At Risk lands at the Sonoma Developmental Center were recently prioritized for protection.

Sonoma Developmental Center Prioritized as Open Space

Breaking News! Some of the most at-risk greenbelt lands in the Bay Area moved toward permanent protection!

More than 700 acres of open space and wildlife habitat at the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) in Sonoma Valley are being prioritized as open space in a new $40 million planning agreement between state and county officials!

These spectacular lands were identified in the Greenbelt Alliance At Risk 2017 report as among the most at risk in the Bay Area.  As a key step toward permanent protection, we successfully designated 825 acres of critical lands on the flanks of Sonoma Mountain as a community separator. You can read more details in the Sonoma Index-Tribune.

Now that all the residents of the historic campus have been relocated into community homes, the SDC has been permanently closed. Under the new agreement, we have three years to work with the county, state, and community to develop a final plan for the property.  Then it will be transferred or sold.

Everyone agrees that the natural and open space lands will go to the adjacent Sonoma Valley Regional Park and Jack London State Park. The challenge ahead is to decide how to add housing and other community benefits to the developed lands.

Thank you to Supervisor Susan Gorin for championing these protections and Senator Mike McGuire for taking the community vision to the State of California.

Greenbelt Alliance is at the forefront of the next phase of planning! If you want to help, email North Bay Regional Director Teri Shore. You can also learn more from Transform SDC and the Glen Ellen Forum.

Photo: Teri Shore

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