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'New Farm' Development Moves Forward

County planners approve application for 187-home development east of Blackhawk. The enrivonmental review is next.

has taken another step forward.

Contra Costa County planners have approved the developer's application for the New Farm project and have started the environmental review process.

An environmental impact report will be prepared by CirclePoint at a cost of $345,000.

The project must be approved by the Contra Costa County Planning Commission as well as the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors.

County principal planner Patrick Roche said a general plan amendment, a rezoning and a subdivision map must be approved, which will take "many months."

The New Farm project is being developed by FT Land, LLC.

It calls for 177 single-family homes and 10 multi-family units on 771 acres along Camino Tassajara just east and southeast of Blackhawk.

The homes would be clustered and take up less than 10 percent of the property. The rest would be open space and agricultural land.

Included on the property would be community gardens, a community center and staging area for related trails, a cemetery/memorial park and related mortuary, a roadside farm stand, an agricultural learning annex to serve local students, a  worship facility and a fire-training facility.

There are also plans for olive orchards and an olive-oil processing facility.

The plan has been criticized by environmental groups such as Save Mount Diablo and the Greenbelt Alliance. They say the project is too large for a rural area and will encourage development in the region.

FT Land officials have called their development an "innovative land use plan."

Save Mount Diablo supporter March 09, 2011 at 07:02 PM
San Ramon's Measure W would have added 1600+ acres of the Tassajara Valley to San Ramon, making it easier to extend urban services like water and sewer and allowing for thousands of houses. We rightly said that San Ramon and developers were using the "New Farm" project as a scare tactic to try and get Measure W passed. "New Farm: is a proposal for 187 houses on 771 acres in two areas. The biggest piece was in the area Measure W would have added. A smaller piece is adjacent to the eastern edge of Blackhawk. Environmental groups have analysis showing that "New Farm" is illegal and would violate numerous citizen initiatives and the County General Plan. Still any landowner can submit an application, whether illegal or not, and that is what the "New Farm" speculators have done. They're attempting to convince the public and decision makers that their project is "agricultural" when in fact it's urban. Bottom line, "New Farm" would have significant precedent setting impacts relative to urban limit lines but what's proposed is a small fraction of what Measure W would have allowed. The San Ramon council said they didn't want New Farm approved, and San Ramon, Danville and County voters have now voted 4 times to protect the Tassajara Valley outside of urban growth boundaries. Now's the time for the San Ramon and Danville councils to work with Save Mount Diablo, Greenbelt Alliance and others to defeat "New Farm."
Kim Lonie March 10, 2011 at 05:01 PM
To those at "No on W", You state that San Ramon's City Council "The San Ramon council said they didn't want New Farm approved"...yet you say before that, by passage of Measure W, it would have allowed development...Which is it? Well I can tell you that the correct answer is that the City Council DID NOT want the development. IF W would have passed it would have kept Tassajara Valley zoned agricultural, not re-zoned to urban. Now because Tassajara is still within the county's jurisdiction, they can do with it what they want, they did it with Norris Canyon Estates and with Dougherty Valley. The scare tactic came from those opposed to W, we tried to warn people that the county was going ahead with this development, NOT The City of San Ramon. If this development is so "illegal", then WHY has Save Mt. Diablo, Greenbelt Alliance and Sierra Club not protested at any of the County Board of Supervisor meetings to stop it? Why in the world would a developer plan on spending ~$500,000.00 to have an EIR done on land that they won't get to develop? Simple answer, they know that the County will allow the building...it has happened before and it will happen here.
Kim Lonie March 10, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Mindy, that is still in effect, but because of the wording of what is urban and rural development, the County can approve building. Urban development is considered development like what happened in DV...very dense. Rural is what the speculators for New Farm/Tassajara Valley are proposing. San Ramon wanted to annex that area to protect it from being overly developed or even developed at all.
Kim Lonie March 10, 2011 at 05:08 PM
If Measure W would have passed, then the zoning would have stayed agricultural.
Steve O'Brien March 14, 2011 at 07:25 PM
Oh brother. When are the Yes on W folks gonna move on? The vote is over. If the city of San Ramon was truly so anti-growth in the Tassajara Valley, where are their voices now? They seem to be totally absent from the dialogue. Perhaps council is too busy approving their general plan that enables another 1500 homes downtown. No one but the yes on W crowd is fooled into thinking this council is anything but pro-growth. Further, you can read a qualified legal opinion on why "New Farm" is illegal here: http://savetassajaravalley.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/smw-ltr-re-new-farm-5_28_10.pdf

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