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East Bay metropolis to request voters to defend open area

Brentwood voters will have the option to determine this November on whether to shield the city’s open place, parks and golfing classes from potential improvement.

Numerous months in the creating, the council-sponsored initiative was authorised final week, location the wheels in motion to position the park and open-house initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Brentwood initiative is modeled in aspect just after Martinez’s the latest citizen initiative to safeguard open up space and parks in that town. It is also a variation of Napa’s Measure J, according to Assistant City Manager Darin Gale, who stated the evaluate is a preferred technique when an current common approach is viewed as inadequate to safeguard land from particular employs, these as intensive growth.

“This is the fourth time for the Town Council in 4 months to chat about this,” Gale stated in his presentation on the initiative. “And, I’m quite excited to be there for you to with any luck , have the council transfer ahead with the resolution this evening to position on the ballot.”

Originally envisioned by residents to shield progress from occurring at the Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge golf programs, the initiative expanded less than council’s directive to include quite a few parks and open up areas as little as one particular acre in the city.

In addition to safeguarding open spaces, parks and golf programs from future progress, the evaluate aims to shield the metropolis from upcoming condition mandates relating to land use.  Lands that are designated as voter-shielded open up room will  – with some exceptions – only be ready to be made use of for open up place, parks, agricultural and leisure takes advantage of below the system.

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If authorised by voters, some 175 parcels will be involved in a new overlay map of secured lands, though their zoning designations would remain the exact. The new limits would remain in result for 40 many years, but they could be improved or taken off from a parcel by a vote of the persons, Gale reported.

Bundled would be lands presently specified as long-lasting open up area in the common system, which allows “very confined takes advantage of, this kind of as grazing and habitat preservation,” the assistant town manager mentioned.

Gale famous, nevertheless, that some parks and open areas that are not in the city’s common plan  would not be provided in the limits at this time even though the area could be expanded by a vote of inhabitants in the long run.

Some exceptions to the rules, however, would contain infrastructure this sort of as streets, public h2o, squander drinking water, storm drain, water recycling when desired in the protected locations. The city could determine to choose the guarded land as extensive as it swaps an equal amount to replace the shed guarded parcel, Gale mentioned.

University districts would also not have to stick to the city land use polices, so they could make your mind up to make a college on personal land or on the safeguarded land, these types of as a park the town owns. The town, in switch, just after currently being absolutely sure the new facility is for general public use, would have to make a land swap to guarantee there is no net loss in safeguarded open up room, Gale claimed.

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Councilwoman Jovita Mendoza, even so, explained she was involved about the location of the land currently being swapped into a protected house designation to allow for some other public use these types of as a school. She gave an illustration of a community park being swapped out and the new protected region getting a long length absent.

“They could have to generate someplace else for a park if it is taken away,” she stated, incorporating she would like to see “location” language extra to the evaluate in such instances.

Councilwoman Karen Rarey asked to amend the initiative before the, incorporating that the swapped land be in shut proximity of the land currently being taken “so we’re not taking a park absent from someone on the east aspect and putting it on to the west aspect or the north and relocating and clear across town.”

Resident Rod Flohr, a Deer Ridge resident and member of an Alliance for a Much better Brentwood, which initially envisioned the open up-house proposal as a way to help save the defunct golfing study course land from progress, stated he was delighted with the proposed voter initiative.

“The result is so significantly greater than what we would have been putting out there,” he stated of the expanded open room protections involved in the evaluate.

Right after lawyers extra the desired proximity language on land swaps, Rarey moved for a vote, naming Councilmembers Susannah Meyer and Jovita Mendoza to be the city proponents on the ballot initiative. The resolution was authorised unanimously.

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