Napa comes up roses in Greenbelt risk analysis

Napa County is far less threatened with development today than the Greenbelt Alliance, a land conservation group, believed six years ago.

A new Greenbelt Alliance report classifies 6,500 acres as at risk for development today. This acreage mostly surrounds the cities of Napa, St. Helena and American Canyon. That’s down from 22,200 acres Greenbelt classified as being at risk in 2006.

New report finds more than 322,000 Bay Area acres at risk

At Risk: The Bay Area Greenbelt 2012, the definitive research on the state of the region’s open space, shows that better managed growth combined with the down real estate market decreased the pressure to build on the greenbelt. Compared to six years ago, the amount of land at high and medium risk of development has been reduced by 20 percent, or 77,300 acres. The 322,800 acres that remain at risk—over ten times the size of San Francisco—deserve protection, and all of the region’s open spaces need stewardship and investment to thrive.
“The Bay Area has made good progress since we released our first At Risk report in 1989,” says Jeremy Madsen, Executive Director of Greenbelt Alliance. “The good news is that development patterns have been shifting from sprawl toward a smart growth future. But we still have more to do to save lands at risk and keep what makes the Bay Area special.”

Land is protected from sprawl in two ways: conservation groups can permanently preserve it by either buying land outright or buying the rights to develop it. Voters and leaders can protect it by growth management measures, such as urban growth boundaries and hillside ordinances. In the last six years, key growth management measures were renewed, such as the ones in Napa and Solano counties and cities in Sonoma County, which safeguards land for future generations.

At Risk: The Bay Area Greenbelt 2012

The definitive research on the state of the Bay Area’s open space, finds that more than 322,000 acres—10 times the size of San Francisco—remain at risk of development.

“New Farm” a hot topic at Contra Costa County candidates forum

On Thursday evening over 70 people braved thunder and lightning for an electrifying County Supervisor Candidates Forum on environmental issues held in San Ramon.

How healthy is your county?

Do you worry about the air you breathe or where you can find local fruits and vegetables? Santa Clara County is creating a new Health Element, a road map for how the county’s community members — both from cities and unincorporated areas — will address health issues. Greenbelt Alliance recognizes that the way we design our communities affects our health. Smart land-use planning can foster overall well-being, diminish childhood obesity, decrease pedestrian… Read More

Vineyards, trees, and erosion in Sonoma County

In January, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to issue a four-month moratorium on new vineyard projects until a revised policy on tree removal and erosion mitigation is adopted.

Gilroy Demonstration Garden grows community

Judy Hess, Director of the Demonstration Garden, recently spoke with Greenbelt Alliance about sustainable gardening and education programs for the local community.

Protecting nature inspires open space advocate

Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager for the Santa Clara Open Space Authority, has a long history in the preservation of open space. She will be speaking at Greenbelt Alliance’s Changemaker Training in Gilroy on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Imagine a farming Greenbelt

What would it take to keep the Bay Area’s farms prosperous?

Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan moves forward

In September and October, the six partners to the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan voted to continue funding the planning process, allowing progress to continue toward permanent protection of vital lands in the South Bay.