For the second time in 13 years, Greenbelt Alliance and our partners defeated Antioch’s sprawl plan for the Sand Creek Focus Area, a vital step toward our ultimate goal of long-term protection for the area.
The Sand Creek Focus Area plan was one of the largest sprawl development proposals in the entire 9-county Bay Area Region. It would have green-lighted sprawl development on more than four square miles (2,700 acres) of natural and agricultural lands, more than twice the size of Golden Gate Park.
First defeated in 2004, this ill-conceived plan has been thrown out again. After hearing from hundreds of concerned Antioch residents for more than a year, the Antioch City Council scrapped the plan and proposed skipping environmental review entirely. This decision will slow down the approval for development projects and require more extensive environmental review. It also opens new opportunities for the Antioch community to focus community resources where they’re needed most and to halt sprawl projects that will exacerbate traffic problems; stretch essential police and fire protection services; and devastate the beautiful hills, valleys, creeks, and threatened wildlife like the San Joaquin kit fox.
While this is a victory to celebrate, there are still massive individual sprawl projects looming. The largest of these projects, The Ranch, would create 1,307 housing units on 551 acres of active ranches, hills, and the Sand Creek watershed, which provides significant groundwater recharge for East Contra Costa.
There are many ways to protect these vital landscapes and many inspiring stories, even right next door. Similar sprawl proposals for the Roddy Ranch golf course fell through, which opened the door for the East Bay Regional Parks District to purchase the land that will become the future Deer Valley Regional Park.
Greenbelt Alliance and our partners the Antioch Community to Save Sand Creek will continue to fight these sprawl projects to ensure the preservation of the unique and beautiful Sand Creek area.
Photo: Michael Amorosa