In response to a recent letter to the editor from Mr. Johnny Merrill of Brentwood, I'd like to respectfully point out a few important items.
First of all, my efforts relative to the upcoming county-wide Urban Limit Line vote (ULL) would only confirm and support the remarks of Mr. Merrill, that is to secure voter approval for any expansion of the county's and Brentwood's ULL.
To clarify, my request to my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors was simply to review the possible inclusion of the Special Planning Areas G, H and R of Brentwood - known as SPA G, H and R - for voter consideration, and circulate this for environmental review and comment, in order to determine any environmental impacts. This is what was done for the proposed ULL expansions in Pittsburg, Antioch, Clayton, San Ramon and the other areas as requested by the cities countywide and approved by the Board of Supervisors. It was only Brentwood that did not have any consideration made of its expansion requests in this vital and important process, and that isolation remains.
The history behind these three planning areas (SPA G, H and R) goes back to before the original ULL vote in Contra Costa County, known as Measure C. These three special planning areas were included in the original Measure C, and received county-wide voter approval, and therefore incorporated into the City of Brentwood's General Plans for the last 16 years. In the year 2000, the five-member Board of Supervisors withdrew the county's ULL in certain areas, primarily in far East County and the City of Brentwood, including the SPAs G, H and R.
Secondly, Mr. Merrill refers to the recent defeat of Measure L, which would have expanded the ULL around the City of Brentwood in three key areas, off of Deer Valley Road in the SPA G, H, and R area, south of Brentwood near Walnut Boulevard and Marsh Creek Roads, and east of Brentwood off of Sellers Avenue and Sunset Road. The request I brought forth was to consider the inclusion of only one of these areas, not all three that were included in the recent Measure L ballot language. And again, my request was to simply consider its inclusion for environmental review, for a future determination of whether to actually include these areas in the county's November countywide voter-approved ULL measure, or not.
Suffice it to say, this is a complicated issue. Mr. Merrill requests the voters voices to be heard by local leaders, yet some can say that the voice of the voter was taken away by the action of the Board of Supervisors in 2000. Therefore, I felt it prudent, based on the initial voter approval, and the City's long-range planning and general plan process (which by the way, is a public process and includes public testimony throughout its journey), to at least include the Special Planning Areas G, H and R for the initial environmental review and study, for its potential inclusion on the county-wide ULL ballot that will come before the voters this November. Therefore, ultimately landing back into the hands of the voters for approval (as was the case in 1990), or not.
The decisions and actions I make are all predicated on volumes of information and concerns that I have available. I hear each and every voice that makes comment, but it is ultimately my responsibility to lead in the best way for Contra Costa's present and future success, including the City of Brentwood and its citizens. If Mr. Merrill or any of your readers has any further comments or questions, I can be reached at my Brentwood office at 240-7260, or via e-mail at email@example.com.