On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council will discuss a resolution that would place a voter-protected open space overlay ballot measure on the November 8 ballot.
If approved by the council to place this on the ballot, and voters approve the measure in November, this will impact more than 175 parcels throughout the city which any changes to the parcels over the next 40-years would require a vote of the public.
The goal was to originally restrict development on the two golf courses at Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge based on residents concerns, however, this morphed into protecting all open space parcels as small as 1-acre in size throughout the city–Staff had proposed 5-acre parcels and above, Council opted for 1-acre parcels and above.
For future land use changes on any of these 175-parcels, which are mostly parks, unintended consequences or not, over the next 40-years, it would require a proposal to come forward on a parcel and then that be placed on the ballot for voter approval over the next 40-years.
Per the Staff Report, items to consider include:
- 40–Year Sunset and Election Costs: The proposed ballot measure includes a 40–year sunset, as directed by Council. During this timeframe, any proposal to exclude properties from the Overlay would require a vote of the people at a regular or special election. Currently, such elections are estimated to range in cost from $130,000 to $150,000.
- Constraints on Legislative Authority: If adopted, the ballot measure will remove land use control from the City’s local legislative body.
- Limitations on the Overlay’s Effects: As noted above, state and federal law can preempt local land use regulations in different contexts. Though the intent of the ballot measure is to increase protections for open space, there may be instances where a public or private entity has the legal authority to supersede the Overlay’s requirements.
Allowable Uses. Lands designated as Voter-Protected Open Space may only be used for open space, parks, agricultural, and recreational uses. This designation includes park areas, open space areas, agricultural land, and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities of varying size, function, and location that are intended to serve the entire community.
Consideration of a resolution submitting the proposed Voter-Protected Open Space Overlay to the voters at the General Municipal Election on November 8, 2022.
1. Adopt City Council Resolution No. 2022-____ titled, “A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Brentwood Presenting to the Voters a Voter-Protected Open Space Overlay Ballot Measure at the General Election to be Held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022; Directing Preparation of an Impartial Analysis for the Ballot Measure; Providing for Written Arguments Regarding the City Ballot Measure; and Providing for the Filing of Rebuttal Arguments.”
2. Authorize some, all, or none of the Council to formulate the ballot argument in favor of the measure.
- August 12 – last day to file ballot measure with the County Registrar of Voters
- August 19 – Last day for City Attorney to file impartial analysis with the City Clerk
- August 24 – Last day to submit ballot arguments in favor of or against ballot proposition to City Clerk. Last day for city Attorney to file impartial analysis with City Clerk
- August 29 – Last day to submit rebuttal arguments to City Clerk
- November – Election Day
The move comes after the City Council had taken several actions over the past few months.
On March 8, 2022, the City Council provided direction to staff to begin working on an open
space initiative with the following stated goals1:
- Protect the City from future State mandates regarding the conversion of certain types of recreational uses or underdeveloped land to other uses;
- Protect open space and parks from future development;
- Model the proposed initiative after a similar Martinez measure, and work with Rod Flohr and others to learn from his research regarding the Martinez measure and other open space measures;
- Ensure the Deer Ridge and Shadow Lake golf courses are not redeveloped into residential or intensive commercial uses;
- Place the initiative on the November 2022 General Election ballot;
- Ensure future City Councils are unable to make general plan amendments or rezones of open space and parks lands without a vote of residents; and
- Hire outside counsel with environmental and election law experience to assist with the
On April 26, 2022, the City Council directed staff to move forward with legal and planning analysis for the proposed ballot initiative.
On May 26, 2022, the Council provided further direction to develop a new general plan designation, the Voter-Protected Open Space Overlay, to protect open space, parks and recreational lands. The Council also clarified its goal of including the Brentwood Country Club golf course, in addition to the Deer Ridge and Shadow Lakes golf courses, within the initiative’s scope.
On June 14, 2022, the Council provided direction and made recommendations regarding the scope of the initiative on a 3-0 vote.
- The Council confirmed the overlay concept language that would apply to lands subject to
the Overlay within existing municipal boundaries.
- Regarding proposed exceptions, the Council confirmed existing exceptions for roads, and infrastructure such as public water, wastewater, storm drain, and water recycling facilities. In addition, the Council requested further information on whether additional public facilities should be included in the exceptions.
- The Council provided direction regarding the location of the proposed Overlay:
- Large areas designated in the General Plan as Semi-Public Facility that are currently developed with recreational uses and/or community open space (as shown on maps provided with the 6/14/22 agenda);
- Parks (of all sizes) designated in the General Plan, as well as par7 areas within
- the Brentwood Boulevard and Downtown Specific Plans, if feasible;
- Areas designated in the General Plan as Permanent Open Space;
- Investigate General Plan land use designation of linear park on Grant Street for potential inclusion.
- The Council directed that the Overlay include a sunset date of 40 years.
Brentwood City Council Meeting
July 26, 2022 at 7:00 pm
Zoom: www.brentwoodca.gov/vcc or Zoom Webinar ID: 760 1397 0037
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The public may view the meeting via one-way video feed by selecting the video option at
the City Council Agendas’ link on the City webpage at www.brentwoodca.gov.
Council Agenda: Click here