Recently I received the final comments on the environmental impact report for the fourth new high school in the Liberty Union High School District. I found many contradicting statements, incomplete answers, and not very much time to respond before the big meeting to approve it.
I do want to say that I am very proud of and highly respect the Liberty High School District Board of Directors. The district does a fine job in educating and assisting our young adults into the mainstream of society. However, when it comes to this new high school location, I differ. The more information provided on this proposed new campus outside the urban limit line, next to crop-dusted agricultural lands, without improved roads, near two major railroad crossings, more than a mile from any retail center with food or gas, where the nearest sidewalk is 2 miles away, and on an old sand quarry filled back in with who knows what type soil, I realize what a very poor location it will be built on.
Now I hear rumors and read newspaper articles that the selling landowners may be in litigation with the district to get more money for the property. These reasons are just a few to prompt a reconsideration of the location at Sellers and Delta Road – unincorporated Contra Costa County on an island of land between two cities that will need to be annexed to one of those cities. The site has been voted by the people not to have development on it.
This raises serious concerns. While the City of Brentwood had this property in their sphere of influence at one time, they do not want this school in their city. Why? Simply because it does not create enough revenue for them versus the demand on services. So to circumvent the logical use of municipal services from the closest and fiscally strongest municipality, the school district will get sewer and water from the City of Oakley’s main providers.
This places pressure on the City of Oakley to annex a piece of land that does not generate revenue yet draws heavily on services. This will create a financial hardship for the City of Oakley unless the school site is relocated to an area of new development and retail access.
So, in conclusion, the plan is to build a school at Sellers and Delta Road with basically nothing around it to service the school (not all students will eat and fuel their cars on school property). Therefore, it appears the county or City of Oakley eventually will provide law enforcement, street maintenance, etc. to a school that has the students driving on narrow country roads to the nearest food and gas, which are located in Brentwood. This entire project location will create more issues than it solves. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
The City of Oakley plans thousands of homes in the Cypress corridor. Locate the school there so the City of Oakley can at least recoup some revenue for its services and allow the majority of students to travel safe, improved roads with retail services located nearby. The solution is: give the land back to the landowners, drop the litigation, use the funds to purchase a better location in the Cypress corridor and begin a Mello Roos for that area of new development.
This reminds me, the Liberty Union High School District will also probably ask us for yet another bond/tax to pass for construction costs of this poorly located fourth high school. They could get the funds through Mello Roos from the projected new homeowners in the Cypress corridor, creating the need in the first place. Citizens need to rally to urge the reconsideration of this site to another site that is appropriate.
John A. Gonzales, Knightsen