Collaboration paid off in Concord — and now that Contra Costa city has a world-class future in the works.
On January 24, 2012 the Concord City CouncilA city's legislative body. The popularly elected city council is responsible for enacting ordinances, imposing taxes, making appropriations, establish¬ing city policy, and hiring some city officials. The council adopts the general planA statement of policies, including text and diagrams setting forth objectives, principles, standards and plan proposals, for the long-term future physical development of the city or county. The general plan is a legal document required of each local jurisdiction by the State of California Government Code section 653o1 and adopted by the city council or board of supervi¬sors. In California, the general plan has seven mandatory elements (circulation, conservation, housing, land use, noise, open space, safety and seismic safety) and may include any number of optional elements (such as air quality, economic development, hazardous waste, and parks and recreation). The general plan may also be called a city plan, compre¬hensive plan, or master plan., zoningThe division of a city or county by legislative regulations into areas, or zones, which specify allowable uses for real property and size restrictions for buildings within these areas; a program that implements policies of the general plan., and subdivisionThe division of a tract of land into defined lots, either improved or unimproved, which can be separately sold or leased, and which can be altered or developed. ordinance. approved a visionary plan for the inland portion of the shuttered Concord Naval Weapons Station, a 5,100 acrea unit of area used in land measurement and equal to 43,560 square feet. This is approximately equivalent to 4,840 square yards, 160 square rods, 0.405 hectares, and 4,047 square meters. site adjacent to the North Concord BART station.
The adopted blueprint emphasizes walkable neighborhoods with homes that people can afford near transit and services, with decent paying local construction jobs. Moreover it does so while designating nearly 70 percent of the area — 3,500 acres or three Golden Gate Parks — as protected open spaceAny parcelA lot, or contiguous group of lots, in single ownership or under single control, usually considered a unit for purposes of development. or area of land or water that is essentially unimproved and devoted to an open space use for the purposes of (1) the preservation of natural resources, (2) the managed production of resources, (3) outdoor recreation, or (4) public health and safety..
As members of the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord, Greenbelt Alliance worked toward this vision for nearly six years. The coalition stepped in when it was clear initial plans for the site were heading in the wrong direction – toward business-as-usual sprawlThe process in which the spread of development across the landscape far outpaces population growth. The landscape sprawl creates has four characteristics: a population that is widely dispersed in low-density development; rigid separation of uses, so that homes, commerce and workplaces are segregated from one another; a network of roads laid out to separate land into huge blocks and offering poor access; and a lack of well-defined, thriving activity centers, such as downtowns and town centers. Most of the other features usually associated with sprawl – a lack of transportation choices, relative uniformity of housing options, and difficulty walking from place to place – result from these conditions.. Working together, we built broad support for a vision of protected open spaceAny parcelA lot, or contiguous group of lots, in single ownership or under single control, usually considered a unit for purposes of development. or area of land or water that is essentially unimproved and devoted to an open space use for the purposes of (1) the preservation of natural resources, (2) the managed production of resources, (3) outdoor recreation, or (4) public health and safety. and a 21st century neighborhood that will remake a corner of Concord and send positive ripple effects throughout the Bay Area.
Now we’re working with the City of Concord to make sure the implementation of the visionary plan stays on track so that we can watch its best features come to life. We’re also working to revitalize the existing communities in Concord so residents can live close to where they work and have the benefit of safe, walkable neighborhoods.