Brentwood, Calif., – The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) through its Governing Board of Directors has reached an agreement with developer GBN PARTNERS LLC (GBN) on the proposed Vineyards at Deer Creek development to mitigate fire and emergency services impacts on the fire district, as well as local residents, businesses and property owners in the District.
According to ECCFPD Fire Chief Brian Helmick, the agreement provides funding for a new fire station in Brentwood, equipment and personnel to mitigate the development’s impact on fire district service levels in the city of Brentwood, and critically needed additional fire services that will be available throughout the District’s 249 square-mile service area.
“This agreement is in line with the District’s mission and strategic plan,” said Chief Helmick. “And, it’s only the beginning of much more work that lies ahead between our fire district, the City of Brentwood, GBN and other public agencies tasked with providing local services in the area. The fact is, much work remains for all parties involved with this project. “
Fire District Board President Brian Oftedal agreed, adding, “Our Fire District faces two challenges when it comes to growth. One challenge is past growth that did not come with adequate funding to meet today’s (existing) emergency services demands. The other challenge is new growth arriving now or planned in the future. This agreement with GBN is helping our fire district address challenge #2, mitigating the impact of new development through responsible growth measures.
GBN’s property, known as the future site of its proposed “Vineyards at Deer Creek” residential community, is located on approximately 815 acres in eastern Contra Costa County, north of Balfour Road and adjacent to the City of Brentwood’s municipal boundary line. The site currently lies outside the City’s urban limit line. Pending approval of Measure L on the City of Brentwood local ballot this November (2019), the proposed project is projected to add approximately 2,400 residential homes to the Brentwood community once it is fully built out.
Brentwood voters will decide the future of the proposed development when they cast their votes on Measure L in the November 5, 2019 election. Meanwhile, As of January 1, 2019, ECCFPD continues serving the community without adequate funding to meet existing fire and medical emergency services demands. The District currently operates three (3) fire stations staffed 24/7 by three (3) firefighters each, for total of nine (9) firefighters on shift at any given time. The District responds to more than 7,700 calls a year that depend on approximately 9,600 fire engine responses. ECCFPD’s master plan calls for a total (9) nine stations to adequately serve the community.
The MOU includes:
- GBN will pay to the District $4.5 million towards the cost of equipping and staffing a new These payments will consist of:
- A$1 million lump sum payment at the outset of the Project.
- A per unit payment on the first 1,500 residential dwelling units totaling $3.5 million
- GBN will construct a fire station for the District similar in design to Station 53, an estimated value to the District of $6.5 million.
- Additionally, if the District determines that the location of the station should be on the Property,
- GBN will dedicate a two acre parcel to the District for use as a fire
- As GBN is providing for the construction of the station, the District will request that the City waive its impact fees that would otherwise have gone towards construction of the station.
- GBN will participate in a CFD with a parcel tax that will generate not less than $650 per built lot per year. At buildout, 2,400 homes would generate $1,560,000per year CFD tax revenues to fund District operations
Additional Board Comments from the meeting:
- Director Carrie Nash called the MOU fair and explained “that it was not the authority of this Board to decide whether or not Measure L is passed, that is up to the citizens to decide. It is the job of this board to make sure that if it is passed, that the fire service and what it will bring to the district is mitigated and that it is taken care of.”
- Director Joe Young said there is a lot of confusion coming from the audience where he highlighted things the District has done over the years to improve the District and the next big step was this MOU. Young continued by saying the District has two issues which is the shortage of stations 4, 5 and 6 which has to be funded by people here today, and you have a secondary problem of stations 7, 8, and 9 which has to be funded by future growth.
“If you want 4, 5 & 6, the District is working on a program where you can get your check book out and buy stations 4,5 &6, but we can’t make developers buy station 4, 5 & 6. But what we can do is make sure that they cover Station 7, 8 & 9. And in this case, number 10,” said Young. “We want to make sure that impact is mitigated.”
- Director Steve Smith explained the job of the Board was to determine if this MOU mitigates the fire related aspects of the proposed project and was in support.
“Frankly, I believe it goes above and beyond and advances us down the road where we have been headed all along,” said Smith. “What about the current shortages? We will be addressing that. It would be extremely unfair to expect the developers to solve all the problems of the district.”