Is County on the hook for massive SDC clean-up costs?

Posted on September 15, 2022 by Sonoma Valley Sun

In spite of widespread public opposition, Sonoma County’s Specific Plan continues to call for the development of a 1,000-home subdivision and hotel at the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC).  Adoption of this plan would add some 2,500 people, more than doubling the current population of Glen Ellen and Eldridge.

Why does the County’s Specific Plan keep insisting on this 1,000-home plan for the SDC?  Because the State is demanding that our County agree to a scaled-up plan sufficient for potential developers to cover the $100 million costs of demolishing and removing the SDC buildings. All the SDC buildings are so below code they cannot be renovated or re-purposed.

Our State has left Sonoma Valley with this “super fund” SDC dump site, demanding that we pay for these massive clean-up costs by accepting an “economically feasible” SDC plan that calls for 1000 new homes!

For a scaled-back alternative SDC plan of 400-500 houses to be “economically feasible” the State must pay its share to clean up this SDC dump site. Our State can afford to do this! California’s State budget for the next fiscal year includes a surprising $45.7 billion surplus.  Our State Senators Dodd and McGuire, along with our Board of Supervisors, can best represent us by demanding that the State pay its share to clean up the SDC site.

— John Donnelly, Sonoma

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA