The Kenwood Press
News: 01/15/2020

PAT people picked for SDC Specific Plan

Jay Gamel

PAT people picked for SDC Specific Plan

By Jay Gamel

Fifteen people have been chosen from a field of 121 applicants to serve on a Planning Advisory Team (PAT), that will provide technical expertise and help with public outreach as the county undertakes a two-year process to develop a Specific Plan for the 945-acre former Sonoma Developmental Center that is expected to transfer to Sonoma County jurisdiction and oversight once a development plan is accepted by the state.

The successful candidates were chosen by Permit Sonoma’s Deputy Director, Milan Nevajda, with input from Supervisor Susan Gorin and members of the TransformSDC Coalition who have been working on the transition process since 2015 when the state elected to close developmental services at the site.

The PAT will provide advice and public outreach to Nevajda and the project consultant, Oakland-based Dyett & Bhatia, which signed a $1.48 million contract to undertake the specific plan development, expected to be in place in early 2023. The cost is being underwritten by a state award of $3.5 million to the county to underwrite the full cost of developing the ambitious planning project. The money was transferred to the county after the Board of Supervisors approved the paperwork on Dec. 17, 2019.

Initially expected to have 13 people, two more were added at the request of local groups who felt there was not adequate local representation in the initially appointed group.

Here is a glimpse of the people picked for the job and their backgrounds. More detailed information is available online at sonomacounty.ca.gov/PRMD/Long-Range-Plans/Sonoma-Developmental-Center/Project-Team/.

Yesenia Lemus – works for MidPen Housing, a nonprofit that develops and manages affordable housing. She has worked on funding applications and has been involved in pre-development, entitlements, and construction.
Area of Technical Expertise: land development and development finance.

Marianne Mazzucco Thompson – a project manager for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. She has worked on the Treasure Island and Presidio projects, including Environmental Impact Reports and Master Plans.
Area of Technical Expertise: economic development or market research, property management, open space/recreational land management, community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise).

Peter Ziblatt – a land use attorney with experience in development, development finance, and environmental resource management. He has worked for the California Department of Housing & Community Development and the Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Area of Technical Expertise: land development and development finance, land use planning, legal related to land use, development, and/or environmental resource management.

Kelso Barnett – a real estate developer and broker, working in economic development, market research, finance, land use planning and entitlements. He has consulted on specific plans, and previously served on the City of Sonoma Design Review and Historic Preservation Commission.
Area of Technical Expertise: economic development or market research, land development and development finance, land use planning, community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise), historic and/or cultural preservation.

Mollyanne M. Meyn – a landscape designer and consultant, and has served as Director of the Sonoma Garden Park. She previously studied new transportation systems in collaboration with the California Department of Transportation for Innovative Mobility Research at U.C. Berkeley.
Area of Technical Expertise: economic development or market research, land development and development finance, land use planning, community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise), SDC, and environmental stewardship.

Bob Holloway – the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Compliance Program Manager and Native American Tribal Liaison for the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Holloway previously worked 19 years as park ranger for the National Park Service.
Area of Technical Expertise: historic and/or cultural preservation.

Richard Dale – Executive Director of the Sonoma Ecology Center which has operated for over 20 years on the SDC campus. He was involved in establishing a wildlife corridor on the site, and helped form the SDC Coalition to bring community interests into the closure process for the campus.
Area of Technical Expertise: open space/recreational land management, community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise), SDC, and environmental stewardship.

Nicholas Mikhail Dalton – co-director of the Hanna Institute and artistic director of Heart Without Borders. He has experience in community organizing, historic and cultural preservation, and working with communities of English language learners.
Area of Technical Expertise: community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise), historic and/or cultural preservation.

John McCaull – Land Acquisition Program Manager for the Sonoma Land Trust, and has practiced law in California since 1990. As a part of the SDC Coalition, he has developed extensive background on the operations, current condition, natural resources values, and future potential of the SDC.
Area of Technical Expertise: open space/recreational land management, land use planning, community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise), SDC, environmental stewardship, legal related to land use, development, and/or environmental resource management.

Vicki Ann Hill – a land use and environmental planner for over 30 years, and has worked on the Taylor Mountain Regional Park Master Plan, as well as numerous General and Specific Plans for counties and cities. Hill reviewed and edited the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Basin Plan as a member of the Basin Advisory Panel.
Area of Technical Expertise: open space/recreational land management, land use planning, community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise), SDC, and environmental stewardship.

Peter J. O’Hara – a real estate manager. He served on the Presidio of San Francisco Restoration Advisory Board for 17 years. While on that board, he worked with regulators on environmental remediation involving toxic/hazardous materials, lead based paint, and petroleum.
Area of Technical Expertise: land development and development finance, property management, open space/recreational land management, land use planning, environmental stewardship, historic and/or cultural preservation.

Robert Upton - has over 40 years of experience in real estate development and consulting, including residential, affordable, commercial, and recreational properties, with additional experience in market research, infrastructure, finance, planning and environmental stewardship.
Area of Technical Expertise: infrastructure/civil engineering, economic development or market research, land development and development finance, property management, land use planning, community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise), environmental stewardship, legal related to land use, development, and/or environmental resource management.

Victor Gonzalez – a real estate development manager for over 30 years in the Bay Area. He has experience in acquisition, finance, design and engineering and is currently working on a residential reuse project of the Alameda Naval Air Station, including a new ferry terminal for transit to San Francisco.
Area of Technical Expertise: utilities management, economic development or market research, land development and development finance, property management, land use planning, community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise).

Nicholas Peter Brown – Executive Director of the Glen Ellen Historical Society, the Chair of the Glen Ellen Forum Steering Committee, and former Chair of the Glen Ellen Forum Traffic and Safety Committee. Brown is involved in local community organizing and has experience in historic preservation.
Area of Technical Expertise: community organizing (related to SDC and otherwise), historic and/or cultural preservation.

Molly MacLean – Assistant City Attorney for the City of Santa Rosa where she has worked on land use, CEQA, real property, public works and water projects, affordable housing and water regulatory issues for the past 14 years.
Area of Technical Expertise: legal related to land use, development, and/or environmental resource management.