Anyone who lives in East Contra Costa County knows that we have a serious fire service issue.

The question, then, is why build more homes when we currently have an underfunded fire department? 

Should Measure L pass, The Vineyards at Deer Creek project will hopefully be setting some new standards for future developments. GBN, the developer, has agreed to contribute and pay far more in fees than currently required by any current standards.

Currently, developers in Brentwood pay a little over $900 per house in impact fees for capital improvements. GBN will pay over double what the current developers are paying in fire impact fees — as they will be paying $2,333 per home for the first 1,500 homes built, $3.5M to go towards fire services and another $1M when the final maps are approved.

They have also agreed to pay East Contra Costa Fire Protection District a new Community Facilities District fee of $650 per home, per year, to help pay for staffing of the new fire station.

Secondly the size of their project would currently require them to pay about half the cost to build a new fire station, but GBN has agreed to pay $6.5M to build another new fire station. Construction on the new station will begin once the 601st permit has been pulled.

Sounds like a solid commitment from the developer to actually make improvements for the overall good of our current and future fire situation. Measure L will not solve our fire problem, but it certainly will help the current problem we are facing once the new homes come.

You decide what’s best for our fire department on Nov. 5.

Greg Robinson