One of many historic buildings on the SDC campus, this one awaits expensive seismic work. photo credit: (Credit: Marc Albert/KRCB)
There's more opportunity for public input this week on what's next for the Sonoma Development Center.
While the future outlines of the nearly thousand acre Sonoma Valley campus remain mostly conceptual---housing, jobs, environmental and historical preservation---officials on Tuesday and Saturday are soliciting input on the wording of specific policies to guide the vision for the potential community.
Bradley Dunn is Policy Manager at PermitSonoma.
"Whether it's 400 units of housing or a thousand units of housing, we still need to think about policies like, 'do we want this to be transit-centric? What does that mean to be transit, bicycle and pedestrian centric? How do we envision the different land uses, the different designs, what kind of policies should we put in place for things like 'fire-wise construction' and what kind of public art should we have? what kind of ways of remembering what SDC was for so many people?"
Three official proposals for the site include a different mix of housing, space for commerce and jobs, along with a hotel. Much would also remain undeveloped for wildlife.
Advocates from the Sonoma Land Trust, a local environmental group are urging less developing, saying the property's open space serves as a vital wildlife connection between different preserved areas. Others have floated the site for a potential campus devoted to finding climate change solutions.
As a state property, the county faces the challenging task aligning Sacramento's preference for abundant housing at the site, with the priorities and concerns of neighbors.
Dunn said these policy drafting meetings are important. "These policies will all have a significant impact on the look, feel and end product of this community, and so it's just critically important that we hear from folks to shape what this will eventually be."
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