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News: 12/15/2019

SDC Public Advisory Team selected

Fifteen people have been selected to serve on a three-year advisory “team” to help solidify plans for the ultimate disposition of the lands of the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC), now standing vacant after serving developmentally challenged clients for over a hundred years.

The new Public Advisory Team (PAT) is mandated by an agreement between Sonoma County and the State of California’s Department of General Services to come up with a solution for the property by 2022. They will advise those entrusted with developing a detailed Specific Plan for what to do with the 945-acre property adjacent to Glen Ellen.

According to Milan Nevajda, deputy director of Permit Sonoma, the team will advise county staff and consultants, review specific plan materials, and serve as ambassadors to the public. It is not a decision-making body, but is intended to hold an advisory role as an extension of the planning team.

“We want to thank all of the applicants for their time and effort, and we hope that everyone continues to be active in the planning of the SDC site,” the county’s Dec. 10 announcement stated.

The team consists of three representatives of active community organizations in the local area, four community members with technical and planning expertise relevant to the SDC, and eight community members at large, five of which either work or live within two miles of the SDC.

The members were chosen by Permit Sonoma, though First District Supervisor Susan Gorin said she did review the more than100 applications submitted. The appointees are: Yesenia Lemus, Marianne Mazzucco Thompson, Peter Ziblatt, Kelso Barnett, Mollyanne M. Meyn, Bob Holloway, Richard Dale, Nicholas Mikhail Dalton, John McCaull, Vicki Ann Hill, Peter J. O’Hara, Robert Upton, Victor Gonzalez, Nick Brown and Molly MacLean.

Public members of the team include Vicki Hill with Glen Ellen Forum, John McCaull, a land acquisition specialist with the Sonoma Land Trust, Nick Brown, executive director of the Glen Ellen Historical Society, and Richard Dale, executive director of the Sonoma Ecology Center. Biographies of all appointees are available at

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