I own one of the properties that would be affected by the passage of Measure F; however, I am not a greedy, fat cat, land grabber, out-of-town developer that the opponents of this measure like to throw around. I have owned this property for 25 years, as have the other property owners. I am a local resident of nearby Discovery Bay and three of my grandchildren attend Heritage High School and Adams Middle School.
I want to give the true facts, not the half truths and outright lies the No on Measure F group is spreading.
Fact: The main objective of this measure is to ensure that only the City of Brentwood and its residents dictate the future purpose of this and other properties – and not the county. That means that Brentwood would be in control of the development, Brentwood police would patrol this area and Brentwood would receive its share of the property taxes. The county forced on the city an urban limit line the city did not want and sued to get it removed back in 2000. Measure F is a responsible attempt to fix this problem sooner rather than later.
Fact: When will our community see changes? A reasonable timeline is that it will take five or more years to get approval from the city and other public agencies. For example, Shadow Lakes took 10 years to get final approvals and to build the first house.
Fact: Brentwood smartly requires streets and other infrastructure to be in place before any housing gets built, and it will take several years for completion, depending on the economy.
Fact: Measure F is a critical safety issue for the students that attend Adams and Heritage schools. Let’s hope there is never an emergency there. It would be total gridlock. Additionally, we are proposing an elementary school site on our property that will provide extra capacity for future students.
Fact: Infrastructure problems like those at Balfour and American will be put off for another generation, if ever, if Measure F is not passed. In the case of improving Balfour and American roads, we need approvals before we can obtain financing and funding these improvements. The $27 million+/– for essential Balfour Road and American Avenue road improvements will not happen unless this property is developed.
Fact: It is important to contrast that if this project were built with the same density parameters as the nearby Shadow Lakes development, there would be approvals for 1,763 houses, not the 1,300 maximum for this project. That is a reduction of 463 homes!
Fact: The city/county/schools and other agencies will receive $150 million in fees, which are paid at either permit or mapping stages.
Fact: This project will help fund $20 million of the $100 million needed to complete the Delta Bypass.
Fact: Measure F, at build-out, will bring $500 million to $650 million in added value to the tax rolls of the city of Brentwood.
Fact: Measure F will help to provide vital funding for paramedics. It will also pay up to $2.6 million for extra sport fields over and above the typical park requirement. It will also pay up to $3.9 million for job retraining, promoting business and new business parks and scholarships to Brentwood students, as this property is developed. According to the city economic studies, there would be an annual surplus of $800,000 at build-out.
We are well aware of the financial challenges our cities and counties face as we go forward into the future. We need funding mechanisms in place today in order to subsidize the needed infrastructure that we will need in the future for Brentwood.
It is easy to make this an emotional issue as one of growth vs. no growth. We need to be smarter than that. I prefer to make it one of reality and problem solving and solutions vs. naive, uninformed denial and do nothing. To those who would vote “no” on Measure F, just what are their solutions? I firmly believe Measure F is a responsible measure to sensibly solve these problems.
If not now, when? Measure F is aptly named because it provides the funding to fix our problems and challenges for a better future.