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File #: 2021-0672   
Type: Regular Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 7/27/2021 In control: General Services
On agenda: 7/27/2021 Final action:
Title: New County Government Center - Selection of Preferred Proposed Site Location and CEQA Initiation
Department or Agency Name(s): General Services, County Administrator, Permit and Resource Management
Attachments: 1. Summary Report.pdf, 2. Att1 - County Government Center Program Validation.pdf, 3. Att2 - Comparative Program Requirements Summary.pdf, 4. Att3 - Revised Site Evaluation Rubric Chart 6.16.21.pdf, 5. Att4 - Parking Analysis Summary.pdf, 6. Att5 - Neighborhood Based Services Site Search.pdf, 7. Att6 - Proposed Next Steps and Timeline.pdf, 8. Att7 - Presentation, 9. Att7a - Presentation Financing Supplemental Slides, 10. Att8 - Budget Resolution.pdf
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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To: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): General Services Department

Staff Name and Phone Number: Caroline Judy, 707-565-8058

Vote Requirement: 4/5th

Supervisorial District(s): All




New County Government Center - Selection of Preferred Proposed Site Location and CEQA Initiation



Recommended Action:

Recommended action

A)                     Select the preferred site for the new County Government Center for purposes of conducting further analysis in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and, if needed, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

B)                     Direct staff to initiate Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify a potential development partner and return to the Board prior to issuance of the RFQ for further Board consideration.

C)                     Delegate authority to Permit Sonoma, subject to approval by County Counsel, to enter into agreement with an environmental consultant to be identified at the conclusion of a competitive solicitation process for a not-to-exceed contract award of $750,000.

D)                     Direct staff to initiate a CEQA analysis and NEPA, if applicable, on the identified preferred site, and return to the Board with findings for future consideration.

E)                     Adopt a resolution approving budget adjustments to the FY 21/22 Budget in the amount of $115,000 using Deferred Maintenance funds to cover County Administrator’s Office (CAO) project management services. (4/5th Vote Required)



Executive Summary:

The 1950’s designed, sprawling County Administration Campus no longer serves the needs of our community; nor does it represent the highest and best use of valuable property assets.   The County Administrative Campus consists of 470,456 square feet of office space, not including the detention facility and the Sheriff’s buildings. The cost of operating the entire property portfolio has grown as facilities have aged, increasing deferred maintenance obligations.  As County government has grown over the sixty years since the County Administration Campus was designed, the lack of expansion options has driven the need to lease commercial office space, adding expense and reducing the efficiency of service delivery to clients.


The County Administration Campus property was developed over the last 60 years with 10,000 square feet of building area per acre, and less than one quarter of the available land is used for buildings. This inefficient land use prioritizes street level vehicle parking over the efficient delivery of services. Land could be better utilized through a redesign process potentially providing new office space, a parking garage, housing, and/or revenue-generating, mixed-use office and retail spaces. Redesign of the County Administration Campus has been considered by the Board in prior actions and studies as an opportunity to improve service delivery as well as reduce operating expenses.


In January 2021, the Board received a report on potential sites for the new County Administration Campus and subsequently directed staff to engage with the City of Santa Rosa and private parties to further evaluate options in downtown Santa Rosa. The Board also directed staff to evaluate satellite service models that would improve service delivery to remote areas of the County and lessen the necessity of vehicular trips to new County administrative facilities. In addition, the Board designated an Ad Hoc committee comprised of Supervisor Coursey and Supervisor Rabbitt to work collaboratively with City of Santa Rosa officials. Staff worked with the Ad Hoc committee to develop refined cost estimates for each of the potential sites, assess the qualitative benefits and challenges of each potential site, survey County departments to better understand client parking needs, and analyze the revenue and expenditure implications of each of the site options.


Following the January Board meeting, staff learned of the opportunity to acquire the 7.4 acre vacant Sears site in downtown Santa Rosa. Following Board direction, Staff held discussions with the property owner to identify potential acquisition terms, subject to compliance with the CEQA process. The Ad Hoc also considered the potential acquisition of the City owned Library and Whitehouse properties, and information on that opportunity is also presented herein.


This item provides your Board information on the results of the additional analysis performed since January, and provides recommendations for consideration of replacement of the existing, aging facilities. If approved by the Board, staff will begin work on the multi-step process to identify a potential developer to undertake a design-build-finance-operate-maintain transaction for the new facilities.



The County of Sonoma provides critical services to residents, businesses and visitors. The buildings from which those services are provided have far outlived their useful lives and now significantly hamper the ability to serve the public safely, efficiently and effectively.


Staff and the County’s technical advisor, PFAL, worked together to develop a program requirements model to better understand the County department space and parking needs. The January 2021 Board Summary Report provided information on PFAL’s updated department program requirements given departmental changes in mission and growth from prior studies. Attachment 1 is a summary of the Program Validation effort. PFAL determined staff counts total 4,105 full-time staff. Of that number, 2,443 are expected to relocate to the new facilities, correlating to an increase of 974 staff with consolidation from current leased facilities to the new County Government Center. Another 672 staff would continue to report to Neighborhood Services locations delivering services directly to the public, and the remaining 990 staff support detention facilities on the existing County Administration Campus, or at other County owned properties.


The Program Validation was used to build a base case space allocation and cost model. For planning purposes, the financial analysis described below is based upon 2,443 staff, and was later modified and reexamined with a range of square footage requirements and remote work assumptions. (See Attachment 2.)


Space Program Needs

Throughout 2020, Staff worked together with PFAL to develop a space programming model. In working with the Ad Hoc since January, the model has been refined to include: office space totaling 590,996 square feet, specialty space totaling 41,450 square feet, training and multiuse space totaling 19,000 square feet, and a parking structure. The office space was calculated for 2443employees at 225 square feet per person plus 20% common area, a 0.5% growth factor.  See Attachment 1 for list of departmental employees that are included.   The space program also assumes that 30% of the new County Center employees will work remotely, but have a touchdown space of 50 sq. ft. allocated for occasional in-office work.


The parking need was refined based upon further analysis and totals 2194 spaces. Staff surveyed visitor parking needs, and considered employee and fleet parking requirements. 


Specialty purpose facilities included a 5,000 square foot Emergency Operations warehouse, 5,000 square feet for Board chambers, 7,450 square feet for server rooms, and replacement of the existing Morgue and Public Health Lab together comprising 26,450 square feet. It should be noted that the Morgue and Public Health Lab program square footage may be removed from the analysis as it is expected those program elements would remain on the County Administration Center site irrespective of site selection decision for the balance of the program. 


The training and multi-use facilities included 19,000 square feet including 13,000 sq ft of Emergency Operations Center and conference space, and HR training areas at 6,000 square feet. The proposed new facilities compare with the current space utilization on the County Administration Campus. The model serves to illustrate how the County’s program fits at each of the sites and formed the basis of the financial feasibility study.


Site Evaluation Criteria


Working with the Ad Hoc committee, Staff has updated and revised the site analysis criteria that was originally adopted by the Board on December 10, 2019. These criteria address priorities of: (1) Service, (2) Affordability and Cost, and (3) Other issues (including safety, maximizing land development opportunities, and considers economic, environmental, and other factors impacting the future development). The updated site evaluation matrix retains the original goals and objectives and now includes a greater level of detail for each of the broad areas of focus, as well as the Board’s Strategic Planning adopted objectives relating to equity and climate.


The County’s advisors, PFAL and Nossaman, provided input into the site analysis reflecting site, cost, and other considerations that may impact the desirability of different sites and the viability of a successful project. This Board report describes the results of the additional analysis requested by the Board in January, provides a more in depth analysis of factors impacting the annual cost, and defines some of the qualitative and quantitative costs and benefits associated with the selection of each site.


County Team’s Findings

The revised analysis of potential new administration sites was conducted by the County’s technical and legal consulting team, under the supervision of the County’s project team and with guidance from the Ad Hoc Committee. The County’s Technical Advisor, PFAL, and our Legal Advisor, Nossaman, all contributed to the Staff analysis and findings as described below.


Evaluation of 3 Potential Locations

Over the course of the past 18 months three geographic areas were considered as potential locations for new County government facilities.   In addition to the current site of the County administrative offices, potential sites in the downtown Santa Rosa area and within the airport business park area were evaluated.  Staff considered the possibility that the City and County offices could be constructed on adjacent sites.  The possibility of co-locating in a shared building was not considered given the complex legal, operational, and other issues of co-location. Staff worked with the City of Santa Rosa team to explore various site and parking options in the downtown area.


Following the January 5, 2021 Board discussion, staff worked with the Ad Hoc Committee and City officials to further explore opportunities in downtown Santa Rosa, including to better understand some of the financial consequences of siting the project downtown. County staff presented the County’s space and parking needs at a City of Santa Rosa Council Study Session on April 27, 2021. The Joint City/County Ad Hoc Committee met three times to discuss the respective timelines, visions for downtown government offices, space requirements, and parking needs. This effort culminated in the City and County discussions regarding the Combined Downtown Sites - Central Library and Whitehouse, and exploring what might be the basis of an agreement on parking, subject to Board and City Council approval and CEQA (and if applicable, NEPA) compliance.  Based upon Ad Hoc direction, a new alternative model for parking was adopted that aligns with the City’s model of providing 68% of employees with parking for the City’s replacement facilities.


In addition to considering the City-owned properties in downtown Santa Rosa, the County explored the potential of acquiring the vacant Sears and Auto Center property located at the Santa Rosa Mall in downtown Santa Rosa. The Sears site is 7.4 acres in total with a total of 779 parking spaces available on-site. There are also up to 550 restricted use parking spaces potentially available for lease in the shared Santa Rosa Mall parking lot. If the Board were to select the Sears site, acquisition would be dependent upon compliance with the CEQA process and completion of the demolition of the existing buildings on the site by the Seller and identifying the remaining parking needed for employees, visitors and fleet vehicles. The Sears site would require the County lease the remaining parking needed from the City or from other private parking garage owners. Staff have explored the basis of a purchase agreement with the Sears owners, subject to Board approval and CEQA (and, if applicable, NEPA) compliance.


Site Analysis Findings:

The evaluation described above resulted in the following scores with the County Administration Campus scoring the highest overall. The PFAL team provided a number of feasibility concept designs for each site to assist in the analysis. The scoring below reflects the following three sites which staff believe are the most feasible given the base case program: Current Campus; Combined Downtown Sites - Central Library and Whitehouse; and the vacant Sears property in downtown Santa Rosa. 



Weighted Score out of 100 (highest points=preferred )

County Administration Campus


Sears property


Combined Downtown Sites - Central Library and “Whitehouse”



The existing County Administration Campus is the highest scoring site with the most advantages and fewest disadvantages. Although the scoring was based upon a single site analysis where all County departments would be located in one place, staff also explored several different approaches, including a split site model where space needs would be met using a combination of sites. The sites offer different opportunities for achieving the overall building footprint needed to accommodate the County’s space requirements. Smaller sites would require taller buildings. Larger sites would allow for lower density, and, therefore, would be less expensive to construct buildings. Key attributes, including advantages and disadvantages of each site, are described in Attachment 3.


While the current County Administration Campus scored higher than the other sites, the decision on where to locate a new government center is a policy choice for the Board. All three sites can accommodate the space required. The County Administration Campus, the Combined Downtown Sites - Central Library and Whitehouse, and the Sears site differ considerably in their ability to manage parking. If surface parking on the County Administration Campus is developed for new facilities or housing, then construction of a new parking structure will likely be required to accommodate employees, and the public accessing County and Court facilities. In contrast, both the combined Downtown Sites - Central Library and Whitehouse, and the Sears site assume that limited parking would be made available at the new facilities and that existing City-owned parking would be used by employees and the public. Therefore, the cost analysis for parking differs considerably between the County Administration Campus and the Combined Downtown Sites - Central Library and Whitehouse, and the Sears site. Staff considered different approaches to parking - smaller overall parking garage, flexible design allowing future adaptation to office, and transit strategies that could potentially reduce the need for parking.


Over the past seven months, staff have re-evaluated the parking requirements. PFAL held a study session with the Ad Hoc Committee and project team to discuss trends in parking, the “no-build” option, equity considerations, automation, capital investment and operating costs. Staff also evaluated the results of the Clean Commute survey conducted in February, 2020 and reviewed the City’s Walker Consulting Study of Parking in Downtown Santa Rosa. Staff have provided updated parking information based upon visitor data provided by departments, employee counts, and fleet vehicle parking needs. The parking data analysis is presented in Attachment 4.


Unique Site Factors Impacting Revenue and Cost Assumptions


Each of the sites studied has certain associated one-time and on-going expenses that fall outside the annual availability payment to the developer. Similarly, the sites also offer differing revenue opportunities. Therefore, the County must anticipate these expense and revenue impacts and should be aware of the factors that contribute to the unique factors driving revenues, costs and risks at each site.



                     Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain Expenses - the majority of the expense associated with each site derives from the design-building-finance-operate and maintain expense over the thirty year term of the development agreements. Each site has unique characteristics that influence the costs to build and operate. The downtown properties are more constrained sites and carry high rise cost premiums associated with the cost of life safety systems, elevators, steel, foundations, etc. These high rise premiums contribute an additional 10% to the annual cost of the Sears site, and an additional 11% to the annual cost of the Library/Whitehouse tandem site. Combined the building costs, high rise premiums and other costs make both of the downtown sites more expensive on an annual basis than the County campus.


                     CEQA/NEPA Process - Although some level of CEQA analysis is required for all of the sites, the duration and breadth of the CEQA analysis may differ depending on the preliminary preferred site selected as part of the CEQA process. Should existing County Administration Campus be selected as the preferred site, there is sufficient information available to proceed with a project level EIR for the County Administration Campus for the County administrative offices and ancillary specialty purpose facilities such as the Morgue and Public Health Lab. A program level EIR would likely be prepared concurrently with the project level EIR focused on the new County Government Center (with a later project level EIR for the housing and/or material commercial/retail options if and when a potential surplus sale is advanced) and when further information about that transaction is available.  This approach would allow for initiation of the P3 procurement later this year, consistent with the existing procurement schedule while the CEQA process progresses.

If the Board wanted to pursue either the Combined Downtown Sites - Central Library and Whitehouse, or the Sears site, which would involve property acquisition and demolition of the existing structures, both a program level and project level EIR would be necessary as discussed above.  There currently is not sufficient information available to evaluate housing or commercial retail opportunities on the County Administration Campus in the level of detail necessary for a project level EIR. Therefore a program level EIR would address the housing/mixed use development opportunity on the existing County campus, and the project level EIR would address the new administrative buildings downtown. However, in the context of the Combined Downtown Sites - Central Library and Whitehouse, and the Sears site, because the property acquisition itself and demolition would be tied to the successful completion of the CEQA process, the County would need to consider whether to initiate the P3 procurement before completion of the CEQA process.  Launching the P3 procurement prior to having site control is not recommended. The added anticipated complexity of the Downtown sites for the CEQA process (i.e., adding an additional level of CEQA review through a program EIR for any potential housing on the Campus) and the question of timing for the initiation of the procurement could lead to project delay, thereby exposing the project to greater cost uncertainty and construction and financing cost escalation. Overall, the potential delays associated with protracted CEQA and NEPA processes and acquisition timing dependent upon CEQA contribute approximately 8% to the annual costs for the downtown Santa Rosa properties. 

In addition, if federal funds are used or secured for the project, compliance with the NEPA process will also be required for the project for any of the potential sites. Federal funds also create a number of additional requirements such as Davis-Bacon Act wage compliance and reporting, Federal procurement requirements, and greater authorization and approval processes. These factors increase the transaction costs for both the County and the P3 entity.

                     Swing Space - Should the Board decide to remain at the County Administration Campus, then it will be necessary to lease short-term space during the anticipated course of construction. These so called “swing space” expenses are captured as one-time expenses for the anticipated two and a half years of construction.  Swing space costs include the cost of leasing space, furniture, information technology, and move expenses. Swing space costs are not captured in the availability payment and would be the responsibility of the County. Assuming the entire 408,821 sq. ft. existing administrative offices at the County Administration Campus would swing out simultaneously for the full three years at an average $1.90/sq ft full service equates to a $23 million lease cost with $7,552,000 needed for furniture and information technology expenses for a total of $30,835,474 needed for swing expenses. Swing expenses account for approximately 1% of the overall costs.


                     Acquisition costs - the cost of acquiring the downtown Santa Rosa properties add to the up-front one-time costs.



                     Operations and Maintenance Impacts - Multiple new facility sites create inefficiencies in operations and maintenance, both in terms of expense and provision of services.  Should the County split all of the new facilities across multiple sites, the P3 developer will likely be required to have redundant operations and maintenance staffs, equipment, storage areas, etc.  This would be the case if the Public Health Lab and Morgue were included in the P3 solicitation and developed on the existing County campus (as opposed to downtown), while the administrative facilities were located at the downtown Santa Rosa sites. An alternative approach should the Board decide to locate the administrative offices downtown is to separately build the Morgue and Public Health laboratory under a County financed Design-Build contract on the County campus, and retain the existing GSD maintenance. The Justice Partners existing offices are in the Hall of Justice facility, and at the Family Justice Center.  Should the Board decide to locate downtown, it is likely that the District Attorney and Public Defender staff would stay in the Hall of Justice rather than move downtown.   With respect to provision of services and employee productivity, establishing multiple sites creates additional client and employee trips.

Staff evaluated the unique site dependent factors described above that contribute to either one-time expenses and/or to the annual on-going expense over the 30 years of the anticipated DBFOM agreement.  Each factor contributes a percentage to the one time or ongoing costs. Certain ongoing costs are included in the annual availability payment. The site constraints, high rise premiums and delay costs associated with the downtown sites are more expensive overall than the DBFOM cost contribution to the county campus. When the annual availability payment for the downtown sites is combined with the one-time cost of acquisition and the ongoing cost of leasing parking then the downtown properties are more expensive than building new facilities and parking on the existing County campus. It is important to understand the cost drivers as both site selection and design decisions can help to reduce the overall annual expense. However, cost is not the only consideration for the Board. Revenue can be generated from the possible sale of surplus land on the County campus. The Board may also want to consider other factors such as place making, equity, access to services, service efficiency, and climate impacts.


Funding the Project

Pursuant to the Board’s leadership in 2017, the Board adopted the Deferred Maintenance Policy, which sets aside a percentage of property tax increment growth on an annual basis, which will provide partial funding towards the annual availability payment. Reducing leased office space is estimated to result in an average $8.5 million annual lease space savings, which, depending on the funding source may be redirected.

The annual cost for the full space program on the existing County Campus with the assumption of 30% remote work, with 68% employee parking, is estimated to cost in the range of $37M (170sf per employee) -  $46M (225 sf per employee) per year after assuming the full lease cost offset of $8.566 million per year.  To provide context relative to the County’s annual budget, the annual payment represents between 8% (170 square feet per FTE) to 16% (225 square feet per FTE) of the total salary and benefit cost of the estimated 2,443 employees that will be in the new space. 

Dedication of a greater portion of Property Tax increment growth and other General Fund contributions may be considered in future budget policy deliberations to identify 30 year funding certainty. Opportunities may exist to access Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) and other federal and state infrastructure funding programs.  Please note that use of state funds may affect the ability to use the planned statutory authority for the project under California Government Code 5956.  Use of federal funds on the project would require that the project be analyzed under NEPA and would impact the procurement approach and also require inclusion of federal requirements into the procurement and contract. 

Staff will continue to pursue opportunities to access all fund sources. The County will be required to identify the anticipated source of funds in order to reassure the P3 industry (proposers and debt providers) that sufficient funding exists to support the availability payment.

Replacing aging buildings on the County Administration Campus will help avoid the continued escalation in deferred maintenance and expenditures on corrective maintenance as buildings systems fail.  Based on the current schedule, County staff would occupy the new space starting in late-2027

Authorizing Legislation

Upon the preliminary selection by the Board of a site, the County would anticipate proceeding with a P3 Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) procurement utilizing the authority under Sections 5956-5956.10 of the California Government Code, titled the Infrastructure Finance Act (the “IFA”).  The IFA generally conveys broad and flexible authority to government agencies such as the County to develop fee-producing facilities and has been used by California agencies in a number of transactions to date.  The IFA has an array of requirements that impact the nature of the procurement process and provides for a number of provisions that must be included in the P3 agreement, each of which, at this time, appear consistent with the County’s project goals. 


Notwithstanding the foregoing, depending on ultimate funding sources and commercial considerations affecting the project, staff may revisit the decision to use the IFA as the authorizing legislation for the procurement, including considering whether pursuing new legislation may be beneficial or necessary.



Selection of Environmental Consultant

Permit Sonoma and County Counsel recommend that a specialized environmental consultant provide the environmental analysis for the new administrative offices.  A Request for Proposals was released by the County in early June. Proposals are due on July 19, 2021, and the project team will conduct interviews, if necessary, on July 26th.   This item requests the County Administrator be delegated authority to enter into agreement with selected environmental consultant for a not-to-exceed contract award of $750,000.

Neighborhood Based Services

At the January 5, 2021 Board meeting, the Board directed staff to provide information on neighborhood based services, new models and opportunities for service delivery in northern, western and eastern Sonoma County. Expansion of neighborhood based services can reduce vehicle trips into the new administrative offices, decreasing carbon emissions and reducing the need for parking. Staff have worked with Departments to identify existing neighborhood based services, gathered data on the number of clients served in each region by Health and Human services, surveyed departments to better understand what services could be provided, conducted a real estate search, and identified possible models and funding sources. This information is summarized below and in Attachment 5.

Establishing neighborhood based service centers was an objective identified in the 2014 County Real Estate Master Plan. At the time, the Sonoma, Cloverdale and Guerneville Veterans Buildings were identified as possible sites for neighborhood services. Since 2014, the Board has approved a number of neighborhood-based services provided in leased facilities. In addition, the County has partnerships with community based organizations throughout the County providing critical safety net services.  Information is presented below on various neighborhood service models and the results of the real estate search performed by staff.

Potential Neighborhood Service models

As noted there are a number of different neighborhood based service models that the Board may wish to consider. Each of these models can be explored in greater detail based upon Board direction and interest.

1.                     Fully remote web based/app based model

2.                     Mobile van type model - currently used by both Health and Human Services

3.                     Pop-up Local Assistance Center (LAC) type model (scheduled for specific days)

4.                     Fixed remote satellite service model

1.                     Standalone County owned or leased space similar to the Petaluma model

2.                     Staff and services co-located with CBOs

1.                     Option A - establish services such as kiosks for making payments, printer/computer technology co-located in existing CBO space

2.                     Option B - establish IT based services co-located with existing CBO’s to enable interactions with staff located at other locations such as private rooms and computers to zoom with centrally located County staff

3.                     Integrating client services with Department of Emergency Services’ resiliency hubs - thereby designing new facilities intended for staff occupancy and community use as well as equipment and supply storage.

There are advantages and disadvantages with each of the models. Acquiring land, designing and constructing new facilities can be expensive and carries long term operations and maintenance costs. Establishing leased multi-service offices is also expensive if fully built out to house many different departments in separate offices. Smaller leased facilities might function with several permanently assigned staff who could help residents navigate services and facilitate internet based connectivity to the centrally located offices. Sonoma County’s average Class A office space costs approximately $2.01/sq ft. A small 5000 sq ft. office would rent for approximately $120,600 per year not including utilities and tenant renovations. As indicated below there are opportunities for State and Federal program reimbursement for staffing, that could augment General Fund provided positions.

Mobile services or pop-up services similar to those provided during COVID may be a less expensive and more sustainable model. Some program considerations that may need to be built into these models include the availability of private space for confidentiality, security, space for clients to sit, and ADA accessibility.  Further information is needed from clients to understand whether the viability of the mobile or pop-up service model.

Co-location with existing CBO’s is a promising alternative however often there is no or little expansion space in these community based facilities. Staff have not formally engaged with CBO partners to evaluate opportunities for co-location as part of an expansion of neighborhood services and could formally survey these partners based upon Board direction. 

Finally, store fronts without any staffing onsite are not recommended for security reasons and to protect property from damage.

Further study and Board direction is needed to evaluate the highest priority areas for expansion of the neighborhood services model. Each option briefly described above has capital investment and operating cost impacts that need to be better understood and developed. Although there are clearly demonstrated service needs throughout the County, there are significant long term budget consequences associated with brick-and-mortar solutions to improving access to services.

Real Estate Analysis

In May 2021, General Services Real Estate staff conducted a real property search to identify possible sites in northern, eastern and western Sonoma County. The search included office space up to 3000 square feet and land less than 2 acres. At the time very little space was available for rent or purchase in West County - especially outside flood zones, and in north County. (See Attachment 6). Land for sale averaged between $800,000 and $1 M per acre along the Highway 101 corridor. Should the Board of Supervisors be interested in establishing new brick-and-mortar satellite neighborhood service centers staff will return to your Board with additional information regarding specific opportunities in the geographic regions prioritized.

Staff surveyed Department Heads in May 2021 and identified the following services that could be provided at satellite sites beyond what the County currently offers:

                     More services and transactions via mobile technology for field staff in the parks. (Regional Parks)

                     Vital records, marriage licenses & ceremonies, copies of recorded documents & assessment records, general questions regarding assessments, FBNs, forms to register to vote (Clerk-Recorder-Assessor’s Office)

                     Start-up business assistance, grant assistance, technical business assistance (Economic Development Board)

                     Disaster preparedness information and disaster response coordination (Department Emergency Management)

                     Child support services (Department of Child Support)

                     Assistance filing a complaint against the Sheriff's Office or other law enforcement agencies (limited assistance for other agencies) and opportunities to provide updates about current investigations and complaints (Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach)

                     Online access to permitting (Permit Sonoma). Clients would be able to obtain a permit from the satellite site.

                     Agricultural permitting and other agriculture, weights and measures services (Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures)

                     Electronic submission of Assessment Appeals applications, electronic submission of tort claims, virtual oaths of office, access to past county records digitally (County Administrator’s Office)



The site evaluation and cost feasibility study concluded that the County Administration Campus scored the highest across each category, carries the least delivery risk to the County, provides for the fastest project delivery and results in a program that costs less than the Downtown and Sears sites. The Downtown sites could accommodate the base case in a high-rise design or the modified base case in a mid-rise design although both at higher cost than on the existing Administrative Campus due to acquisition costs, delay driven construction cost escalation associated with the acquisition, high rise premiums, and the impact of those costs on financing. 


Over the past two years, staff have conducted several market surveys and interviewed other jurisdictions to ensure the County launches a successful, competitive public private partnership. There is significant market interest in the County of Sonoma’s new Administrative Center wherever it is located.


Your Board’s objectives of improving service delivery, reducing operating costs, ensuring equity and meeting our zero net climate goals can be accomplished with either the downtown sites or the existing Administrative Campus. The decision on where to locate a new government center is a policy choice for the Board of Supervisors.


Next Steps

After approval of the recommended items herein, staff will proceed to Phase III of this effort and work with PFAL and Nossaman to undertake next steps for identifying potential development partners subject to Board approval. Phase III will include:

                     Conducting an environmental analysis in accordance with CEQA and, if applicable, NEPA will be initiated after today’s item and conducted in parallel with commencement of a P3 DBFOM procurement, including development of the P3 DBFOM Request for Qualifications RFQ) and Request for Proposals (RFP), as more meaningful information sufficient for environmental assessment becomes available. 

                     Negotiate with downtown site owners if the Board decides to select one of the downtown properties.

                     Develop a sustainable funding plan for future Board consideration

                     Next steps with CEQA and RFQ/RFP solicitation processes are illustrated in Attachment 7. 

                     Continue communications/engagement with stakeholders and labor representatives.




Prior Board Actions:

January 5, 2021

December 10, 2019: Board accepted Staff Report summarizing Goals and objectives and accepted recommendations for site selection criteria

June 4, 2019: Board approved recommendation for Technical Advisor

January 29, 2019: Board directed staff to solicit and select a Technical Advisor

May 8, 2018:  Board directed staff to prepare a Request for Information Survey

June 24, 2014: Comprehensive Facilities Condition Assessment Plan Update

January 15, 2013: Comprehensive County Facilities Plan

April 7, 2009: County Administration Campus Site Evaluation and Opportunities Analysis



Fiscal Summary


FY 21-22 Adopted

FY 22-23 Projected

FY 23-24 Projected

Budgeted Expenses




Additional Appropriation Requested




Total Expenditures




Funding Sources




General Fund/WA GF












Use of Fund Balance








Total Sources





Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

In January and March 2021, the Board appropriated sufficient funds for the administration of the County Administration Campus project through the end of the FY 20-21. During the FY 2021-22 budget hearings, additional $2,196,780 in Deferred Maintenance funds was approved to fully fund the executed contracts for PFAL and Nossaman, and set-aside funds for the CEQA consultant, in addition to direct bill staff time associated with program work this fiscal year.  However, additional appropriations needed at this time in order to ensure that the CAO staff hours are budgeted with revenue offsetting expenditures in the amount of $115,000. 


In total $2,311,780 is required for FY 21-22 which includes: PFAL $584,950, Nossaman $599,950, GSD $311,400, County Counsel $123,516, PRMD $576,964, and CAO $115,000.


Staff are tracking expenditures for the County Administration Campus program and have projected the scope of work and funding necessary for future phases based upon analysis of other jurisdictions DBFOM projects. The $4.5 million cost estimate for Phase III is consistent with expenses for the same phase and scope of work incurred by the City of Long Beach, which spent $4 million for consulting services, City of Los Angeles $10 million, and Miami Dade Courthouse $5.65 million.

The implementation of Phase III is expected to span over two fiscal years.  The January 2021 budget request included the anticipated FY 2020-21 costs for PFAL, Nossaman, and ISD to begin their digitization project.  Not included were the estimated 4,500 of combined hours for General Services, County Administrator, County Counsel, and Permit Sonoma staff, as well as a CEQA consultant that will need to be retained for the RFQ and RFP phases. The March 2021 Deferred Maintenance item included appropriation for staff hours anticipated to complete in FY 20-21 for all contributing departments except the CAO’s office. The total projected cost to deliver Phase III to approximately $4.5 million, which will be paid for using Deferred Maintenance funds.

Staffing Impacts:




Position Title (Payroll Classification)

Monthly Salary Range (A-I Step)

Additions (Number)

Deletions (Number)














Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):




Attachment 1 - County Center Program Validation Summary

Attachment 2 - Comparative Program Requirements Summary

Attachment 3 - Revised Site Evaluation Rubric

Attachment 4 - Parking Analysis Summary

Attachment 5 - Neighborhood Based Services Site Search

Attachment 6 - Proposed Next Steps and Timeline

Attachment 7 - Presentation

Attachment 8 - Budget Resolution


Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: