The people of Brentwood should support the city’s existing General Plan when developing land, not the landowner and developer’s plan written for their benefit that is ingrained in Measure F. If it were true that the main objective of this measure was to ensure that only the City of Brentwood and its residents dictate the future purpose of this property, then why have they burdened this measure to such an extreme with its binding developer agreement? Why have they made such an attempt to circumvent the process that the city requires of all other developers to build in our city, and why do we have a General Plan if we allow it to be blatantly and completely discarded by developer-driven measures?
You have to read the full text of Measure F to understand the advantages they’ve afforded themselves. Let’s take a look at the alarming language contained in the 58-page initiative that is Measure F:
1. The term of their agreement extends for 20 years, up to 10 years past our current General plan (Sec. 1.03). They are even protected against General Plan updates.
2. The agreement gives them the vested right to develop up to 1,300 homes and 35 acres of commercial. A vested right is an entitlement, not a question “if homes can get built.” (Sec. 2.01).
3. The agreement gives them the right to develop in such order, at such rate and at such times as the owners deem appropriate within the exercise of their subjective business judgment (Sec. 2.06). It’s in their control, plus they’ve exempted themselves from moratoriums or any other limit placed on development timing (Sec. 2.04).
4. The Jobs Contribution and the Recreational Contribution shall be in lieu of and constitute full satisfaction and compliance with any and all obligations the owners would have otherwise had to process, obtain allocations or otherwise comply in any manner with the city’s Residential Growth Management Program (Sec 3.03). All other developments must have 140 RGMP points to qualify; their in-lieu contribution, based on the city’s scoring system, comes to about 15 points. The Jobs Program is broadly defined and unfocused in its application and implementation – will it actually have any longevity and lasting impact to this community? Will the recreation contribution be enough to complete a sports facility without added cash from the city? If not, will it ever be built?
5. The acreage set aside for parks is the minimum required for adding 4,000 residents, 5 acres per 1,000 persons, 15 to 20 acres (Sec. 3.05).
6. City Development Impact Fees will be paid consistent with the city’s program, including but not limited to road fees, water facility fees, park and trails (Sec. 3.06). Changes to American Avenue and Balfour will be constructed at the time development proceeds and in a manner consistent with the city’s 2005 Development Fee Program (Sec. 3.09). Both references to “consistent with” mean satisfaction of a city requirement, not over and above contributions.
7. Highway 4 Bypass Regional Fee requirement of $20 million. The Bypass needs $100 million to complete. The effect of non-completion with the population impact from this development as well as the other 4,153 houses approved but not yet built – worsened traffic gridlock.
To vote on Measure F: Think about the money that’s being thrown at the effort ($91K, 3/17/10), authorizing 1,300 homes and 35 acres of commercial we don’t need, their contract running for 20 years, only designating an elementary school site while adding 1,350 kids (Brentwood Press, 5/14/10) to the closest schools already impacted in the area, promise of a sports field without firm location, supposed low density, high-end housing yet up to 1/3 can be 2,000-4,000-square-foot lots, condos and duets – we could go on.
We know it’s not our property, but Measure F asks us to move the ULL for landowners so they can annex their county parcels into our city; then they embedded a massive housing/commercial development and dictated to us its components in a binding development agreement – that’s where you lost us – we cannot support this Measure.
You ask too much by stipulating everything in advance, overriding our city’s own General Plan for our western border. Vote No on Measure F – it’s just another housing development.
Kathy Griffin is the principal officer for Brentwood Residents Opposed to Developer Measure F.