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Mount Diablo - Round Valley
  Lands > Land Use  
  » Acquisitions  

» Land Use Planning Projects

· Recent Successes

Major Current Projects
· Concord Naval Weapons Station
· James Donlon Extension
· Pittsburg Hills Annexation
· Tassajara Valley

Past Projects
· CEMEX Quarry
· Communication Towers
· Pittsburg Grading Project
· Magee Ranch
· Measure F in Brentwood
· Threat to the Subdivision Map Act

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Land Use Planning Projects Bob Ryon Volunteer profile

Save Mount Diablo is active in the land use planning arena, monitoring development proposals that affect open space around Mount Diablo and working with neighborhood groups and other organizations. We respond to everything from cell tower applications to large subdivision projects. We take a pragmatic approach; some projects we strive to stop, some we strive to improve, always seeking public benefit and open space preservation.

We monitor more than 50 planning commissions agendas each week and respond to 50-60 development applications every year.

Save Mount Diablo has been a key player in striking the balance between economic growth, affordable housing, and open space preservation. The Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan, for example, which Save Mount Diablo worked on as part of the Community Coalition, ultimately resulted in 67% of the 5,000 acre area being preserved as parks and open space. 

Some of our major current Land Use Planning projects include defending open space around Pittsburg from the James Donlon Boulevard Extension, Montreux Subdivision and Faria projects, being involved in the Antioch’s Sand Creek Focus Area, defending Tassajara Valley, making sure the Concord Naval Weapons Station development process is sustainable, helping to guide Contra Costa transportation projects toward protecting open space and enhancing sustainability through the Comprehensive Transportation Plan, and challenging a threat to the state's Subdivision Map Act.

Summaries of these and additional projects are below.

Defending the Hills Around Pittsburg
We are defending more than 1,400 acres from three projects proposed in the City of Pittsburg:

  1. James Donlon Boulevard Extension
    This proposed road would tear through beautiful hills and canyons and likely destroy the ranching livelihood of a family that has been on the land since the Civil War. It would also likely lead to more traffic in the long term, not less. Learn more about it here.

  2. The Montreux Residential Subdivision Montreux Residential Subdivision is a proposal to grade and excavate a scenic ridge next to Kirker Pass Road to construct more than 350 “cookie-cutter” homes in a small valley and on the low slopes of the ridge. Since it would be built outside the current city limits, the proposal also calls for annexing the 150 acres Montreux would be built on into Pittsburg and rezoning the main site to allow more homes to be built closer together.

    In addition to massive grading, part of the land that would be affected by Montreux is zoned as open space located next to Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. The proposed Montreux development sits right at the Pittsburg end of the proposed James Donlon Boulevard Extension. Together with other projects that Seeno companies are currently proposing in the southern parts of Pittsburg and Antioch, including the James Donlon Boulevard Extension, there is severe risk of increasing suburban sprawl and traffic in the area, and forever changing the beauty and character of the hills south of Pittsburg and Antioch, if projects like these are not stopped.

  3. Faria Southwest Hills Annexation
    Proposed Pittsburh Hills Annexation area mapThe beautiful hills that overlook the future regional park on the former Concord Naval Weapons Station are under threat. Seeno wants them annexed into Pittsburg so more than 1,000 houses can be built in these scenic hills. Learn more about it here.

    Help Defend the Hills

    • If you live in the Pittsburg area, call City Council members and tell them that the Montreux residential subdivision is cookie-cutter sprawl that doesn’t belong in Pittsburg’s southern hills, that the James Donlon Boulevard Extensions negative traffic and hill-destroying impacts aren’t worth it, and the Faria annexation would negatively impact a huge new park right on Pittsburg’s doorstep. Write to this email with your comments, or ask for the direct contact information of the Mayor (Pete Longmire) and City Council members (Sal Evola, Ben Johnson, Will Casey, Merl Craft)
    • If you live in the Pittsburg area, make a sign and place it in your yard saying you’re against the James Donlon Boulevard Extension, Montreux Resiential Subdivision and Faria Southwest Hills Annexation.


Development in Antioch’s Sand Creek Focus Area – read our letter here
Antioch has grown incredibly fast in the last 15 years. In fact, in a city that now has more than 100,000 people, about 43% of residents have moved there just within the last 10 years. The Sand Creek Focus Area in the southern part of the city is the largest continuous stretch of undeveloped land that remains. Right now there are about 2,900 houses proposed or already approved on about 900 acres in this area. Save Mount Diablo is engaged in the review process for these projects and defending Sand Creek, which flows through the area, and making sure important connections between protected open space are maintained.   


Protecting the Tassajara Valley
TassajaraValleyNewFarmSave Mount Diablo and its allies in the community and other organizations have been protecting the Tassajara Valley and its surrounding hills for more than 20 years. Our members and allies helped defeat San Ramon’s Measure W back in 2010, which would have paved the way for development of this beautiful rural area just east of Danville and San Ramon. Now the community has mobilized once again to defend the area from a huge water-guzzling cemetery that would fragment rare wildlife habitat. We are also working to see if a relatively small housing project can succeed in protecting a large part of the Tassajara Valley as open space. Learn more here.

Reuse of Concord Naval Weapons Station – A Balance Between Open Space and Development
Concord Naval Weapons Station As a member of the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord, Save Mount Diablo has been a leader in advocating for the preservation of open space and a new regional park as part of the Concord Naval Weapons Station Re-use Plan. SMD also helped to create a Regional Stakeholders Group that additionally advocated for project components that ensured economic vitality through an equitable balance of jobs, housing, education and quality of life facilities and services. In January 2010, the Concord City Council approved a land use alternative which includes more than 3,000 acres of parks and open space – 67% of the property – including protection of the ridge line between Central and Eastern Contra Costa County, and of Mount Diablo Creek. Save Mount Diablo is currently involved in planning the new regional park, and remains engaged with the Reuse Plan as part of the Coalition to ensure that that the development area is built in a sustainable way that takes full advantage of mass transit opportunities to reduce traffic and greenhouse gases. Learn more here.


Improving Contra Costa Transportation
What’s the connection between buses, building a highway, wildlife and open space? Well, quite a lot actually. A badly placed road can ruin beautiful open space and cut large areas of wildlife habitat into small pieces, reducing their ability to move and increasing roadkill. Making travel by bus more convenient and efficient can reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change and affect the water and temperature patterns that determine what species can live where. Contra Costa County is in the process of updating its Comprehensive Transportation Plan, a blueprint on what transportation projects get built and how they’re funded. It is also considering a new sales tax measure that would fund transportation projects around the County. Save Mount Diablo and allies are engaged in these processes to increase quality of life, reduce traffic, and protect open space.


Defending the Subdivision Map Act
A serious precedent setting decision has been approved by Contra Costa County and the Board of Supervisors that puts thousands of acres of natural lands at risk of development. Learn more here.



Recent Successes
Some of our recent successes include defending Doolan Canyon between Dublin and Livermore, Measure F in Brentwood,  improving the Magee Ranch project and defeating Measure W in San Ramon.

  Credits | Legal StatementCopyright 2012 Save Mount Diablo. Designed by Alison Martin. Funded by Clif Bar.