Senator McGuire to Host SDC Town Hall Follow-up Meeting this Saturday, December 19th

December 16, 2015:

Correction:This meeting is only for families and members of the Parent Hospital Association and SDC employees. Apologies for any confusion.

This Saturday, December 19th, Senator Mike McGuire will host a public meeting at the Sonoma Developmental Center’s Gymnasium located at 15000 Arnold Drive, Eldridge, CA 95431 at 10 a.m. This gathering is a follow up meeting to the Senator’s Town Hall Meeting that he hosted back in August, and he and his staff have prepared a response to many of the questions and concerns raised at that meeting.

Please come out for an update on the current situation related to the SDC closure plan, and anticipated next steps for 2016.

Decreasing Aid For People With Developmental Disabilities

December 15, 2015:

“The Arc is a national nonprofit with chapters across the country that offer programs and services for people with developmental disabilities. “It means a lot to me,” Palone says. “It gets me out of the house, and it helps me interact with people.”

But in California, aid for people with developmental disabilities is decreasing due to lack of funding for these programs. Please click on the link below to read more about this developing issue.

In California, Aid Withers For People With Developmental Disabilities

Provide courtesy of NPR from KQED, by Melissa Hellmann.

Articles: Proposed Plans for the Future of SDC

November 9, 2015:

Close to Home: Transform, don’t close, the Sonoma Developmental Center
Provided courtesy of the Press Democrat, by Kathleen Miller (PHA).

“The coalition, known as Transform SDC, offers a unified vision that serves the needs of the community, residents, families and employees and honors the land. A cohesive plan for the SDC campus must come first and not as an afterthought.”

Sonoma Developmental Center closure plan goes to legislature
Provided courtesy of the Sonoma Index-Tribune, by Christian Kallen.

“The report characterized those additional comments as “reflecting” earlier public comment on the issues surrounding the facility’s closure. These include “the need for services to be established at SDC in perpetuity, further concerns that the proposed closure timeline is too short, requests that the plan needs to include safety-net services and a better description of what happens if individuals ‘fail’ in the community, [and] requests that the Department address the emotional and spiritual needs of individuals in transition.”

California health secretary defends closure plan for Sonoma Developmental Center
Provided courtesy of the Press Democrat, by Derek Moore.

“Dooley said she is “very aware of the specific targeted challenges that exist” with community-based programs and said she is “committed to doing what we can to address them.” At the same time, she said, for every community-based program that goes out of business another one opens, so that the number of providers is “relatively constant.”

Plans discussed for new Sonoma Valley Regional Park lands
Provided courtesy of the Kenwood Press, by Alec Peters.

“The SDC41 piece was once part of the state-run Sonoma Developmental Center, but declared surplus property in the 1990s. Open Space bought the property for $600,000 in 2007. The land was then transferred to Regional Parks. The 41 acres consists of oak woodlands and grasslands, some wetland areas, and also provides some panoramic views of the valley.”

Protecting green places between towns and cities
Provided courtesy of the Sonoma Valley Sun, by Teri Shore (Greenbelt Alliance).

“The green heart of Sonoma Valley is shielded from sprawl and subdivisions by the Glen Ellen-Agua Caliente Community Separator. It stretches across both sides of Highway 12 from Arnold Drive at Glen Ellen to just south of Madrone Road. It contains 1,400 acres of oak woodlands, vineyards, organic farms, parks and nature preserves and overlaps part of the Sonoma Valley wildlife corridor and the Sonoma Developmental Center.”

Update on Transform SDC: What happened at the workshop?

November 3, 2015:

It’s been awhile since there has been a post from Transform SDC. For those who attended the workshop October 17th, it provided an informative look at the Potrero Group’s work on the SDC Site Transformation Study as well as some background on the SDC Closure Plan.

In addition, we provided the Transform SDC Community Vision Statement to those in attendance as well as a chart that laid out the comparison between the community’s recommendation for SDC to the DDS Closure Plan.

If you’d like to view the Potrero Group’s slideshow from the workshop, please feel free to browse it here.

Thank you again to those who attend any and all of the SDC meetings and to those who have continued to follow the Transform SDC Project. We couldn’t be where we are now in the process without all of your support!

Stories aired of SDC residents and their families

September 28, 2015:

For those who were unable to view the Brian Heap interview that aired last Thursday, please click on the link below to view it on KCRA’s website.

NorCal families fight closure of developmental centers

In addition, there was also a taping done of Kathleen Miller and Brien Farrell by KPIX with their children, seen below.

Caregivers For Disabled Fight Proposed Shutdown Of Sonoma Developmental Center

Provided courtesy of KCRA news and KPIX, Channel 5 SF Bay Area news.


DRAFT Site Transformation Study – Transform SDC

September 3, 2015:

The following report is intended to create a common language for discussing models for SDC’s future, envisioning a planning process, and navigating a path forward that is informed by lessons from other site transformations. This study is, by necessity of the closure plan timeline, preliminary and intended to inform a more comprehensive process.

Keep in mind that the report is still in draft form, and that it will be polished and put into a professional design before the October 1st submittal  deadline to the Legislature.

We’re excited to be able to share this with the community and hope that these examples and frameworks will enrich the conversation moving forward.

Please share your feedback with us and enjoy!

DRAFT SDC Site Transformation Study

Transform SDC Community Workshop #1 Synthesis Report

July 2, 2015:

Transform SDC
Dream, Create, Transform.

A diverse partnership comprised of the County of Sonoma, the Parent Hospital Association, the Sonoma Land Trust, the Sonoma Ecology Center and other local groups have come together to create a comprehensive and inclusive 18-month planning process to explore options for the future of the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) that preserve the unique human health, community and natural resources provided by SDC. On Saturday, May 2nd, more than 200 people participated in the first community workshop to kick-off the Transform SDC planning process. The theme of the workshop focused on empowering the community to begin to establish a vision to Dream, Create, Transform the site. This document synthesizes the community’s input which defined initial elements of a community vision for the future of SDC, explored possible re-use options, and identified areas for further inquiry and investigation.

Please click on the synthesis report provided below to explore the results from the first community workshop.

Transform SDC Community Workshop #1 Synthesis Report

As well, a more extensive list of re-use ideas is provided below for those who would like to see the full range of viewpoints that came out of the workshop.

Transform SDC Community Workshop #1 Re-use Ideas


A Historical Perspective of the Sonoma Developmental Center

May 28, 2015:

Beginning in 1891, SDC has contained a rich history as a ‘community within a community.’ With the State’s desire to close the Sonoma Developmental Center by 2018, this all may change. The following article provides a brief personal historical perspective of Eldridge and how SDC has shaped the community into what it is today.

Click on the link below to read this insightful article.

Musings of a Sonoma son: When Eldridge was a real community

Provided courtesy of the Sonoma Index-Tribune website.

Transform SDC Project Workshop Flyer for May 2

April 2, 2015:

Join us for the first community workshop to Transform SDC, the Project Introduction and Community Visioning Launching on May 2, 9am to 1pm at the Vintage House in Sonoma. As the State is pushing to close SDC and other developmental centers, we invite you to learn more about this unique community resource and help us chart a course away from closure and towards a transformed and revitalized Center.

Please RSVP by April 25th to Samantha at or by phone at (707) 526-6930 ext. 123 so we can adequately prepare.

Hope to see you there!

Transform SDC Project Workshop – Flyer for May 2