The Space Races 

Other East Bay land-use votes.

In Contra Costa County, three developers are already following Pardee's lead, going straight to the voters this November with ballot initiatives that would redraw urban growth boundaries to include their properties.


The developer Albert Seeno III and his family are backing and financing an initiative to expand the urban growth boundary by 2,300 acres in four different areas. About 650 acres would be dedicated for the development of a maximum of 1,604 homes, with the remaining 1,650 acres set aside for open space. While several landowners would be affected by the change, the Seeno family has the most to gain, with about 600 acres of property that would be included within the revised boundary.


The initiative would enlarge the growth boundary both east and west of the city, putting about 1,300 acres within city limits. Eight hundred acres would remain open space, and the rest would support about 2,800 new homes and several new industrial parks. The Brentwood initiative is being sponsored primarily by the Nunn family, which has a financial interest in about half of the land that would be included.

The Brentwood debate cooled off slightly in September when one environmental group, Save Mount Diablo, signed an agreement with the City of Brentwood and a number of private landowners, including the Nunn family. The group promised it will neither fight the initiative nor sue, while the city promised that, if the initiative passes, it will create a permanent greenbelt around the new city limits. However, other environmental groups such as the Greenbelt Alliance and the Sierra Club have vowed to continue the fight.


This initiative moves the city's urban growth boundary back to where it was in 1990, allowing for the construction of 700 luxury houses around an existing golf course south of the city limits. It calls for the development of 1,050 acres total, including 850 acres of the ranch once owned by local rodeo star Jack Roddy, as well an adjacent 200-acre property.

The Antioch initiative has been financed by Roddy Ranch PBC, a group of developers from Pleasanton and Sacramento that purchased the Roddy property out of bankruptcy court earlier this year. The measure also promises $1 million each for the Antioch school system and road improvement projects, and $50,000 to study a potential business park. It also locks the growth boundary into place for fifteen years, meaning that the project's opponents couldn't halt it with another initiative next year.


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