Draft Closure Plan to be released Tuesday, September 15

September 11, 2015:

Provided courtesy of the Sonoma Index-Tribune website, staff report:

On Tuesday, September 15, the state Department of Developmental Services will release its draft plan for the closure of SDC – the Sonoma Developmental Center – giving the public its first opportunity to see how much its input has affected the state’s plans for closing the extensive and historic Eldridge facility.

It will be followed a few days later – on Monday, September 21 – by a day-long public hearing at The Renaissance Lodge at Sonoma, 1325 Broadway (at Leveroni and Napa Roads). The meeting will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include a call-in conference line at (866) 261-7147 so people who cannot attend the hearing can listen and contribute.

These comments will be considered in finalizing the closure plan to be submitted by October 1, for Legislative approval. “It will be a quick turnaround for review,” said Nancy Lundgren of the DDS. “Hopefully we will have captured the significant concerns and comments from the first hearing and input that has come in and update the draft for October 1.”

The draft plan will incorporate public sentiment as expressed in testimony from a number of events in Sonoma and elsewhere since Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 82 in June. That bill requires DDS to submit a plan, or plans, to the Legislature by October 1, to close one or more of the state’s three remaining developmental centers.

SDC was proposed for closure in that bill by the end of 2018, a three-year time period many find too accelerated and unworkable.

Public comment over the past three months has focused on the unique level of care the facility offers, its ancillary services, the bucolic nature of the hospital campus and the unusual afflictions its current residents posses, which make their transfer to community health centers problematic.

The draft closure plan will be available for review on the DDS website at www.dds.ca.gov/SonomaNews/ on Wednesday, September 16.

DDS Announces Second Public Hearing on SDC Closure, September 21 in Sonoma

September 8, 2015:

The Department of Developmental Services has published the following public notice for A Public Hearing on the Transformation of Sonoma Developmental Center.

TO INTERESTED PARTIES

Senate Bill 82, signed by the Governor June 24, 2015, requires the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to submit a plan, or plans, to the Legislature by October 1, 2015, to close one or more of the state’s three remaining developmental centers. Efforts are underway to submit a plan to close Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) in Eldridge, CA by the end of 2018. A draft closure plan specific to SDC will be available for review at http://www.dds.ca.gov/SonomaNews/ on September 15, 2015. DDS is seeking public comment on the draft plan at a public hearing. These comments will be considered in finalizing the closure plan to be submitted by October 1, 2015, for Legislative approval.

A Second Public Hearing on the Transformation of
Sonoma Developmental Center
Will be conducted by the Department of Developmental Services
Monday, September 21, 2015
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Conference Call Line: (866) 261-7147
The Renaissance Lodge at Sonoma — Sonoma Ballroom
1325 Broadway (Leveroni & Napa Roads)
Sonoma, CA. 95476

Agenda
(Additional copies of this agenda may be obtained at: http://www.dds.ca.gov/SonomaNews/index.cfm)
Introduction — 9:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
Public Testimony — 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To assure that each person has an opportunity to speak, each speaker is requested to limit their comments to a maximum of 5 minutes.

Please click here to view the rest of the agenda for the day, along with information pertaining to accessibility, accommodations, the written comment submittal process, and the available conference line.

Thank you and hope to see you there!

Provided courtesy of the Department of Developmental Services.

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

Last Day to Submit Public Comment on the SDC Closure Plan to DDS!

August 31, 2015:

Don’t forget, the public comment deadline is tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1!


This means you have a day and half left to submit a comment letter if you haven’t already done so. Today alone, we’ve received 5 comment letters that have been submitted to DDS. They are posted here on our blog site with countless other letters that have been flooding in over the past month or so from concerned community members and organizations alike.

We expect that a draft closure plan will be publicly released in mid-September.  DDS has indicated that they will also likely hold another public hearing to solicit feedback on the draft plan prior to the October 1st submittal deadline to the Legislature.

Please take a moment and submit an electronic comment via the Department of Developmental Services website or through the mail by September 1.

Visit the Transform SDC website, and utilize our SDC Coalition letter to DDS so you can echo the issues we have raised with the State. For those of you especially concerned about protecting the SDC lands, Sonoma Land Trust has developed a sample comment letter and natural resources fact sheet to help craft your message.

Let us know if you have any questions or need help with your comments.

Thank you!

A World Apart, an Article on the Sonoma Developmental Center

August 28, 2015:

The article provided below gives an extensive look into the stories of those who reside at SDC. It paints a picture from the conservators point of view of the pain family members dealt with when leaving their loved ones at SDC as early as the 1930’s. But, it also describes the relief that came over the families knowing that their “Heavenly Guest” would be well taken care of.

“As the state makes plans to shutter the 124-year old Sonoma Developmental Center, some families of the 392 remaining residents come to terms with what closure will mean.”

No matter the outcome, the history of the Sonoma Developmental Center is one that will not, and could not be forgotten.

A World Apart – SDC, Sonoma Magazine

Provided courtesy of the Sonoma Magazine, by Meg McConahey and photography by Erik Castro.

Public Comment Deadline on SDC Closure Plan Approaching: Your Comments Matter!

August 21, 2015:

The Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) is slated for closure by the end of 2018. Please take a moment and submit an electronic comment via the Department of Developmental Services website or through the mail by September 1.

Visit the Transform SDC website, and utilize our SDC Coalition letter to DDS so you can echo the issues we have raised with the State. For those of you especially concerned about protecting the SDC lands, Sonoma Land Trust has developed a sample comment letter and natural resources fact sheet to help craft your message.

Let us know if you have any questions or need help with your comments.

Thank you!

Senator McGuire’s Town Hall Meeting Tonight!

August 20, 2015:

Don’t forget, tonight is Senator McGuire’s Town Hall Meeting addressing the issues and future of SDC.
Please come out, show your support, and voice your concerns!

When: Thursday, August 20 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where: Altamira Middle School, located at 17805 Arnold, Sonoma.

To read more about what has been covered at previous meetings as well as a quick overview as to what to expect at tonight’s meeting, please click on the link provided below.

Thank you, and hope to see you there tonight!

SDC issues tackled in Town Hall tonight

Provided courtesy of the Sonoma Index-Tribune website, by Christian Kallen.

McGuire’s Town Hall Meeting, August 20

August 17, 2015:

Local elected representatives will host a Town Hall meeting focused on the future of the Sonoma Developmental Center on August 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Altimira Middle School located at 17805 Arnold Drive.

Sponsored by State Senator Mike McGuire, State Senator Lois Wolk, Assemblymember Bill Dodd, Congressman Mike Thompson, and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Susan Gorin, the community forum will discuss the issues surrounding the closure of the facility.

Please show your support and let your voice be heard by coming out to the meeting!

Pieces provided courtesy of the Sonoma Valley Sun website.

SDC Coalition Submits Comments on Closure Plan

August 11, 2015:

The attached document was provided to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) at a meeting on August 7th  in response to the request from the Department to sit down and talk about what the SDC Coalition would like to see in the Center’s closure plan. This memo represents our best effort to summarize all the feedback we received from the community at our May 2nd “Transform SDC workshop” in Sonoma, and our technical analysis of what we need to see in the closure plan in order to meet our overall objectives for the future of SDC.

It remains to be seen how much of what we proposed will make it into the draft closure plan. The public comment deadline is September 1st, and we expect that a draft closure plan will be publicly released in mid-September.  DDS has indicated that they will also likely hold another public hearing to solicit feedback on the draft plan prior to the October 1st submittal deadline to the Legislature. If you or your organization are planning on submitting comments to DDS prior to September 1st, please feel free to use this memo as a basis for your comments.  The meeting on the 7th is also covered in today’s Index Tribune article by Christian Kallen, “Upcoming SDC meetings: public, private.”

Recommendations for the SDC Closure Plan, SDC Coalition

The Buck Stops Here

August 10, 2015:

What will be the future for the residents at SDC? What will happen to Buck?

“There is more meaning in those four words than anyone not familiar with SDC could ever know. More poignant meaning than any Sacramento legislator, any Department of Finance analyst, even any capital-based bureaucrat in the California Department of Developmental Services will know or care.”

Valley of Moon Magazine describes the meaning of this small metal plaque on the western railing of the bridge along with the current state of SDC and its residents.

Click on the link below to read more of this article.

Uncertain SDC

Provided courtesy of the Valley of the Moon Magazine’s website, by David Bolling.