Press Release: Greenbelt Alliance Endorses New Mixed-Use Master Plan CityWalk Bishop Ranch in San Ramon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Ramon, CA—Greenbelt Alliance has endorsed the proposed CityWalk Bishop Ranch master plan.

“The CityWalk Bishop Ranch Master Plan is the kind of climate-smart development that we need in the Bay Area to meet our housing goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make sure that local residents are able to stay and thrive in their own communities as housing costs rise,” says Greenbelt Alliance Executive Director Amanda Brown-Stevens.

Bishop Ranch makes significant progress towards meeting the City’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment requirements and the development of better urban form for the City of San Ramon. The CityWalk Mixed-Use Master Plan will provide 4,500 units on 111 acres, alongside a 169-key hotel, and 170,000ft2 of creative office/retail use, with 15% of the units designated for low or very-low income households. This development will transform and repurpose surface parking lots into a vibrant mix of housing, retail, office, and recreational spaces.  Recreational and community amenities include over ten acres of neighborhood parks, over 22 acres of lakes for recreational use, 11 acres in a parkway system (with off-street bike and pedestrian trails alongside public art and seating), a community center, and a public amphitheater on the lake. This plan makes significant progress towards the development of better urban form for the City of San Ramon, encouraging pedestrian and bicycle-friendly districts. 

“The master plan is intended to guide the development of residential uses, commercial uses, and public amenities within the master plan area to complement and support the long term vision for City Center/Bishop Ranch,” according to a staff report by city planning manager Lauren Barr.

San Ramon currently has a large job center with more than 30,000 employees at Bishop Ranch. With this proposed increase in multi-family housing units, more people will be able to live close to where they work, reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Bishop Ranch also aims to emphasize transit, bicycling, and walking modes through comprehensive Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies, with mode shift goals for commuter travel. TDM strategies can be an effective way for organizations and cities to be climate-smart. Projects such as this where residential development can build on the existing TDM strategies used by the office park can serve as a powerful model around the region. 

“We appreciate Bishop Ranch’s commitment to stormwater management best practices, developing drought-resistant parkland, and wetlands that will introduce qualities supportive of ecological diversity,” explains Brown-Stevens.

This Master Plan is to be phased over 25 years, given that our region needs development now, we would encourage the City of San Ramon to work with Bishop Ranch to streamline processes and prioritize housing construction. 

Every city in the Bay Area must play their part to increase their housing stock to make sure the local workforce can afford to live close to jobs, schools, and services — spending more time with family and friends and less time in traffic congestion — improving the social fabric of our communities and reducing the climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions produced by driving. We encourage the City of San Ramon to continue to improve its local policies to encourage sustainable, equitable development.

For over 60 years, Greenbelt Alliance has helped create cities and neighborhoods that make the Bay Area a better place to live — healthy places where people can walk and bike; communities with parks, shops, transportation options; homes that are affordable — and defend the Bay Area’s natural and agricultural landscapes from sprawl development. Greenbelt Alliance’s “Grow Smart Bay Area” goals call for fully protecting the Bay Area’s greenbelt and directing growth into our existing communities and accomplishing both in a way that equitably benefits all Bay Area residents. We implore the City of San Ramon to approve this project and act as a model for other Bay Area cities, inspiring them to reduce their climate impacts.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Amanda Brown-Stevens, Executive Director, Greenbelt Alliance, 510-816-2978, abrownstevens@greenbelt.org

Kathleen Freed, Bishop Ranch, bishopranch.com, 949-422-6753, kfreed@cornerstonecomms.com

About Greenbelt Alliance’s Climate SMART Endorsement Program: To ensure that the Bay Area grows in ways that enhance the quality of our communities and protects our region in the face of climate change, we need more people saying “yes” to the right development in the right places. Since the 1980s, we have provided independent validation of development projects and plans across the Bay Area. Learn more about the program and our criteria at greenbelt.org/endorsement.

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