Fight to Save Sand Creek Continues in Antioch
The Sand Creek Focus Area is a stunning expanse of open space in East Contra Costa County, beloved by hiking humans and native gray foxes alike. It is also the subject of two lawsuits filed by Richfield/Oak Hill Park Co. and the Zeka Group, developers with big plans to turn the rolling hills and riparian habitat into low-density single-family homes.
Earlier this year, two measures slated for the 2018 ballot were adopted by the Antioch City Council—one written and supported by the Antioch Community to Save Sand Creek, of which Greenbelt Alliance is a leading member. The passage of this measure was an incredible win for the environment and the community. The other measure, put forth by the developer Richland, was in many ways similar to ours except that it also allowed for Richland’s “The Ranch” development to proceed.
The two measures are now being reconciled by the City of Antioch, and general plan amendments are being considered to align the plan with the content of the measures. Those amendments will be reviewed at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 22.
Meanwhile, lawyers for other developers that are blocked by both initiatives have looked for any possible crack in the language of the measures. It could take a while for these lawsuits to wind their way through the courts, and while we’re confident our measure should hold up, the legal system is uncertain.
The case could get thrown out, we could win, one or both of the measures may need to be amended, or they could be thrown out entirely. The case could be appealed all the way to the California Supreme Court. In the meantime, Richland will move forward with the approvals for their project, and the other 1,200 acres will enjoy their hard-won protection.
Photo: ©Michael Amorosa