July 18, 2019

Monday, July 22, 2019, 6 pm to 8 pm
Mountain Mikes, 1185-2nd Street, Brentwood

Complete Brentwood’s workforce survey:

The Alliance for a Better Brentwood is holding a community meeting!

This is a more informal, open dialog meeting. You can arrive anytime during the 2 hour duration and stay as long as you want. Come learn about our opposition to the Vineyards @ Deer Creek project and soon to be Ballot Initiative. It moves our Urban Limit Line to build 2,400 more housing units in west Brentwood that we don’t need and can’t support! Share ideas, information and strategies, get first time info or up-to-date stats debunking the project and take-on volunteer opportunities.

Hope to see you there.

July 10, 2019

Complete Brentwood’s workforce survey:

Currently, Brentwood is less than ⅓ built out for jobs and 88% of employed Brentwood residents leave the city for work. In order to bring a better job-housing balance to Brentwood, one of the guiding principles of the General Plan is “Attract and retain businesses and industries that provide high-quality and high-paying jobs so that residents can live and work in Brentwood”.

In April 2019, Brentwood hired a new Assistant City Manager, Terrence Grindall to focus on “promoting Brentwood’s development potential; increasing the city’s per-capita sales tax base through retail recruitment; and attracting high-quality local jobs.” See The Press article dated May 23, 2019.

Now, Brentwood is asking residents to complete a workforce survey so that the city can better evaluate the workforce here in order to attract businesses that match. See The Press article dated July 11, 2019. You help the city understand our workforce by completing the survey here: https://www.opentownhall.com/7603


July 4, 2019

Hello family & friends.

Happy Independence Day, the day the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies no longer subordinate to the monarch of Britain. Enjoy your day, have fun, and be safe!

On another note, just wanted to pass along a message from Brentwood City Clerk, Margaret Wimberly:

The City would like to provide you as much notice as possible that at the City Council meeting of July 9, staff will be recommending the regular City Council meeting of July 23rd be cancelled, and a special meeting be held on Thursday, July 25th at 7:00 p.m. in order to provide a full 30 days for the preparation and presentation of the 9212 report, which will provide additional information to the public on the Vineyards at Deer Creek development project.

Brentwood City Clerk, Margaret Wimberly

Please amend your calendars to attend this important special meeting. The Council is set to decide which election to send the Vineyards @ Deer Creek initiative to, either a special election in the fall of 2019, or the next General Municipal Election, November 3, 2020. I, as well as the Alliance for a Better Brentwood, are advocating for the 2020 election. We deserve to have a draft and final Environmental Impact Report prior to voting on this life-changing ballot measure. The City is not sure when this will be available to us just yet.

We continue to find new and revealing information about the claims made by the developers that people need to know. Please check our website regularly for new information and sign-up for our Newsletter. We will be holding several important meetings over the coming weeks and will communicate those accordingly.

Thank you for listening and your support. Brentwood is near and dear to my heart, where my children grew up, and where some live with our grandchildren. We need to guide it into the future and help protect it for generations to come.


June 29, 2019

Join us Tuesday, July 23rd Thursday, July 25th at 7 pm 
for the City Council Meeting
where the Council may decide whether to
send this to a special election or a general election

Happy wonderful weather Saturday friends and neighbors.

Just posting a thank you for all of you who wrote the Council or attended the Tuesday evening City Council Meeting to stand up for Brentwood and our Urban Limit Line, and encourage the City Council to order the informational report vetting the required components of the Vineyards @ Deer Creek development as dictated by Election Code Section 9212.

Karen Rarey also added 2 components as allowed under the provision which analyzes the project under a different lens than an EIR – see the list of criteria in the Council agenda packet.

Many concerned residents spoke both under the Public Comments section, and on the agenda item of the ULL expansion project. Thank you to leadership team member Sinziana Todor for preparing the Alliance for a Better Brentwood’s unified 6-page message, and I might add there was not one pro-development speaker! You can view and listen to the entire Council meeting at the City’s website, choose the video from 6/25: http://brentwoodca.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx

Regarding the informational report which stands to cost the City around $60k, the City only has 30 days to hire a company to prepare it, and bring it back to the Council. We can all expect that reveal at the Tuesday, July 23rd Council Meeting – please put that date on your calendars. That evening could be the night Council decides on which election they will send the measure to:

  1. a special election Fall of 2019, costing Brentwood a whooping $104k-$173k; or
  2. the regularly scheduled General Municipal election on 11/3/2020, only costing $43k-$60k.

The developer can be asked to enter into an agreement with the City for reimbursement of all these costs, but there is no guarantee. The Alliance is advocating for the 2020 General Election because of historically higher voter turnout statistics and because we don’t even have a Draft nor Final Environmental Impact Report yet to make an informed decision on the measure.

We will continue to oppose this ULL expansion project because Brentwood does not need to expand –

  1. we have 6,075 housing units of various types in the queue, and 33 commercial projects, and that’s only Brentwood;
  2. we have abysmal fire & emergency services for which this development offers the SAME FIRE FEES to the City as any housing project AND adds more service territory;
  3. the CHP is extremely concerned about the traffic this project will generate, and has reported that the project’s current configuration appears to not have the capacity to accommodate increased traffic on both Balfour & the Bypass, and will severely hinder their ability to do their job by increasing response times, collision potential, traffic congestion and negatively impacting the safe movement of people & commerce.
  4. the initiative will completely take the City Council, Planning Staff, and its residents out of the equation by making all their plans law, over-riding our General Plan and zoning regulations;
  5. if we do need to expand at a later date, Brentwood has a plan for the SPA2 area for ranchette estates & very low density housing on the parcel, and will also complete American Avenue AND extend Hillcrest through to Balfour.

Thanks for your time today, and please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns, questions or input regarding this deplorable Project. We have new information to share shortly supporting our opposition – don’t forget to sign-up for our news blasts at our website, or check our site regularly: www.AllianceforaBetterBrentwood.org .

Now get out an enjoy Brentwood’s amazing weather and amenities while you can!


June 28, 2019

On June 25th, the Brentwood city council had to decide between:

  1. Placing the Measure on the ballot for the City’s next regular election (November 3, 2020); or
  2. Placing the Measure on the ballot for a special election; or
  3. Providing direction to prepare an informational report in accordance with section 9212 of the Elections Code.

Voters need more information before we move forward on this and so the council unanimously voted for Option 3. However, this report will not be as detailed as a full EIR which is also in progress. It is not known when the draft EIR will be released.

The 9212 report will cover the following topics:

  1. Its fiscal impact.
  2. Its effect on the internal consistency of the City’s general and specific plans, including the housing element, the consistency between planning and zoning, and the limitations on City actions under state laws prohibiting discrimination in housing and governing density bonuses.
  3. Its effect on the use of land, the impact on the availability and location of housing, and the ability of the City to meet its regional housing needs.
  4. Its impact on funding for infrastructure of all types, including, but not limited to, transportation, schools, parks, and open space. The report may also discuss whether the measure would be likely to result in increased infrastructure costs or savings, including the costs of infrastructure maintenance, to current residents and businesses.
  5. Its impact on the community’s ability to attract and retain business and employment.
  6. Its impact on the uses of vacant parcels of land.
  7. Its impact on agricultural lands, open space, traffic congestion, existing business districts, and developed areas designated for revitalization.
  8. Any other matters the City Council requests to be included in the report.

Watch the entire city council meeting here. YES, it is long, but we heard concerns from CHP and Fire as well as many residents. Concerning is that the person from FIRE stated our insurance rates could increase and CHP noted the increased safety concerns. Additionally, it was pointed out that the builder has CROSSED OUT the General Plan and updated it with verbiage that will allow them to do whatever they want on the site (overriding the City and the existing General Plan).

Will this development improve traffic?


Brentwood’s General Plan’s Circulation Diagram makes clear the plan to extend American Avenue. We do not need this developer’s plan to do this. In addition, the developer’s plan:

  • Removes public access of the new portion of Hillcrest as it will be private and gated for the new communities
  • Reduces designation from Major to Minor Arterial for the new portion of Hillcrest
  • Removes direct connection of American to Hillcrest

Under the developer’s plan, vehicle traffic will be routed further west down Balfour. Currently, traffic from the schools flows east on Balfour and to West Country Club. With no new roads out of the area, this means that the newly routed traffic would still have to cross the existing Balfour/American intersection. It also means that the traffic would be flowing toward the steady stream of students that cross Balfour on the western side of American.

Also, the land where the extension would be constructed is county-controlled and so the county would have to be in favor of constructing such extension. The county would be looking at a number of variables with respect to the construction, including habitats that could be impacted.

Does Brentwood need more housing?

NO! Brentwood is already over ⅔ built out according to the General Plan’s targets, and less than ⅓ built out for jobs. Cities that rely on property taxes as a primary source of income run out of money down the line, which diminishes their ability to provide the quality of life residents are used to. More houses mean more residents, which means more commuters and more traffic, and more pressure on city services like police, fire, and maintenance–without a long term increase in tax revenue.

Will this development add an impact to schools or traffic?

The development is currently planned for 80% of units for “active adult” and 20% of units as market rate. Developers can label their projects whatever they want, and simply change it down the line which is exactly what happened recently in Antioch. An “active adult community” is not legally binding. Just ask…Once houses are market rate, anyone can move in–including families with children who will need to go to school and working parents who will need to commute to job centers across the Bay Area. If each home has an average of four people, that’s almost 10,000 more commuters on roads and school children in school.

Further, “active adult” refers to adults 55 and over. How many 55 year olds do you know that don’t leave the house?

June 16, 2019

Join us June 25th at 7 pm
for the City Council Meeting
where the Council will either order a staff report, or decide to send the measure to a ballot

Hello friends and neighbors,

First and foremost, happy “Hallmark Holiday”, Father’s Day to all our fantastic fathers out there. It’s not just one day, it’s a lifetime.

Posting a quick update for The Alliance for a Better Brentwood. Yesterday, we secured another 55 opposition signatures denouncing the Vineyards @ Deer Creek Project. This was in just the few hours we spent at the Farmer’s Market. As the developers proclaimed in Friday’s Brentwood Press article, they will soon be bombarding our mailboxes with thousands of dollars of marketing propaganda – with money our grassroots efforts couldn’t begin to have. It’s too bad they’ll be wasting all those precious trees with an item we can’t even use for toilet paper. Here’s the link:

Brentwood urban limit line expansion to appear on future ballot
Kyle Syzmanski, The Brentwood Press
Read the full text here

We need as many residents as possible to attend the June 25th City Council Meeting @ 7pm where the Council will act on the Project – either order a staff report, or decide to send the measure to a ballot. We know the developer wants a costly, quick special election in November 2019 – why would are City representatives authorize that when we don’t even have a Draft Environmental Impact Report yet? We need to have every review possible of this Project so the public can analyze it. Let’s come out in force to tell them, hold up signs, fill the room to show them just how many of us are against this Project. As we understand it, the Council has until August 9th to make the election date decision.

Regarding the fire & emergency services deficit, more taxes are not necessarily the answer. I received the link to the fees that developers pay for EACH housing unit in Brentwood yesterday from Planning Manager Erik Nolthenius. Of the $41,706+ received per housing unit, only $880.95 dollars goes to fire…what?! That’s absurd. Only Administration and Solid Waste are less than that; Parks and Trails gets $6,200, Roadways gets $12k and Water $11k…WOW. What exactly is the priority of our City, you might ask. I know these are 1-time fees, but couldn’t the fire allocation at least be boosted in this equation? Here’s the link to the City’s Development Fee Program.

As always, The Alliance as well as myself welcome your thoughts, facts and figures, and keep the dialog going! Enjoy this glorious day!


June 14, 2019

ULL Ballot Measure Info Table

Brentwood Farmer’s Market 6/15

Hello friends and neighbors, join me at the Alliance for a Better Brentwood Information Table tomorrow, Saturday, June 15 from 8:30am-11am to learn more about the looming ballot measure to move our Urban Limit Line west for yet more houses.

It’s our position that there is no reason to lose control of our urban boundary now. Brentwood has a commitment to its residents to boost fire/emergency services to safe levels, attract and retain good jobs, and add more retail and commercial development here BEFORE we expand outward for any reason. Our urban limit lines both east and west of town are in force until 2026.

We need to vote NO on this ballot measure to prevent unplanned urban sprawl, and then help guide the current plans on Brentwood’s horizon – how about we see how those affect our town before adding more to it.

Hope to see you there!