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Meeting Date: May 13, 2003

Subject/Title: Discussion on the draft Contra Costa Shaping Our Future Vision Plan, including its relation to the Urban Limit Line

Submitted by: Mitch Oshinsky, AICP, Community Development Director

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

That Council provide input to the Shaping Our Future Policy Committee on adjustments to the Urban Limit Line, and the Draft Vision Plan.

On January 22, 2002, the City Council voted to appropriate $13,981 (the City’s proportionate share), and participate in the Shaping Our Future (SOF) Study. More recently, Councilmember Ana Gutierrez was appointed by Council as the City’s representative to the SOF Policy Committee.

As discussed in the Draft SOF Vision Plan, the program originated in 1998 when a group of Contra Costa City Managers and the County Administrator began meeting on how to deal with quality of life issues in the County given forecasted growth. In 2000 the Mayors’ Conference decided to move forward with the SOF effort. Participation and a financial commitment were sought from all 19 cities and the County Board of Supervisors.

Attached is a memo dated April 28, 2003, from Councilmember Gutierrez summarizing the current state of SOF, and concerns and questions she has raised that are being addressed.

Urban Limit Line - Also attached is a memo dated April 24, 2003, from Don Blubaugh with SOF, requesting that each City let them know the adjustment(s) to the Urban Limit Line (ULL) critical to the City’s support of the proposed SOF Vision. He has asked that we send them a map showing areas of concern to our elected officials.

The City Manager and I have coordinated on preparation of a Proposed Urban Limit Line Amendments map, attached to this report. The map shows 5 areas we recommend that Council respond to SOF on for ULL adjustments. Starting in the northeast corner of the City, in the area between the existing ULL and Sellers, Sand Creek and Delta Road, is an area designated for industrial and business park uses by the General Plan. Due to our goals for job creation and to accommodate the increasing need for industrial uses in the City, we recommend this area be available for inclusion inside the ULL within 5 years, as marked on the attached map.

The ULL, Sellers, Sand Creek and Chestnut bound the next area. The northern portion of this area is designated low density residential, and the southern portion is designated Special Planning Area (SPA) S, planned for 0 to 2 dwelling units per acre, with a midrange of 1. We are recommending that this area be available within the ULL to provide housing opportunities within 5 to 10 years.

The triangle bounded by Marsh Creek Road, the Bypass and Walnut, and east of the Vineyards at Marsh Creek development proposal, is designated for a mix of business park, industrial, low, medium and high density housing. With the potential development of the Vineyards at Marsh Creek, we view this area as a potential future site for related agricultural/industrial or business park uses. The agricultural/industrial uses could be anticipated within 1 to 5 years, and business park uses within 5 to 20 years.

SPAs G and H, located south of Balfour, east of Deer Valley are designated for a mix of ranchette estate, very low, and low density housing, and commercial and urban reserve land uses. The City has for many years planned for and anticipated the ultimate development of these lands to provide housing opportunities. We recommend inclusion in the ULL in 5 years.

The area north of Balfour, east of Deer Valley is designated SPA R, and does not have land use designations, as that was deemed premature due to the need for future planning. We recommend that about half the site, up to alignment with around Central Blvd., be considered for inclusion within the ULL in 10 years, for coordinated planning and development with the northern portion of the SPA by the City of Antioch.

With Council’s concurrence, we will forward these recommended changes and map to the SOF Policy Committee.

Draft Vision Plan Comments - Page 12 of the Draft Vision Plan describes the East County (Antioch, Oakley, Brentwood) Community Test Site selected by the SOF group along with 3 other sites in the County, for a study of “the potential for efficient land use . . . for detailed site planning.” Several Councilmembers, the City Manager and I attended a January 2003 public workshop on the East County Site. A paragraph on page 12 states the following:

“Because local planners from the three cities did not wish to revisit the land uses and densities planned for their portions of the study area, the workshop materials and illustrative plan assumed that the land uses and densities already planned would be carried out, but with street systems and building configurations that would maximize connectivity among the various uses.”

It would be more accurate to replace that paragraph with the following:

At the request of the planners for the three Cities, the public participants at the workshop were informed of the land uses and densities for the site, as recently adopted by their City Councils through General and Specific Plan processes. The workshop materials available to the public provided the opportunity to design illustrative plans that could either be consistent with, or propose significantly different land uses and densities than the General and Specific Plans of the Cities.

The SOF consultant presented a plan to the public at a Test Site Results Workshop on April 23rd in Oakley. A draft copy of the plan, and a Summary of Features was distributed to Council on March 20th. Copies are also attached to this report.

The SOF plan shows an eBART station at the northern most tip of the Brentwood portion of the Test Site, east of Empire and north of the extension of Neroly. The Brentwood area also contains mixed use housing over retail, multi-family housing, offices, the approved Lone Tree Towne Plaza (Winco), and approved Acorn self storage. East of the railroad tracks the plan shows a modified version of the proposed Pulte Rose Garden subdivision, with a mix of single- and multi-family residential uses.

Brentwood’s consultant for our ongoing Downtown, Brentwood Blvd., and Lone Tree/Empire Triangle Specific Plan is already working with us to use the SOF plan as the starting point for development of our own Specific Plan for this Test Site that will incorporate the desires of our City Council and Planning Commission.

Page 21 contains a chart showing housing and jobs by City. Brentwood is shown as adding 8,738 homes in the Trend Buildout column between 2000 and 2020, which translates to an additional population of 27,088, with 3.1 persons per household. Existing population in 2000 per the Census was 23,302. Therefore the chart projects a Brentwood population of 50,390 by 2020. These figures are based on an average annual population increase over 20 years of 1,354. Our existing 2003 population is estimated at 35,000. Therefore, our annual population increase between 2000 and 2003 was 3,899. This would closely correspond with our issuance of about 1,300 building permits on average, per year during that 3 year period. Using the Trend numbers in the chart, over the next 17 years, our population would grow from 35,000 to 50,390, for an increase of 15,390 people. This would equate to an annual increase of 905 people, or 292 homes over the next 17 year period.

With the higher densities called for in the SOF Vision Increment, we would have a population increase of 29,450 over the 20 year period, resulting in a total population of 52,752 in 2020. This equates to a population increase of 17,752 between today and 2020, for 1,044 people, or 337 homes per year. Overall, the difference between the Trend and SOF Vision increments is a minor change of 139 people per year. While we don’t expect to sustain growth at the same rate experienced over the past 3 years, both the Trend and SOF Vision increments seem low.

The Employment projections show a more substantial change from the Trend increment of 6,019 jobs over 20 years, to the SOF Vision increment of 12,170 jobs over the same period.

Page 31 of the Vision includes policies on the ULL. The second paragraph from the bottom of the page talks about a policy to eliminate the County from having jurisdiction to control development inside the ULL (i.e., the Santa Clara County model). If an area inside the ULL develops, it should first be annexed to a city. This is the same approach used by the Ventura County LAFCO, called the Guidelines for Orderly Development, which state that urban development should occur, whenever and wherever practical, within incorporated cities which exist to provide a full range of municipal services and are responsible for urban land use planning. The Contra Costa County LAFCO considered such Guidelines several years ago, but did not adopt them. Staff recommends that Council support these types of Guidelines in the SOF.

There are no direct fiscal impacts related to reviewing and commenting on the ULL and Draft Vision Plan. However, there could be fiscal impacts related to whether the ULL changes, and/or if the City’s growth pattern changes as a result of the implementation of the Vision Plan. The projected population change under the Plan is minor, and would not significantly affect fiscal matters. However, the job creation numbers do potentially convey a significant positive fiscal impact to the City in terms of economic development.


A – Memo from Councilmember Gutierrez
B – Memo from Don Blubaugh
C – Proposed ULL Amendments
D – East County Illustrative Plan
E – Summary of Features
F – Draft ULL Section Revision for SOF
G – Draft SOF Vision Plan

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