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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bay Area Politicians Still Trawling for Sprawl

Greenbelt Newswire
Your Five-Minute News Flash
Greenbelt Alliance
Volume 6, Issue 9: September

lert: Save the Gilroy 660

In the South Bay, Gilroy city officials will soon begin creating a plan for the development of 660 acres of farmland east of Highway 101.

Development in this area is not appropriate; it is prime farmland, it is on a floodplain, and it is far from Caltrain and from Gilroy’s downtown. Much of the land could be developed into a mega-mall, which would drain life from Gilroy’s newly reawakened downtown. This auto-dependent development, disconnected from the rest of the city, would put more cars on the road, increasing traffic and air pollution. Gilroy has many outlet malls already; the last thing it needs is more big-box development.

Voice your concern in a letter to the editor of the Gilroy Dispatch. The City Council election is approaching—let elected officials know this is an important issue to their constituents.

Update: Pittsburg Officials Ignore Constituents, Follow Developer

In an astonishing display of disregard for the public, during the public comment period of a hearing on August 28, a Pittsburg Planning Commissioner asked for a developer’s guidance on each provision of the city’s hillside development ordinance. After developer Albert Seeno III told the commission the ordinance was too onerous to comply with, four of the six Commissioners voted according to his response.

In doing this, the Planning Commissioners disregarded several months of public input and the comments of many residents at the hearing, and gutted the already-weak ordinance. Their changes will allow major grading of the hills—which are south of Pittsburg and east of Concord—and will allow development on steep slopes, along ridgelines, and in scenic areas. The Commissioners also dismissed the need for a slope-density calculation, which prevents development in landslide-prone areas – just one year after landslides in these hills forced several families from their homes.

The Planning Commission will take its final vote on the ordinance in October, making its recommendation to the City Council, which will then consider the ordinance.

Write a letter to the editor of the Contra Costa Times to object to the Planning Commission’s conduct, and support protecting East Bay hills! To find out more, visit

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