Success Stories

Sonoma Co. Community Separators

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The most important anti-sprawl ballot initiative in Sonoma County in 2016 was passing Measure K. This ballot measure renewed voter protection for community separators—the greenbelt lands in between the county’s cities and towns—for another 20 years. Greenbelt Alliance led the charge to not only renew voter protection for community separators, but also triple the amount of land protected. For more than two decades, we have helped Sonoma County prevent sprawl. If Measure K had not been passed, the county would have risked opening the door to new sprawl development. Read More

Priority Conservation Areas

Priority Conservation Area

In 2015 Greenbelt Alliance led and won a campaign urging the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to significantly expand the first-in-the-nation Priority Conservation Area Program. The newly updated program increased funding by over 60% to $16.4 million and added 68 new PCAs. Priority Conservation Areas are exactly what they sound like: natural areas, recreation lands, farms, ranches, and urban open spaces that should be protected from development. Now that the PCA Program has been expanded, there are 165 PCAs across the Bay Area, covering over 2 million acres. Read More 

Plan Bay Area

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Greenbelt Alliance has been the leading advocate for Plan Bay Area from day one, spearheading support for its adoption in 2013 and its update in 2017. Plan Bay Area is a regional strategy for creating sustainable communities. It was adopted in July 2013 by the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Committee. The plan directs all future growth in the Bay Area to occur within our existing urban footprint. Some highlights from the plan include no sprawl for 30 years and 80% of new homes and over 60% of new jobs will be near public transit. Greenbelt Alliance works with cities and towns to implement this no-spawl vision.  Read More

Defending Morgan Hill Agriculture

Morgan Hill's Southeast Quadrant

In 2016 we helped strike down the City of Morgan Hill’s proposal to expand its boundaries and annex an area known as the Southeast Quadrant—236 acres of nearby farmland. Greenbelt Alliance fended off this ill-conceived effort over 10 years. From 1984 to 2010, Morgan Hill lost over 3,700 acres of farmland to urban and low-density development. On top of that, Morgan Hill has nearly 100 years worth of vacant lands to develop on within its city limits. Protecting the Southeast Quadrant’s 236 acres may not seem like much, but each effort to pave over a farm or a ranch adds up and threatens the viability of local agriculture. This was a huge victory for Bay Area farming and ranching and our local food culture. Read More

Contra Costa County Protection

Farmer Al, Frog Hollow Farm

Farms and open space won important protections when Contra Costa County adopted an Agricultural and Open Space Preservation Policy. This policy will make it much harder for sprawl to swallow up farmland, ranchland, and natural habitat outside of cities and towns. Greenbelt Alliance hopes this policy inspires counties across the region to step up their support for local agriculture by adopting farm-friendly policies. In the coming years, we will carefully watchdog the policy and push for improvements to make it even more effective. Read More

Oakland and San Jose

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We led the advocacy effort for San Jose’s Diridon Station Area Plan and Oakland’s Broadway-Valdez District Specific Plan which will create 4,300 new homes near two of the Bay Area’s busiest transit hubs. Many of the homes created will be affordable to low- and middle-income residents. Both plans passed in 2014 but took years to create. Greenbelt Alliance saw the plans through changes of elected leaders and several rounds of community input. Along the way, we organized residents so that the plans would reflect resident’s goals and have their support. Read more about Oakland and San Jose.

Habitat Conservation Plan

Photo: Pat Gaines via flickr

After almost a decade of hard work by Greenbelt Alliance and local environmental advocates, the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan was finally adopted in 2013. The plan was groundbreaking because it creates a unified conservation program for preserving critical habitat in Santa Clara County. This is a huge win for wildlife habitat conservation that applies to 519,000 acres, or 60% of the county, and protects over 46,000 acres of vital wildlife habitat. It will also raise an estimated $658 million for conservation, protect 18 endangered or threatened species, and balance conservation and development to be more strategic and efficient. Read More

Concord Naval Weapons Station

photo: Scott Hein

In 2012 after six years of advocacy by Greenbelt Alliance, the Concord City Council approved a visionary plan for the closed Concord Naval Weapons Station. The adopted blueprint emphasizes walkable neighborhoods with homes that people can afford near transit and services, with decent paying jobs, and open spaces protected from sprawl. Moreover it does so while designating nearly 70 percent of the area—3,500 acres or three Golden Gate Parks—as protected open space. Greenbelt Alliance and our coalition partners stepped in when it was clear initial plans for the site were heading toward business-as-usual sprawl. We built broad support for the plan to remake a corner of Concord and send positive ripple effects throughout the Bay Area. Read More

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