the future of this property. This is the first instance of the California Legislature delegating land use planning responsibility for the redevelopment and maintenance of a state psychiatric facility. The Sonoma Developmental Center was the county’s largest employer and provided services for people with developmental disabilities for over 120 years. In 2018, the State of California closed the facility.

See Also

Please visit this website for more information about site plans or general information related the project.


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