Sonoma County Publishes Report on Impacts of Growth at Former State Hospital Web site | Bohemian

Sonoma County moved nearer to creating a plan for the previous web site of the Sonoma Developmental Heart as Allow Sonoma launched a draft environmental affect report on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

The county has been grappling with find out how to develop and protect the 945-acre property in Glen Ellen that previously housed a state hospital and shut its doorways in 2018.

Proposed designs mix housing and infrastructure whereas on the similar time enhancing the positioning’s historic character and pure magnificence, in line with the county. It’s what Sonoma County coverage supervisor Bradley Dunn calls an “intentional neighborhood,” with strolling and bike paths, eateries, a grocery retailer and housing.

“It’s someplace that could be a vibrant neighborhood that individuals wish to dwell in, the place they’ll stroll, the place they’ll work together with their neighbors,” Dunn mentioned in January.

That doesn’t imply that the complete acreage will likely be changed into a quaint-yet-bustling village. In accordance with Dunn, solely 180 acres of the positioning will likely be developed, leaving greater than 700 acres as a protect.

The state has taken the weird step of permitting Sonoma County to find out how the land will likely be used earlier than the state cedes the property, Dunn mentioned.

“The state created a partnership with us, however actually allowed us to work with the neighborhood to program the land use,” he mentioned. “So long as we shield open house, prioritize housing and reasonably priced housing, and deal with financial improvement, they are going to let the county program the land use.”

Preliminary concepts for the positioning had been introduced at a Board of Supervisors assembly on Nov. 1, 2021, and the county has sought enter from the neighborhood by way of workshops, conferences and a web based survey. The county’s plan would come with preservation of Sonoma Creek; 1,000 housing models with 283 reserved as reasonably priced housing, particularly for adults with developmental disabilities; a walkable core with transit, pedestrian and bike paths; institutional makes use of to drive analysis and training and employment; and industrial, leisure and civic makes use of for residents.

The environmental affect report has decided that three key issues necessary to surveyed residents is not going to be impacted with the present improvement plan: preserving open house and wildlife, water points, and wildfire danger and evacuation routes.

The plan features a fireplace station and a brand new connection to Route 12, for instance. As for water, the EIR decided that onsite water sources will be capable of meet all calls for by way of 2045, whether or not years are regular or dry.

The EIR did discover some hiccups involving historic preservation and automobile miles-traveled charges, the county mentioned. Although the historic Most important Home and Sonoma Home will each be protected, different historic constructions will endure “unavoidable impacts” because of the event.

The state gave Sonoma County till the tip of the 12 months to determine its priorities for the positioning and create a timeline. Finishing the EIR was a giant a part of that purpose.

As to what in the end occurs to the land, Dunn mentioned a developer will most definitely purchase it from the state, although they should respect the “blueprint” laid down by the county. Whoever finally ends up buying the property will even have to speculate not less than $100 million in new infrastructure, Dunn mentioned.

The county is enthusiastic in regards to the potentialities.

“For now, we’re actually occupied with the kind of improvement we would like achieved and the way that may affect the atmosphere,” he mentioned. “On the finish of the day, it’s each a tenet for the event and required beneath state regulation that we protect the open house, and that’s actually necessary to us. We’re actually happy with the work that we’ve been doing.”

The draft EIR and different associated paperwork can be found at


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