RESIDENTS MUST PREPARE NOW (for) City Council Meeting,

re: "Bridle Gate"

September 15, 2020, 7 p.m. (virtual): 

A developer with a bad reputation is trying to help ruin Brentwood by strong arming the city council.  Our city council is notorious for always voting  5-0  in favor of developer requests -- this absolutely needs to be the EXCEPTION !!!  Seeno has “transformed” into “Discovery Builders”  a.k.a. "Discovery Homes" -- they have a historical pattern of filing lawsuits at the drop of a dime. Why Brentwood continues to engage and tolerate them is a question. HOWEVER, the only thing that matters IN THIS MOMENT:  We need everyone who cares . . . to show up!  We need all caring residents to speak    . . . for up to 3 minutes.  Here's a summary: please choose a "favorite" area of interest, and add your name to the list of residents voicing their specific concerns.

The company in question wants a General Plan Amendment. They want A LOT of changes!!! Rezone regional commercial; Increase density, i.e., number of units; Change the Land Use designation;  Revise park alignment;  Revise alignment of proposed San Jose Avenue extension;  Rezone to modify the existing development to provide more units; they want a vested tentative subdivision map. Developer is willing to set aside 11.35 acres for a future elementary school although Brentwood Unified School District may not have the funds to make such a purchase anytime soon.  If the school district is unable to purchase . . . it will turn into more houses (build more houses then leave town).

Developer wants to significantly Reduce Commercial Space AND Reduce permanent Open Space. The parks being proposed are not impressive (how about a real sports complex, and real jobs).  Developer wants to deviate from the General Plan. They want to change commercial space into residential, and not follow the Brentwood General Plan, last revised 2014.

Once upon a time, the city of Brentwood staff revised this proposed development to emphasize hills, trails, and open space . . . without changing the number of houses! Seeno/Discovery Builders hated this idea!!! They only cared about building more houses. This developer has a pattern of arrogance, intimidating cities by threatening lawsuits, and going to court. The current situation is actually the result of a court settlement with a determination that (the Planning Commission and) City Council must consider Consider CONSIDER (emphasis mine) the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The CITY is NOT REQUIRED to let them have their way. Oil wells are another concern relative to schools and neighborhoods. Homes are built on oil wells, and this dangerous trend is being challenged by hundreds of our residents.

Nobody is against houses. People are against changing the General Plan, and Rezoning. We are against the idea of developers wanting to keep chipping away at the General Plan, and the city council NOT representing safety of residents (therefore, not representing our residents). Traffic problems are understated in the EIR. The EIR states certain intersections are basically "not in their scope" . . . and can be fixed with more lights. Lights and oil wells . . . so poor vision and poor air quality, and a serious threat to public safety.

Cart Before the Horse: Developers have traditionally asked Brentwood to mitigate areas of deep residents’ concern such as public safety, emergency response times, traffic impacts . . . impacts to schools . . . noise . . . Developers and Brentwood both seem to love mitigating . . . Two of their favorites are “soil samples” (potentially contaminated soil) and “noise studies”, and sometimes the noise studies are even done after the fact when outraged residents (from a variety of neighborhoods) show up at city council meetings in large numbers . . . Mysteriously, mitigation driven mentality continues to prevail . . . as in our current case under consideration: the final EIR actually appears as very unsatisfactory; agreements between city and developer suggest various related “studies” will be evaluated AFTER THE FACT, e.g., during the “design stage”.   In other words:  AFTER Approvals . . . approvals that are based on very misleading and/or FALSE “findings”.

Meanwhile, city council somehow ends up agreeing with developers that all is well and satisfactory (false premises and False Promises by developers throwing short time money while creating long term problems).  And for the record, “sound walls” don’t necessarily reduce noise decibels to “acceptable levels” (this has been repeatedly proven over and over, clearly evident by the number of residents who have been crying out at city council meetings for long periods of time).

Also, per agenda documents and the development agreement: “Discovery Builders” / Seeno is contesting essential fees:  Fire District Fees!!!!  They are playing the “legal card”.  The developer claims Brentwood’s city fees are unfair and invalid.  We are quickly running out of land in Brentwood.  Large parcels of land = Economic Development = “Real Jobs” . . . the large parcel of land in question, Right Here, Right Now . . . is considered by many people as the Last and Best parcel of land for Economic Development and Real Jobs.  Truly unbelievable what is happening here.

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