Phil Barber, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A long-anticipated draft report released Wednesday calls for approximately 1,000 housing units — including 283 affordable units — to go along with 940 on-site jobs and a resident population of 2,400 at the site of the historic Sonoma Developmental Center near Glen Ellen.
Those numbers, which are in line with previous proposals, are bound to add fuel to the ongoing debate about how best to use a property that has been called a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by neighbors and officials alike.
“I think 1,000 is too big, and 283 is too small,” said Tracy Salcedo, a longtime Sonoma Valley resident, writer and advocate for the former institution for the developmentally disabled. “And we are stuck in a conundrum where financial feasibility is dictating how we do right thing. The right thing should be to provide more affordable housing, and turn our creative energies toward that rather than inundating the north end of the valley for what’s essentially too few affordable units.”
Totaling more than 800 pages, the two reports constitute the first narrowly drawn proposal for redevelopment of the iconic 945-acre site, which was home to a state-run hospital for the developmentally disabled that was established in 1891 and closed in 2018.