Protect Tassajara Valley

A natural gem in Contra Costa County, the Tassajara Valley provides important habitat for rare and endangered wildlife as well as valuable agricultural lands, outdoor recreation, and natural beauty. Yet for all its rural charm, this quiet valley just east of Danville and San Ramon is the site of an ongoing 30-year battle over sprawl.

Voters drew the line on sprawl here, enacting strong voter-approved urban limit lines that prevent major development in the valley, and fought off attempts to expand those boundaries.

Undeterred, powerful developers are now pushing Contra Costa County officials to violate these limit lines by approving a 187-unit development called “New Farm,” a cleverly-marketed subdivision of sprawling estate homes just outside the line. If the project gets the green light, it would set a horrible precedent, opening  the floodgates to development on lands protected by the urban limit line in the Tassajara Valley and elsewhere across the county.

“New Farm” an Illegal development

A coalition of organizations and residents are fighting to stop the “New Farm” proposal. A legal review commissioned by Greenbelt Alliance and Save Mount Diablo shows that the proposed project would, if approved, violate numerous local laws and policies. The review was conducted by Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, one of the most respected land-use law firms in California.

Read more about the firm’s findings in this 2-page legal summary (PDF). Read the phase one letter (released July 2010) and phase two letter (released August 2011) (big PDFs). Download the five attachments cited in the phase-two letter: 1 (tassajara_attachment_1), 2 (tassajara_attachment_2), 3 (tassajara_attachment_3), 4 (tassajara_attachment_4), and 5 (tassajara_attachment_5).

Measure W

In July of 2010, the San Ramon City Council placed Measure W on the November ballot. The measure would have expanded the city’s Urban Growth Boundary to allow development in the beautiful Tassajara Valley and the hills west of Highway 680. Greenbelt Alliance, along with a coalition of residents and other allies, worked tirelessly to defeat Measure W and keep these sensitive lands protected.

Fortunately, on November 2, 2010, San Ramon voters agreed with Greenbelt Alliance and soundly rejected Measure W. With 100% of precincts reporting, San Ramon voted down Measure W by an astonishing 72% to 28%.

Check out the No on Measure W 60-second campaign video:

An urban growth boundary is one of the best tools for stopping sprawl and protecting the open space and farmlands that surround our cities. If Measure W passed, it would have been the first time a growth boundary was expanded for major development in the East Bay, setting a dangerous precedent. Keeping the boundary in place will help San Ramon residents make good on their desire to protect their remaining sensitive lands.

Protect Tassajara Valley News

Friday, May 24th, 2013     

Tour Acquaints Officials with Doolan Canyon Potential

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) staff led members of the Alameda County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) on a tour of its future Doolan Canyon park. Continue reading

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Thursday, May 16th, 2013     

WIN: New Farm project withdrawn, new proposal needs scrutiny

After a six-year battle, developers have withdrawn their proposal for rural Tassajara Valley, dubbed “New Farm”—a 187-unit, 771-acre suburban sprawl development. This is a victory for anybody who loves the Bay Area and wants to see its farms, forests, and watersheds protected. Continue reading

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Friday, May 3rd, 2013     

Wider Highways? Bay Area’s Smart Growth Plan Has Some Glaring Mistakes

Population growth in the Bay Area doesn’t have to mean more traffic and more suburban sprawl, if it’s planned for in a sustainable way. To that end, regional planners at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission recently released a draft of Plan Bay Area, a state-mandated blueprint for focusing housing growth over the next 25 years near transit hubs, where new residents are less likely to need a car to get around.
Continue reading

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