Our coalition, Antioch Community to Save Sand Creek, drafted this initiative and collected signatures to place it on the ballot. We want to give Antioch residents a vote on each big project being proposed in the Sand Creek area, the undeveloped part of the Lone Tree Valley west of Kaiser. The Antioch City Council was considering 4,000 to 8,000 units there, threatening the south edge of the city.
In November 2020, Antioch voters approved Measure T, our initiative, with a landslide 79 percent “yes” vote. The initiative restricts development on 1,850 acres; limits development in the Sand Creek area; requires Antioch voter approval for more intensive development; and permanently requires voter approval of amendments to Antioch’s urban limit line.
In January 2021, the Richfield/Oak Hill Park LLC developers, who want to develop potentially thousands of housing units west of Deer Valley Road on and around the southern hills of the Sand Creek area, filed a legal challenge to Measure T. They say it violates SB 330, the state’s Housing Crisis Act of 2019.
There might be a challenge from the Zeka developers too. We know both developers are applying for development approvals even though the city’s voters have made their expectations crystal clear—no big development in the Measure T area west of Deer Valley Road or outside the Urban Limit Line, without a vote. The Antioch City Council should support the will of the voters.
(A third developer, Richland, has a project called “The Ranch” closer to Deer Valley Road and farthest from Black Diamond Mines. This project is now part of the General Plan. It is likely to move forward because Richland’s initiative included a development agreement guaranteeing Richland’s rights prior to the vote on Measure T. However, the project must still receive other city council and agency approvals.)
SB 330 was signed into law by Governor Newsom in October 2019. It’s designed to speed up housing construction in California during the next half-decade by slashing the time it takes to obtain building permits, limiting fee increases on housing applications, and barring local governments from reducing the number of homes that can be built. Although it’s meant to encourage affordable housing, Antioch already provides more affordable housing than most cities.
Antioch residents sent a resounding message that they want a direct voice in how the land west of Deer Valley Road in south Antioch is developed. That is, four out of five Antioch residents want increased protection of the land for wildlife, scenery, and less traffic and strain on city services. It’s unclear what effect SB 330 will have on Measure T, because it’s a new law and has not been litigated much. Things will take shape in the coming months, but we’re ready to defend Measure T and the hills, creeks, and beautiful land that it helps protect. We’ll need your support.
Antioch Community to Save Sand Creek is a coalition of Antioch residents and environmental groups, including Save Mount Diablo, California Native Plant Society, Greenbelt Alliance, and Sierra Club. The Antioch Community to Save Sand Creek coalition, which drafted the initiative, is made up of Antioch residents and community groups and communicates with thousands of Antioch residents.
All three of the listed proponents who drafted the initiative—Michael Amorosa, Selina Button, and Kristina Gutilla—are Antioch residents. Community groups such as Save Mount Diablo, Greenbelt Alliance, California Native Plant Society, and Sierra Club all have members who live in Antioch.
Developers or elected officials sometimes try to suggest that newer residents, nonresidents, or advocacy organizations should be ignored. They never make that claim about out-of-town developers.
We believe anyone who lives, works, or plays in Antioch has a voice. These projects threaten existing neighborhoods and residents’ quality of life. They also threaten two regional parks we’ve all invested in, and wildlife and natural resources. They will have regional impacts on traffic, air quality, etc. Just because you’re a new resident doesn’t mean your voice is less important.
The real question is whether new development will stretch services and make problems worse, or better?
Ad paid for by Yes on T, Antioch Community to Save Sand Creek, sponsored by Save Mount Diablo
Committee major funding from Save Mount Diablo