The 900 acres of the recently shut-down state Sonoma Developmental Center in Glen Ellen are some of the most at-risk lands in the Bay Area greenbelt. Now we have a chance to shape the future of this precious public land that is literally at the heart of Sonoma Valley.
Recently, about 200 local movers and shakers kicked off a 3-year public process to transform the natural lands and developed campus for the next 100 years and beyond. Our North Bay Regional Director Teri Shore hosted one of the community round tables while Supervisor Susan Gorin, Sonoma Ecology Center Director Richard Dale, Mickey Cooke of Sonoma Mountain Preservation, and Glen Ellen Forum‘s Tracey Salcedo all took the stage to describe a draft vision for the lands, known as Eldridge.
The challenge will be to balance protecting the 700 acres of natural lands and the wildlife corridor while allowing the old buildings that housed patients and caregivers to be converted to a modern hub where people will live, work, learn and play.
The formal Permit Sonoma process to develop a Specific Plan starts this summer. Stay tuned and get engaged in this historic opportunity to protect open space, preserve history and culture and innovate a sustainable model for the campus.
This is not just a local planning issue! The future of the heart of Sonoma Valley is important to all who live and visit, but also to people across the Bay Area and the entire state of California. We need your help to ensure that the developer that will ultimately be chosen by the state to buy and develop the property be truly committed to the community vision.
Photo: Richard Dale, Sonoma Ecology Center