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Major Current Projects
· CEMEX Quarry
· Communication Towers
· Concord Naval Weapons Station
· James Donlon Extension
· Magee Ranch
· Measure F in Brentwood
· Pittsburg Grading Project
· Pittsburg Hills Annexation
· Tassajara Valley
· Threat to the Subdivision Map Act
· Recent Successes

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Land Use Planning
Recent Successes

Here are some of the major recent land use planning project successes thanks to your support! Stay tuned through our twice a month e-news for future updates about how you can help (sign up for e-news).

The Pointe

With your support and that of the local community, Save Mount Diablo successfully defeated a project by a Seeno company that would have bulldozed an entire hill that was supposed to be dedicated to the City of Antioch as open space. The project, known as The Pointe, would have broken all the City’s rules related to protecting hillsides, so the applicant said heck with it, let’s just get an exception to the rules. We were able to meet with neighbors, organize the people, and call out the many glaring flaws with this project. The City Council narrowly voted to deny The Pointe, upholding the rules and showing that the power of an organized community can actually make a difference. Your support allowed us to achieve this victory, thank you!

Save Doolan Canyon

With your help, we helped Dublin residents create laws that provide real protection for Doolan Canyon, a beautiful greenbelt that is home to threatened wildlife between Dublin and Livermore. Even though Dublin has already approved thousands of unbuilt units in its East Dublin Specific Plan, a developer is proposing to build 2,000 more housing units in Doolan Canyon. Building here would mean more traffic, destruction of important wildlife habitat, and more urban sprawl. There would be no separation between Dublin and Livermore.

We collected more than enough signatures to propose a new Urban Limit Line on Dublin’s east side, and the City Council adopted it to protect Doolan Canyon. After, a developer proposed a competing initiative that would have destroyed the new Urban Limit Line and once again opened up Doolan to development. However, local residents, SMD, and our other organizational allies launched a full campaign to inform Dublin voters of what was at stake, and ask them to “Vote No on Developers’ Measure T”. Our No on T campaign was incredibly successful, winning 84% of the vote in November 2014! This has sent a clear signal to not just Dublin and the Tri-Valley, but the entire region. People are tired of traffic, never-ending sprawl, over-using precious water resources and the loss of open space. This was a huge victory, and your support made it possible, thank you!

California's Environmental Equality ActCEQA
CEQA Works logo
The most important environmental law in California is CEQA: the California Environmental Quality Act, designed to ensure that people in every California community can understand how land use decisions will impact their communities and health, and can hold public agencies accountable. CEQA is currently under attack. Proposed reforms would prevent public input for some development projects. Save Mount Diablo is a member of the "CEQA Works" coalition. While CEQA Works acknowledges there is room to improve the law, the proposals being discussed in the legislature go too far - adding loopholes to exempt development projects and major polluting industries from real environmental review.

Help Defend CEQA:
Check out the CEQA Works website
Like the CEQA Works Facebook page


A proposal in the Northgate Area of Walnut Creek, to subdivide a steep hillside property covered by a beautiful grove of blue oaks jutting into Shell Ridge Open Space, was withdrawn. The addition of four new houses on this property would have destroyed the scenic value and altered the rural character of the area while also impacting preserved habitat in Shell Ridge.




Brentwood_Measure_FTassajara Valley and San Ramon's Measure W
Developers have submitted a project to Contra Costa County to pressure San Ramon to break the voter approved Urban Growth Boundary and develop the Tassajara Valley. The City Council has buried the Urban Growth Boundary and Tassajara Valley in their General Plan update and placed it on the November ballot despite San Ramon residents opposition. To learn more visit our Tassajara Valley page.

Brentwood_Measure_FMeasure F in Brentwood
Developers placed Measure F on the ballot in the City of Brentwood in Spring of 2010. The measure would have broken Brentwood's voter approved Urban Limit Line to incorporate 740 acres of sensitive land to be developed with 1,300 unneeded houses . Save Mount Diablo formed a coalition with Brentwood residents and concerned organizations to inform voters and defeat Measure F. Visit our Measure F page to learn more.

Keller Canyon
Incredible Cliffs and Canyons at Keller Landfill

When Keller Canyon Landfill was approved above Pittsburgh in the late 1980s, an environmental coalition including Save Mount Diablo helped protect 1,036 acres of open space surrounding the landfill and on the ridge line above with conservation easements. Now Keller is applying for an amendment to accept garbage faster.  SMD is working with Keller and Contra Costa County to achieve stronger protections for these open spaces which are critical in connecting the Concord Naval Weapons Station open space with Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.

Lime Ridge TowerSaving Lime Ridge’s Peak
Lime Ridge is the beautiful greenbelt between Walnut Creek and Concord and is a hot spot for biodiversity with more than 30 rare species. Unfortunately, the very peak of Lime Ridge is inaccessible and marred by a communications facility. The City of Walnut Creek reached agreement on the lease to allow continued commercial use of Lime Ridge’s peak.  Save Mount Diablo is advocating restoration of the site and its return to the public which bought and paid for its protection.
See our Communication Towers page to learn more.

TassajaraValleyNewFarmDefending Tassajara – “New Farm” Threatens Agriculture
Save Mount Diablo has been defending the Tassajara Valley from development for three decades. This year a number of projects opposed by Save Mount Diablo have been withdrawn, preventing the subdivision and development of over 1,000 acres of open space.  However, an application has been submitted for the “New Farm” project—186 units which would break the Urban Limit Line.  SMD is working with a variety of allies to stop the project—and to help create a brand new regional preserve to serve the Tri-Valley.

Los VaquerosAn Expanded Los Vaqueros Reservoir Would Drown “Permanently” Protected Lands
When the Los Vaqueros Reservoir was completed, Contra Costa Water District was required to permanently protect over 4,000 acres of land as conservation easements to mitigate the Reservoir’s impacts on endangered species and other resources. A current proposal to expand the reservoir would flood recreational trails, hundreds of acres of this protected land, and destroy the wildlife corridor west of the reservoir.  Save Mount Diablo is advocating for thousands of acres of additional protected land if the project moves forward.

BlackhawkIs Blackhawk Open Space Protected?
After an intense debate in the early 1970s between Blackhawk developers, the county and the community—Save Mount Diablo’s first big land use effort—the original Blackhawk project balanced development of homes with protection of over 2,000 acres added to Mount Diablo State Park along with more private open space and recreation lands within the development.  Blackhawk Country Club has proposed rezoning part of this private open space to sell a number of big lots on top of highly visible knolls.  SMD is concerned about the project’s precedents.  Blackhawk Homeowners rejected the initial proposal but it may resurface.


SchwartzMore Protected Land through the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan
The East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan was adopted in 2007 after ten years of collaboration between developers, landowners, government agencies and elected officials, and conservationist groups like Save Mount Diablo. Over the next 30 years the plan will direct more than $300 million in development fees and other funding to protect 25,000 to 30,000 acres of wildlife habitat east of Diablo’s summit.  Working with the Regional Park District, SMD and others, in just two years the new Habitat Conservancy has begun the protection of 4,400 acres of endangered species habitat—almost nine square miles of new preserves.

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