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For Immediate Release

Permit Sonoma releases new Sonoma Development Center project description for Board of Supervisors input

Santa Rosa,CA | January 14, 2022

Permit Sonoma, Sonoma County’s planning agency, released a proposed project description to guide redevelopment of the more than 900-acre Sonoma Developmental Center campus in Sonoma Valley. The agency will seek feedback from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and the public at the upcoming Jan. 25 board meeting.


The project description incorporates feedback from community workshops, public surveys and stakeholder meetings on three alternatives published on Nov. 1, 2021. As currently proposed, the project description calls for:


  • Preserving more than 700 acres of open space, Eldridge Cemetery, the Main Building, and Sonoma House
  • Expanding the existing wildlife corridor and protections along Sonoma Creek;
  • Constructing between 900 and 1,000 units of housing; 
  • Creating about 250 units of deed-restricted affordable housing; 
  • Generating approximately 1,000 jobs through office and local retail use
  • Establishing new community facilities for fire services, youth and active recreation;
  • Building new fire resilience measures;
  • Maintaining the net building area of the current site


Sonoma Developmental Center provided services to people with developmental disabilities for more than 120 years and at one time was the county’s largest employer. The State of California closed the facility in 2018 and relocated clients to smaller, community-based care facilities. The property includes a large historic campus, agricultural lands to the east and vast ecological and open space resources. It will require an estimated $100 million to pay for rehabilitation and infrastructure costs.


The State of California, which owns the site, has forged a unique partnership with Sonoma County to allow local input in charting the future of the property. This opportunity represents the first time the California Legislature has delegated land use planning responsibility to a local agency for the redevelopment of a state psychiatric facility.


Permit Sonoma has worked with stakeholders to develop alternatives that meet state goals and community needs. State law requires the redevelopment to prioritize housing, especially affordable housing and housing for people with developmental disabilities, and be economically feasible.


Comments on the draft plan are welcome during the public comment period of the board meeting. To join the board meeting or to obtain staff reports on the development project, please visit


For more information about site plans, visit