Brentwood leaders have finalized a development plan for a 431-acre northwest property that’s expected to drive the city’s economic future.

The document outlines development standards, land uses, infrastructure requirements and implementation measures for the area south of Lone Tree Way, west of Shady Willow Lane, north of Sand Creek, and east of Heidorn Ranch Road.

The plan is intended to guide the area’s private development and public investment for the next 20 to 25 years.

It calls for the sprawling landscape to become the city’s primary employment center, surrounded by a compact, mixed-use district that supports a future transit station, said Ben Ritchie, a principal of the De Novo Planning Group, which guided the plan’s development.

It’s envisioned that the area could one day feature 4 million square feet of commercial development, which would generate approximately 8,400 jobs. The area would also feature 2,100 housing units and a residential population of 4,500.
“(The plan) provides a shovel-ready project area that makes the City of Brentwood much more regionally competitive in terms of attracting industry, high-quality jobs and helping the city really maintain or achieve a better jobs-housing balance for future and long-term fiscal sustainability,” Ritchie said.

With public input, a 12-person group of city councilmembers, planning commissioners and residents crafted the plan over two years. The full planning commission and city council approved the final document.

Councilmember Joel Bryant, a working-group member, said the theme of the discussions throughout the plan’s creation was making Brentwood a sustainable community.

“Once funds from the developer community cease, we are not going to have any other source of funds to maintain the same quality of life that we have now if we don’t attract high-paying, high-skilled jobs,” he said.

The document’s land-use map designates the bulk of the property – 155 acres on both sides of Highway 4 – as an employment center and light industrial development, which could include business parks, research and development facilities, high-tech services and health care buildings.

“The general plan revealed that the City of Brentwood, to ensure its future fiscal sustainability, must develop more jobs,” said Brentwood Community Development Director Casey McCann. “The area, because of its vacant land, location access and availability for infrastructure, is the city’s best opportunity for creating these needed jobs.”

Another of the plan’s goals is to create housing in close proximity to jobs, while also supporting development and use of a transit station.

In turn, about 20 acres on both sides of State Route 4 and the Mokelumne Aqueduct are eyed for a transit center, likely served first by Tri Delta Transit buses and then a light-rail system.

About 40 acres surrounding the transit center are designated for a wide range of potential uses to transform the area into a pedestrian and bike-friendly mixed-use district that could include professional offices, personal services, retail and restaurants, entertainment and hospitality.

Another 40 acres in two areas along Shady Willow Lane – one directly south of Golden Hills Church and the other directly north of The Streets of Brentwood – is marked for multifamily development (15-35 dwelling units per acre), intended to be within walking distance of the transit station.

Other designations included in the document are high-density residential development (10-20 dwelling units per acre) on 25 acres in two areas along Shady Willow Lane, also within walking distance of the transit station; retail and service uses on the mostly developed 85 acres on both sides of State Route 4, directly south of Lone Tree Way; and a proposed future fire station at the northwest corner of Grant Street and Shady Willow Lane.

“The plan that came together was carefully crafted down to the acre to get to that minimum threshold of residential units (to attract a light rail system) while maximizing the job-generating potential of the plan and being sensitive to not putting three- and four-story apartments hulking over the fence lines of established single-family residential neighborhoods,” Ritchie said.

Now that the plan has been approved, it’s expected that the city will soon hire a consultant to home in on the area’s infrastructure needs, which include roadways, utilities and infrastructure for sewer, water and drainage.

For more information on the plan, visit


Staff Writer

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