Bridle Gate

Photo courtesy of City of Brentwood

The City Council has formally adopted a resolution denying the hotly debated Bridle Gate development, a proposed project of up to 315 homes, west of Sand Creek Road and the State Route 4 interchange.

Senior City Planner Debbie Hill said the resolution, formally adopted last week, is the council’s final action on the project application that touched off a 6.5-hour discussion and public comment period in early March that ended with the council’s unanimous agreement to approve a future denial resolution.

The five councilmembers didn’t comment upon formally approving the resolution last week, but they had previously hinted that the project could create a host of potential problems that would drown out any benefits.

The proposed 137-acre project site was to feature 252 single-family lots; 28.25 acres of open space; 18.72 acres for future regional commercial development; and an 11.35-acre site that could have been developed with an elementary school, or up to 63 additional single-family homes, if the school did not come to fruition.

“This brings a lot to the table, but there is a balancing act that we have to do to make sure our community is benefited by it more than it is impacted by it,” said Brentwood Mayor Joel Bryant.

The city’s official denial resolution names at least seven major concerns, including the project’s density; traffic impacts, potential state Route 4 noise mitigation issues for future homeowners; development of at least part of the city’s few remaining hills; and the size and location of the project’s proposed parks.

Attorney Ellis Raskin, a representative of applicants Discovery Builders and West Coast Homebuilders, disagreed with the city’s decision.

He argued that the project would have undergone a design review after approval, ensuring the implementation of the city’s general plan policies.

He added that the endeavor would also have provided a broad range of public benefits, including a substantial financial contribution toward the city’s rental, down payment, and first-time home-buyer assistance programs.

The project’s plans for two smaller parks instead of one large one would have allowed a broader range of new parkland amenities to be constructed, he said.

“We would like to urge the city council to reconsider its motion to deny the project,” he said.

But the council, along with at least two city residents who spoke during the council meeting, continued to believe the project should be denied.

The council previously pointed out that if the additional 63 homes, instead of the school site, were added to the project, then the project density would equate to 4.64 units per dwelling acre, well above the general plan’s mid-range density of three units per dwelling acre.

Other stated council concerns included: the project’s environmental impact report, projecting that the homes would generate over 100 middle and high school students — and possibly that many more cars on the already overcrowded roadway around bell time at Adams Middle School and Heritage High School; highway noise affecting future residents in and outside their homes; a lack of any affordable housing units included in the plan; and the project’s effect on the already resource-stretched fire district charged with protecting the community.

Residents appeared equally concerned.

“I do not agree with (the attorney’s) view about how beneficial this would be to the citizens of Brentwood,” said Brentwood resident Maria Villaseca.

To view a complete staff report on the now-denied project, visit page 101 at https://bit.ly/3t7TZmR.

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