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Request for Proposals: Sonoma Developmental Center Site

RFPs were due on July 12, 2019 by 2:00 PM; the RFP acceptance period has closed.

Published: May 24, 2019

Request for Proposals for Consultant Services to Prepare Specific Plan & Program EIR for the Sonoma Developmental Center Site

View County’s Supplier Portal to Submit RFP

Request for Proposal Document (PDF: 414 kB)

The County of Sonoma is embarking on a major planning effort involving the development of a Specific Plan to facilitate the transformation of the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) property in Sonoma Valley. The Sonoma Developmental Center was one of the oldest state-run developmental centers in California and has served individuals with developmental disabilities since 1891. At one time, SDC was the largest employer in Sonoma County, employing approximately 1,300 nursing, professional and administrative staff.

The County of Sonoma is soliciting proposals from a team of consultants to assist County staff in preparing and adopting a Specific Plan and associated Program Environmental Impact Report for the redevelopment of the Sonoma Developmental Center site. The project is expected to incorporate significant community engagement and be completed within two years. The Specific Plan process is anticipated to begin in September 2019 and must be completed by September 2021.

Specific Plan

A Specific Plan is needed to represent the community’s vision and facilitate the site’s redevelopment. The overall goal of the Specific Plan effort is to guide future development to achieve an attractive and sustainable vision, which includes viable mixed uses and economic development, affordable housing opportunities, open space and resource conservation, cultural and historical preservation. The development articulated through the Specific Plan must be compatible in scale with the surrounding community, and consistent with State, County, and community goals.

The Sonoma Developmental Center property presents unique opportunities for both conservation and economic development. The potential exists for a mix of housing, limited retail or commercial, professional, educational, arts, public, and museum spaces benefitting the entire County of Sonoma. Protecting the open space lands that serve as critical habitat, riparian corridors, groundwater recharge, and the watershed has long been recognized as vital to not just the community of Sonoma Valley but to the entire county. Multiple studies and community engagement processes have affirmed these benefits including the recent State-commissioned Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) report, the Sonoma County Water Agency’s, “Review of Water Resources for Sonoma Developmental Center”, and the Potrero Group’s 2015 study. As noted in these reports, SDC has been the County’s largest employer, providing decades of essential patient care services to the developmentally disabled. SDC has historically contributed to the economic strength of the county and helped frame social values of caring for the most vulnerable within our community.

The overarching project tasks must, at minimum, include:
Meaningful and comprehensive community engagement throughout the process

  • Project Understanding
    • Extensive community engagement
    • Constraints and Opportunity Analysis, building on existing studies
      • Including a detailed water supply analysis
    • Economic Demand and Feasibility of Reuse Options
  • Land Use Alternatives Development
    • Examination of alternative models for site redevelopment
    • Land Use, Open Space and Zoning Plan
    • Preliminary Design Guidelines for each alternative
    • Selection of a Preferred Alternative (or blend)
  • Plan Development
    • Detailed Specific Plan document with land use, open space, and zoning
    • Finalized development standards and design guidelines
    • Infrastructure Needs Assessment and Cost Estimates
    • Financing Plan
  • Program Environmental Impact Report and Mitigation Monitoring Program

RFP Schedule



May 24, 2019

Release Request for Proposals

June 05, 2019

Pre-Proposal Conference 2:00-4:00 PM
Permit Sonoma Hearing Room
2550 Ventura Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

June 10, 2019

Proposer’s Questions Due by 5:00 PM

June 19, 2019

County’s Responses to Questions Distributed

July 12, 2019

Proposals Due by 2:00 PM

August 2, 2019

Proposals Evaluated by County

August 5-9, 2019

Interviews Conducted

By August 31, 2019

Notice of Intent to Award (subject to delay without notice)

By September 6, 2019

Board of Supervisors Awards Contract (subject to delay without notice)

Pre-Proposal Conference

An optional but highly recommended pre-proposal conference was held on June 5, 2019 for all prospective bidders. The conference included a brief introduction to the project by staff, followed by an extended Q&A. Below is a video of the staff presentation:

View List of Attendees (PDF: 6.72 MB)


Proposers will be required to submit any questions on the RFP electronically or in writing by 5:00 PM June 10, 2019 in order for staff to prepare written responses to all consultants. Written answers will be shared with all potential bidders through an addendum on the County’s Supplier Portal and email notification. Questions should be sent via e-mail directly to: Questions will not be accepted by phone.

Background Documents

The following documents provide both general and site-specific information that should be reviewed when preparing proposals: