On Tuesday, the Save the Yard committee submitted signatures for residents in order to get a Town Square Initiative on the November Ballot.
The group was formed after residents in the Rivertown District tried to work with the City and it’s council for nearly a year on the Beede Lumber Yard. When a proposal was to be submitted, the city rushed into a closed session meeting and approved the development of 9-parcels, including the Beede Lumber Yard at an August 25 meeting with City Ventures.
Although the meeting and agreement was legal, members of the community were taken by surprise and did not feel their voices were heard or given a fair chance to turn the property into a park-event center.
According to Joy Motts, the group gathered 214 packets (5,149 signatures). They needed 4,437. The 20-member committee collected signatures.
The Contra Costa County Elections will now take 30-days to validate the signatures and at that point, if they are successful, the issue will go back to the City Council at the August 9 council meeting where they will have a choice to place the item on the ballot or adopt the initiative.
“It’s been a difficult process because we are fighting city hall. We are going on three years, e have tried to respectfully convince them this is not what the community wants. We have tired through email, forums, council meetings and they still wouldn’t change their mind. The worst part is they would never communicate with us.” Says Motts. “There was never a conversation from the city or councilmember trying to mitigate this. They gave us no choice to go forward with the initiative because they wouldn’t try to mitigate us and its cost some citizens of Antioch thousands of dollars of their own money to fight this.”
She added the council still has a chance to make this right, but indicated it will likely go to ballot.
“On August 9, we will have a decision one way or another. The council will have a final option,” says Motts. “If we have to go to the voters in November, we are prepared to do that. The sentiment in Antioch with the people we have spoken to is that they do not want any more homes until we get our house in order.”
For more on Save the Yard, visit www.savetheyard.com