Success Stories

Concord Naval Weapons Station


On July 2, the U.S. Navy finally transferred the land to the East Bay Regional Park District to make it official. In 2012 the Concord City Council approved a visionary plan for the area that emphasized smart growth—incorporating walkable neighborhoods near transit with homes that are affordable—as well as preserving 70% of the area for protected open space. But the process to see these plans to fruition has been long—our coalition of partners standing strong to hold both the City of Concord and the developer (Lennar) accountable to the agreed-upon Area Plan. The East Bay Regional Park District’s plans to transform this land into a park is a huge win for the region! Read More

Stopping Sprawl in San Jose


Despite being out-spent at least 10-to-1 by Measure B’s billionaire backers, our team of organizations stopped this destructive measure which would have rewritten local rules to facilitate sprawl development across the city. It threatened thousands of acres of open space across San Jose, including the majestic Coyote Valley. It also included development plans for the Evergreen area, paving over greenbelt lands while bypassing affordable housing requirements and local fees. Measure B would have set a dangerous precedent for the entire Bay Area. By saying No to Measure B and Yes to Measure C, San Jose voters united to stop sprawl and support smart growth. Read More

Sonoma Co. Community Separators

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The most important anti-sprawl ballot initiative in Sonoma County in 2016 was passing Measure K. This ballot measure renewed voter protection for community separators—the greenbelt lands in between the county’s cities and towns—for another 20 years. Greenbelt Alliance led the charge to not only renew voter protection for community separators, but also triple the amount of land protected. For more than two decades, we have helped Sonoma County prevent sprawl. If Measure K had not been passed, the county would have risked opening the door to new sprawl development. Read More

Priority Conservation Areas

Priority Conservation Area

In 2015 Greenbelt Alliance led and won a campaign urging the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to significantly expand the first-in-the-nation Priority Conservation Area Program. The newly updated program increased funding by over 60% to $16.4 million and added 68 new PCAs. Priority Conservation Areas are exactly what they sound like: natural areas, recreation lands, farms, ranches, and urban open spaces that should be protected from development. Now that the PCA Program has been expanded, there are 165 PCAs across the Bay Area, covering over 2 million acres. Read More 

Plan Bay Area

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Greenbelt Alliance has been the leading advocate for Plan Bay Area 2040 from day one, spearheading support for its adoption in 2013 and its update in 2017. Plan Bay Area 2040 is a regional strategy for creating sustainable communities. It was adopted in July 2013 by the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Committee. The plan directs all future growth in the Bay Area to occur within our existing urban footprint. Some highlights from the plan include no sprawl for 30 years and 80% of new homes and over 60% of new jobs will be near public transit. Greenbelt Alliance works with cities and towns to implement this no-spawl vision.  Read More

Bringing Homes to Silicon Valley

GoogleThe City of Mountain View—home of Google, two Caltrain stations, and the most popular bus route in Silicon Valley—has shown great leadership by addressing the Bay Area’s housing challenge with the adoption of the North Bayshore Precise Plan. This exciting new plan will transform the area’s vast expanse of parking lots into a thriving community with up to 9,850 new homes. This decision is a 180-degree turnaround from a 2012 decision to not allow new housing in the very same area. We began working on the North Bayshore plan in 2008, and are thrilled that one of the largest plans for infill homes in the region is finally moving forward. Read More

Contra Costa County Farm Protection

Farmer Al, Frog Hollow Farm

Farms and open space won important protections when Contra Costa County adopted an Agricultural and Open Space Preservation Policy. This policy will make it much harder for sprawl to swallow up farmland, ranchland, and natural habitat outside of cities and towns. Greenbelt Alliance hopes this policy inspires counties across the region to step up their support for local agriculture by adopting farm-friendly policies. In the coming years, we will carefully watchdog the policy and push for improvements to make it even more effective. Read More

Homes in Oakland and San Jose

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We led the advocacy effort for San Jose’s Diridon Station Area Plan and Oakland’s Broadway-Valdez District Specific Plan which will create 4,300 new homes near two of the Bay Area’s busiest transit hubs. Many of the homes created will be affordable to low- and middle-income residents. Both plans passed in 2014 but took years to create. Greenbelt Alliance saw the plans through changes of elected leaders and several rounds of community input. Along the way, we organized residents so that the plans would reflect resident’s goals and have their support. Read more about Oakland and San Jose.

Habitat Conservation Plan

Photo: Pat Gaines via flickr

After almost a decade of hard work by Greenbelt Alliance and local environmental advocates, the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan was finally adopted in 2013. The plan creates a unified conservation program for preserving critical habitat in Santa Clara County. This is a huge win that applies to 519,000 acres, or 60% of the county, and protects over 46,000 acres of vital wildlife habitat. It will also raise an estimated $658 million for conservation, protect 18 endangered or threatened species, and balance conservation and development to be more strategic and efficient. Read More

Defending Morgan Hill Agriculture

Morgan Hill's Southeast Quadrant

In 2016 we helped strike down the City of Morgan Hill’s proposal to expand its boundaries and annex an area known as the Southeast Quadrant—236 acres of nearby farmland. Greenbelt Alliance fended off this ill-conceived effort over 10 years. From 1984 to 2010, Morgan Hill lost over 3,700 acres of farmland to urban and low-density development. On top of that, Morgan Hill has nearly 100 years worth of vacant lands to develop on within its city limits. Each effort to pave over a farm or a ranch adds up and threatens the viability of local agriculture. This was a huge victory for Bay Area farming and ranching and our local food culture. Read More

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