Contra Costa County Sprawl

Out of all Bay Area counties, Contra Costa County has the most land at risk of being consumed by sprawl development according to our At Risk 2017 report. There are currently 62,000 total acres at risk, including 20,000 acres that are likely to be developed in the next 10 years.

The overheated housing market has again driven up pressure to build anywhere and everywhere. Despite opportunities for smart growth and more central, walkable communities, Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley, and Brentwood all continue to sprawl outward onto their greenbelt lands. Pittsburg and Antioch both passed developer-backed growth boundaries in 2005 that allow building on hillsides, ranches, and critical habitat.

In only 10 years, development the size of Concord—the county’s largest city—could pave over the county’s golden hills, farmland, and habitat for wildlife.

Projects We’re Fighting

  • Antioch is considering several sprawl projects to its south, including 1,667 housing units on 550 acres of grasslands.
  • Brentwood is rapidly consuming farms and ranches in every direction. Despite two successive “no” votes from local residents, Brentwood is still seeking to annex a large area southwest of the city.
  • Contra Costa County’s urban limit line is vulnerable to expansions of less than 30 acres next to the line. While these 30-acre expansions might seem small, the land affected totals 9,300 acres. Over time, these expansions could unravel the limit line around the county and threaten the local farm economy. Developers are already using this vulnerability to propose carving up Tassajara Valley.

Residents Saying “No” To Sprawl

Campaign Updates & Big Wins

Contra Costa County Adopts Agricultural & Open Space Preservation Policy

Photo: Michael Amorosa