DDS Announces Public Hearing on SDC Closure, July 18 in Sonoma

July 7, 2015:

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

To access a copy of the letter about the hearing noticed by DDS and sent by Sonoma Developmental Center to conservators click here.

A Public Hearing on the Transformation of
Sonoma Developmental Center

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. As a required part of the development of a closure plan specific to SDC, DDS is seeking public comment from interested persons and organizations. These comments will be summarized in the closure plan to be submitted by October 1, 2015, for Legislative approval.

DDS will hold this public hearing on Saturday, July 18, 2015, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Sonoma Valley High School Pavilion, 20000 Broadway, Sonoma, CA.

Introduction — 10-10:15 a.m.
Public Testimony — 10:15 a.m. – 5 p.m.

To assure each person who wants to speak has the opportunity, individuals providing testimony are asked to keep their comments to approximately five minutes. Written comments may be submitted in person at the hearing, to DDS online at, by mail to DDS, Developmental Centers Division, Attn: Cindy Coppage, 1600 9th Street, MS 3-17, Sacramento, CA 95814, or via e-mail to by 5 p.m. on September 1, 2015.

Sonoma Valley High School Pavilion is physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Printed materials in alternate formats and requests for sign language interpreters, or other disability-related accommodations, should be made to DDS @ (916) 654-1706 or email: by 5 p.m. on July 14, 2015.

To view the original public notice received by PHA, please click here, and a later copy of the agenda here.

Provided courtesy of the Department of Developmental Services and the Parent Hospital Association websites.

Federal Funding Deal Reached for Sonoma Developmental Center

July 2, 2015:

An agreement has been reached that secures continued federal Medicaid funding for the Eldridge facility, as previously stated here.

“Rogers (Director of the state Department of Developmental Services) said the federal funding will help the department transform the Sonoma Facility as described in a plan produced by a special task force that INVESTIGATED the future of the state’s developmental centers.”

Please read the rest of the article by clicking on the link below.

Deal reached to preserve Sonoma Developmental Center’s federal funding

Provided courtesy of the Press Democrat website, by Martin Espinoza.

Response, Rush to Close SDC

July 2, 2015:

With almost 400 residents at the Sonoma Developmental Center, the rush to provide a closure plan by October 1 has parents and guardians searching for some sense of assurance that their loved ones will be cared for.

Please click on the link provided below to read this insightful article.

Parents, guardians not happy with rush to close SDC

Provided courtesy of the Kenwood Press website, by Jay Gamel.

Breaking News: Agreement with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Continued Federal Funding for Sonoma Developmental Center

July 1, 2015:


California has announced its agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to continue federal financial participation for Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) for up to two years.

As said by Diana S. Dooley, Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency,

“We are working in collaboration with our federal partners to ensure quality care and service continue at Sonoma while…”

Please click on the link provided below to view California’s Department of Developmental Services News Release, and don’t forget to click on the links within the News Release for additional information on their plan moving forward as well as the Sonoma Settlement Agreement.

California Announces Agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Continued Federal Funding for Sonoma Developmental Center

These documents are also provided via the DDS’s website provided below.

Thank you!

Provided courtesy of the California Department of Developmental Services website, (at, under Highlights.

California Senators to Discuss Funding

June 29, 2015:

Because California’s new budget did not include extra funds for programs geared towards those with developmental disabilities, Governor Brown has called for a special session in order to discuss how the state could raise the money.

“State senators who will serve on a special session to discuss additional funding for services for those with developmental disabilities have been chosen, but it’s uncertain when the committee will convene.”

Please click on the link below to read more on this update.

California senators chosen to discuss funding for developmentally disabled

Provided courtesy of the Los Angeles Daily News, by Susan Abram.

McGuire’s Letter

June 16, 2015:

With news of Governor Brown’s plan to close SDC by 2018, the Sonoma legislative delegation has been urging the Governor to include critical protections for SDC residents, staff and the property’s natural resources in the final version of the FY 2015-2016 state budget which directs DDS to submit a closure plan to the Legislature for review.

“Ensuring that appropriate and individualized community services are in place before residents are moved from the SDC to community placements. Ensuring that critical services…”

Please click on the link provided below to read the rest of this letter.

McGuire’s Letter

Thank you!

Sonoma Developmental Center, Draft Resource Assessment

May 4, 2015:

The SDC Draft Resource Assessment is here, providing a great compilation of a lot of data about the existing conditions on the SDC property!

The Resource Assessment was prepared based on a review of previous studies completed on the property, local and regional reports and monitoring efforts, GIS mapping and analysis, outreach and interviews with individuals familiar with SDC and its regional significance, and assessments of cultural resources, wildlife permeability, and habitat connectivity completed for SLT.  It summarizes the following:

  • existing natural resource conditions, prepared by Prunuske Chatham, Inc.
  • wildlife permeability and habitat connectivity, prepared by UC Berkeley
  • cultural and historical resources, prepared by Tom Origer & Associates
  • water resources, prepared by Sonoma County Water Agency
  • existing recreational resources, prepared by Sonoma County Regional Parks
  • preliminary results of a hazardous materials assessment for areas outside the Core Campus, prepared by ECON/West Yost
  • additional data and input provided by Sonoma Ecology Center

You can also view the Resource Assessment on the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District’s website here.