The Brentwood Police Officers Association is officially backing Measure L citing the benefits it will provide to the City of Brentwood if passed by voters.
POA president Aaron Peachman said Wednesday that the land is going to be developed by someone and that the question is will it be the City of Brentwood or the City of Antioch.
If approved, Measure L would annex 815 acres and with 555 acres for 2,400 homes which 80% is for senior housing, 225 acres would be permanently designated open space and could include agriculture and associated facilities. It is also expected to bring in $200 million in one-time building permit revenue, along with annual property tax and sales tax revenues. It will also provide road improvements on Balfour Road and American Avenue while providing the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District with $11 million.
“When you have a motivated property owner or developer, that is not going to stop the land from being build on. If you think a no vote on Measure L is going to stop development, you are mistaken,” said Peachman. “We do much better as a city in the long run by maintaining that land as Brentwood and reaping all the benefits rather than letting another city come in and take it.”
Peachman cited reasons their board approved backing the measure was due to the safety impact Measure L provides from road improvements to fire service.
“There were a couple of factors why we are supporting Measure L which is the infrastructure improvements this project brings from a public safety standpoint. The roadways are a big deal, you are talking about roads that have had pretty nasty accidents on them and they impact our residents. If we can do things to fix that, that is going to improve the safety of all our residents,” explained Peachman.
“The economic growth side is also a pretty important factor. Brentwood is a growth-based city and economy. If we stall out on our growth, we are stalling our funding which impact city services including the police department. That impacts our quality of life. Those are pretty crucial to the health of Brentwood”.
Peachman acknowledged he understood the concerns residents may have over urban sprawl but said that a “no” vote did not prevent future building.
“It doesn’t stop it. It hands the sprawl to another jurisdiction, being Antioch, and long term that is not beneficial to Brentwood or our police officers,” said Peachman.
Peachman explained that because project is being built out over 20-years, it will allow the police department to grow as the community grows. He also doesn’t anticipate as heavy of an increase in calls for service because this is a planned active living community of residents 55 and older.
“This type of residential building is what a city should want because it is less of a draw on our services because residents are older as opposed to higher density development where anyone can live,” stated Peachman. “The draw will not be as substantial on our officers as some in the community are claiming.”
Peachman also disputed claims that the Brentwood POA is being bought off for support.
“We have not received any compensation for this and there is nothing to be said for that. That claim is misplaced and a non-issue,” said Peachman. “It’s going to be developed by someone, so it would be best if Brentwood retains control of the development and reap the financial benefits rather than handing it over to another city. This is not meant to be an anti-Antioch thing, its simply about Brentwood future health because it can’t be ignored someone will benefit, its silly not to have it be Brentwood when we are given the first opportunity.”
The Brentwood POA is expected to release more information in the coming days about why they are supporting Measure L.