Sonoma Developmental Center
SDC Specific Planning Process Underway
In 2019, the State of California, which owns the SDC site, elected to partner with the county, allowing Permit Sonoma the unique opportunity to spearhead the planning process – marking the first time the state has delegated land use planning responsibility to a local agency for the redevelopment of a state developmental facility. California has been systematically closing the centers over past decade.
The state established a three-year timeline for the specific planning process for SDC, of which we are now in year three. Currently, Permit Sonoma is in the Scoping period of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Comments on the Scoping are due by March 25th.
The EIR will go before the Planning Commission in both Draft and Final form this summer and finally to the Board of Supervisors for adoption in fall 2022. Please visit the project website for more details and to review documents, including materials from the January 25 Board of Supervisors meeting and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the EIR. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for updates: https://www.sdcspecificplan.com/
Diverse Habitat and Connected Corridors for Wildlife
The SDC property contains oak woodlands, Douglas fir forests, redwoods, grasslands, lakes, wetlands, and streams. Deer, mountain lion, coyote, and bobcat, and rare species such as steelhead trout, northern spotted owl, and California red-legged frog live here. Sonoma Creek, which runs through SDC for about three quarters of a mile, is one of the County’s most significant streams for steelhead. In addition, the property provides significant water resources for the surrounding community.
Permanent protection of the undeveloped portions of the SDC will link over 9,000 acres of protected land, home to many rare native plants and animals. The property is recognized as a regionally significant linkage connecting the Marin coast to the interior coast ranges of California.
SDC is the last large undeveloped property in Sonoma Valley, and the loss of its exceptional habitat to incompatible development will likely have devastating effects on wildlife movement across the Valley.
SDC is the only single property in Sonoma Valley that is poised to recreationally connect Sonoma Valley Regional Park to Jack London State Park, with its network of publicly accessible lands, and bikeways and transit options that link to Sonoma and Santa Rosa.
There is substantial existing public investment in the land; over 12 miles of trails, equestrian, group and camp facilities, and scenic lakes are enjoyed every day by the public. Multiple-use trails on SDC lands link to a network of trails that connect to Jack London State Park and Sonoma Mountain. If the SDC were to be closed and the property sold, the existing public access and expanded new recreational opportunities would be jeopardized.
The gentle topography supports accessible trails that appeal to all segments of the population. This property can provide access to nature and to healthy lifestyles in a way that no other Sonoma Valley facility can.