Developer collects ample signatures to place ULL petition on ballot

Brentwood City Council to consider urban boundary move on June 25

By Judith Prieve
Published June 7, 2019

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A developer’s initiative to expand Brentwood’s urban boundary so more homes could be built has collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The proposal will be presented June 25 to the City Council, which could decide to prepare it for the ballot or request a staff report detailing the initiative’s impact, City Clerk Margaret Wimberly said. The deadline for placing any initiative on the Nov. 5 ballot is Aug. 9.

Local farmer Ron Nunn of Blackhawk-Nunn Partners has been helping to craft a 20-year plan to develop county land west of the Shadow Lakes Golf Course community, north of Balfour Road and just south of Antioch’s city limits. About 80 percent of the homes would be for seniors to be built over the next two decades.

But to do so, the city would have to expand the urban limit line, which requires a vote from the residents. The first step to get it on the ballot, though, was to collect signatures from at least 10 percent of the registered voters — 3,476 names — which the developer did this spring and which were certified by the Contra Costa County Elections Department late last week.

The project, tentatively called The Vineyards at Deer Creek, is a gated community would be located in an area of west Brentwood that’s mostly used for cattle grazing and dry farming due to the loam soil and arid climate there. The project calls for as many as 2,400 homes on 800 acres in the hills and valleys west of town, a plan that’s already galvanized opposition from a group of residents and open-space advocates.

One of those is longtime resident Kathy Griffin, who has formed a coalition of neighbors and others, the Alliance for a Better Brentwood, to fight against developing beyond the city’s urban limit line. She said she is not against development, but noted that three times the urban limit line “was established as permanent, and they are still trying to break it.”

“We need more jobs, not homes,” she said when the initiative was announced this spring.

Nunn, meanwhile, called the proposal “a nice project,” with build-out not set until 2040.

“We want to give Brentwood the opportunity to decide whether you agree with us.”

The City Council’s June 25 meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 150 City Park Way. For more information, go to http://www.brentwoodca.gov.