Draft Environmental Impact Report

The draft environmental impact report (DEIR) (volume I and volume II) became available for public review and comment on July 19, 2019. The public has until 5:00 PM on September 3, 2019 to comment. See Tips for Effective EIR Commenting

Written comments may be sent via U.S. mail, e-mail, or fax to:

Community Development Department
Attn: Erik Nolthenius, Planning Manager
150 City Park Way
Brentwood, CA 94513
enolthenius@brentwoodca.gov
(925) 516-5407 [fax]

If you have any questions about the DEIR or the project, please contact Erik Nolthenius by phone at (925) 516-5137 or via e-mail at enolthenius@brentwoodca.gov.

ECCFPD Resolution No. 2017-19

This development adds 11.6% to Brentwood’s footprint. On page 1, Section 5 of the initiative, the developer only agrees to pay fire facilities fees based on the current fee schedule which amounts to only $2M over the entire 20-year project.

The ECCFPD has stated that their 249-square mile service area requires nine operating fire stations. We only have three. We have developer fees to build a new fire station, $6.5M, but no money to staff stations. It takes $16M per year to run our three stations.

Response times to emergencies have increased 29% over the 2nd quarter of 2019 which resulted in a total of 31 hours of time in which they could not answer emergency calls!

Response time is up to 10:03 minutes. A person can be brain-dead in just 8 minutes and a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds!

The Contra Costa County Grand Jury and ECCFPD admit that insurance rates and property values within the District are negatively affected by the worsening level of fire services. Read it here

It is not the time to add residential service area to ECCFPD.

3. “High ISO rates may increase rates for residential and commercial insurance coverage.”

Suggested Response: The District partially agrees in light of information the District has received indicating that the ISO rate increase have already increased insurance premiums. ISO rating range from 1 for the best to 10 for the worst. As of 2002, ISO ratings in the District were 3/9. As of 2010, they were raised to 4/9. Public commenters at District Board meetings have shared that District residents are seeing insurance costs increase by up to 198.2% over a three year span from 2014 to 2017, which, in turn, reduces the value of property within the District.

ECCFPD Board of Directors, Resolution No. 2017-19, Page 2
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The Developer’s Initiative

The Developer’s Initiative, if passed by the voters and approved by all parties, will modify Brentwood’s Urban Limit Line (ULL), Sphere of Influence (SOI), General Plan, Municipal Code, and 1992 Memo of Understanding between Antioch and Brentwood. Every detail in the initiative is important to review. Read the full document here.

Here are some highlights:

Commercial Uses

The developer was quoted as saying that around 15-20 acres would be dedicated to commercial elements, which could include a winery, a farm-to-table restaurant or other attractions. What is never mentioned is the senior care facility that may be placed on the corner of Deer Valley and Balfour Road.

Consistent with City policy, senior care facilities are considered to be a commercial use and therefore shall not be included in the 2,400-unit maximum residential unit limitation. However, for purposes of this Specific Plan senior care facilities may be located in the VDC-R or VDC-CC sub-designations. [Emphasis added]

Vineyards at Deer Creek Voter Initiative, Page E36

Circulation

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

Balfour Road

Within the initiative, the developer has highlighted three phases of modifications to Balfour Road with different timings. However, the figures included combine Phase 1 & 2.

  • Phase 1: Widening from two- to four-lanes (see image) which will occur concurrently with other improvements required for the first small-lot final subdivision map.
  • Phase 2: Widening from two- to four-lanes (see image) which “shall occur as traffic demand necessitates” [Emphasis added]
  • Phase 3: Improvements as a two-lane road (see image) which “shall occur as traffic demand necessitates” [Emphasis added]

Specific Plan Takes Control

There are numerous references in the General Plan edits that allow the Specific Plan to supersede many of the city’s policies and municipal code.

C. Conflict(s) with Vineyards at Deer Creek Specific Plan.

If there are any inconsistencies or conflicts between the requirements of the Vineyards at Deer Creek Specific Plan and the requirements of this Title or other applicable legislative City rule, regulation, or official policy implementing this Title, as they currently exist or may be amended (collectively, and exclusive of the General Plan, the “City Zoning Regulations”), the provisions of the Vineyards at Deer Creek Specific Plan take precedence, control, and govern in the Specific Plan Area.

Any activities regulated by the City Zoning Regulations but not addressed in the Vineyards at Deer Creek Specific Plan shall be subject to the City Zoning Regulations, unless application of those City Zoning Regulations would frustrate the policy, purpose, or objectives of the Vineyards at Deer Creek Specific Plan. [Emphasis added]

Vineyards at Deer Creek Voter Initiative, Page 11

LAFCO’s Comment on NOP

On April 30, 2019, LAFCO, the commission responsible for overseeing local government boundary changes in Contra Costa, sent a letter to the City of Brentwood in response to the city’s Notice of Preparation—Vineyards at Deer Creek.

Included, LAFCO asks that the EIR include discussion on the project as it relates to Plan Bay Area.

The Plan assumes that all urban growth boundaries are held fixed through the year 2040 and no sprawl-style development is expected to occur on the regions’ open space or agricultural lands.

The project does not focus growth within the urbanized area of Brentwood, and extends the urban footprint into the an undeveloped area, outside the ULL, and predominately used for grazing.

LAFCO, April 30, 2019

View the pdf or click below to read the text.

Continue reading “LAFCO’s Comment on NOP”