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Released by: Permit Sonoma
For Immediate Release

Help Shape the Future of the Sonoma Developmental Center

Seeking Community Members to Guide the Planning Process

Santa Rosa, CA  –  August 28, 2019  –  specific_plan219

The Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) is entering a new chapter as the County and State embark on a unique partnership to prepare a Specific Plan for the site that will guide the property disposition process. The County’s Permit Sonoma department is leading the planning effort together with a consultant team. The Specific Plan will expand on work already completed by the State to understand site conditions and opportunities. From there, the planning effort will develop conceptual alternatives for the site’s future and then prepare a draft Specific Plan using the community’s preferred path forward. Community input is essential to creating a strong and viable vision for the site. Permit Sonoma is recruiting community members for a Planning Advisory Team (PAT) to advise staff and consultants during the process, review Specific Plan materials, and serve as ambassadors to the public.

“There has been a tremendous amount of community engagement in the Sonoma Developmental Center,” said County Supervisor Susan Gorin, whose district includes the SDC. “The Planning Advisory Team is a great opportunity for community members to build on this work to create the vision for the future of this special place.”

The SDC was one of the oldest state-run developmental centers in California and served individuals with developmental disabilities from 1891 to 2018. In April of 2019, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors authorized the SDC Specific Plan, contingent on financial support from the State. Later that month, the State’s Department of Finance submitted a proposed trailer bill amendment to the budget for funding that includes costs associated with a Sonoma County-led Specific Plan effort. The planning process will occur over three years. The resulting Specific Plan will define a clear vision for the site, and will balance mixed uses, economic development opportunities, affordable housing, open space and resource conservation, as well as cultural and historical preservation on the property.

The 13-member Planning Advisory Team will hold an advisory role as an extension of the planning team. Membership will be made up of two representatives from community organizations active in the Glen Ellen-SDC area, three community members with technical expertise relevant to planning for the SDC site, and eight community members at large with at least 5 members residing/working within two miles of the SDC. Members will be expected to attend monthly meetings and commit to serving for the full length of the three year planning process. For more information and to apply online, visit:

All applications must be received online by the submittal Friday, October 4, 2019 deadline.


Contact Information

Bradley Dunn
Policy Manager
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