Op Ed: Just Say No to General Plan 2030

Steve O’Brien

An San Ramon resident and advocate for keeping the Tassajara Valley free from development shares his thoughts about some proposed changes to the city’s general plan.

On July 13, the San Ramon City Council meets to review and likely approve their amended General Plan 2030. On the surface this may sound routine, but if this plan is also approved by residents in November, it will forever impact where we live.

Buried deep within General Plan 2030, there is a provision to expand San Ramon’s “Urban Growth Boundary” (or UGB) into the beautiful Tassajara Valley to the east and into the hills on the west of the city.

If you’ve ever driven along Camino Tassajara Road between Blackhawk and Dublin, you know how amazingly rural and open Tassajara Valley is. It is filled with green and brown rolling hills, ancient oaks, horse stables, small family ranches and historic sites. All this within minutes of Interstate 680. If you love rural and open spaces near to where you live, you have to love Tassajara Valley –- as it is.

There is no question expanding the UGB will mean eventual development in the valley and the west side hills –- something that has been tried for years but resisted by residents.

The valley has a long history of outside land speculators wanting to pave it over. No matter what residents want, it seems those efforts just won’t die. Disturbingly, the city has already started work on an “Eastside Plan” to determine how Tassajara Valley ought to be carved up for development. The usual suspects are working the back offices of city hall –- a Jordanian land speculator named Samir Kawar and his sidekick consultant Tom Koch – are peddling their latest development schemes to any politician willing to listen (and accept their generous campaign contributions).

Do we really want greedy foreign speculators paving-over our hills and valleys? More traffic, more pollution, more water and sewer demands, more cookie-cutter housing blanketing the horizon? No way. Highly respected conservation organizations such asGreenbelt Alliance and Save Mount Diablo agree – General Plan 2030 needs to be rejected.

Measure F in Brentwood was defeated by residents who soundly voted “no way” to a similar annexation and development plan. Likewise, San Ramon residents must defeat “General Plan 2030” in November in order to keep the boundary as it is. Our quality of life depends on it.

I encourage you to visit our blog savetassajaravalley.wordpress.com to find out how you can help us raise awareness and stop this latest attempt to develop the beautiful Tassajara Valley and the west side hills.

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http://danville.patch.com/articles/op-ed-just-say-no-to-general-plan-2030

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