What will replace the Sonoma Development Center?

Posted on May 28, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The Sonoma Development Center (SDC) will officially close on Jan. 1, 2019. This will be a sad day for many: the severely disabled clients, their families, SDC’s many employees, staff and specialty techs, and the Sonoma Valley community that treasures the Center and its spectacular land and ecology.

Now the giant question remains: What will replace it?

I’ve heard the following suggestions: High-end resorts and hotels; golf courses; an equestrian center; vineyards/wineries/event centers; McMansions; a gambling casino; a Disneyland type thing; a college campus; and a Presidio Trust model that combines a bunch of these things.

The SDC land, approximately 1,000 acres – some developed, some not – is owned by the State of California, and the agency governing the selling of the land is the Department of General Services (DGS). The present Director of DGS is Daniel Kim and he is encouraging the “community” of the Sonoma Valley to give him their ideas for plans for what they’d like to see those lands used for. Here is in part what Mr. Kim had to say in answer to the question: Will there be a formal request for proposals [for land use] with a deadline and application process?

“While we are open to all proposals, we think it would be best for the community to work with the County on a joint effort that takes a more holistic approach to the disposition of SDC.”

So, if the state wants, is in fact encouraging our participation in expressing our ideas about what we’d like to see on this jewel in our Valley, now’s the time. I have my own ideas about what I’d like and not like to see there, but will hold that for another letter.

Daniel Kim, Dir. of General Services can be contacted at: (916) 376-5012, or go to: First District Supervisor Susan Gorin can be contacted at: [email protected]

— Will Shonbrun, Boyes Springs

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