Home Brentwood Letter: Bob Nunn Responds to Online “No on L” Serial Posters

Letter: Bob Nunn Responds to Online “No on L” Serial Posters

by ECT

The following Letter to Editor was written by Bob Nunn who wanted to clear the air on several social media postings regarding City of Brentwood Measure L.


 

Dear Editor:

Although I do not actively participate in the world of social media, I have been reading the various posts on Next-door regarding Measure L and felt it necessary to be responsive to the No on L serial posters that continue to put out inaccurate information.

Although the list of misstatements is much broader than I will respond to here, I will set the record straight on a few of the more onerous misstatements. This will also be my only post but I can be reached at [email protected] should you have any additional questions.

I would be more than happy to meet with anyone over a cup of coffee downtown to discuss the issue.

My main goal, Measure L aside, is to try and return us to where we used to be. Opposition can be, should be, a friendly discourse where we discuss our different points of view, learn from one another and walk away friends. Somehow the national political nastiness has also shown its ugly face locally. Regardless of the outcome on Measure L let us all work together to be supportive of the community as a whole. Respect differing opinions and don’t resort to threatening repercussions to individuals and businesses if they don’t vote OUR WAY!

Don’t forget, Democracy means you are often on the losing side of an election, but we should all remain respectful of our neighbors.

So here are my top 6 issues to clarify.

Antioch: If we are unsuccessful with Measure L we will absolutely discuss this property with Antioch. In fact, we have already had preliminary discussions. Please do not perceive this as a “threat” or “scare tactic”. It is not. It is simply fact. The primary reason we came to Brentwood first is it is in Brentwood’s school district. I believe, where possible, school district boundaries and City limit lines should be the same. Both Antioch and Brentwood have had this property in their General Plan for development for decades. Antioch is not the boogeyman. They are our neighbors and we are currently developing a very nice community there, adjacent to the Measure L 800 acres. There is very little doubt that we can qualify this for the ballot in Antioch for a 2020 election. Whether the Antioch voters approve it or not is pure speculation at this point and anyone telling you they know with certainty what the Antioch voters will do a year from now is giving you their opinion.

Infrastructure: One of the No on L serial posters has represented multiple times that we can’t go to Antioch because Antioch cannot service this site with sewer and water. That we will be on septic. That our project would also require multiple pumping stations to deal with this issue. This is completely false. I am not sure where this came from or if he just made it up but there is this force we deal with on this planet. It’s called gravity. This property naturally drains to the northeast, to Antioch. It is actually more easily and more inexpensively serviced by Antioch for these infrastructure requirements. Currently Brentwood sewer and water abut the southeast corner of the property. The infrastructure is sized appropriately to accommodate this project. Cities make sure when projects build infrastructure they are sized for future “planned” growth. Brentwood has had plans for this property for decades. The communities of Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge built the appropriately sized sewer and water to the corner of this property. By that same token Antioch has long had their eye on the development of this property as well and has required the developer to size facilities necessary to serve this site for future growth. How do we know that? BlackhawkNunn is the developer of the project in Antioch that designed the sewer and water lines that have been installed and the next phase will bring sewer and water to the northeast corner of this 800 acre property.

American Avenue: To be clear, we were a bit surprised by the “Superintendents” position on this improvement. We were even more perplexed by Superintendent Volta’s claim that completing the American Avenue loop AND making Balfour 4 lanes to the new American Avenue entrance would have no impact, due to the fact that the same number of cars would be going through the existing intersection. We offered this as part of Measure L due to the fact that this was the recommended long term traffic mitigation goal of 2007-08 task force that studied the traffic issue created by the dead end road. The task force was comprised of both the local school districts (BUSD/LUHS) along with the City of Brentwood and Contra Costa County representatives. Traffic engineers were part of the task force. We merely offered to implement, at no cost to our school districts (which they estimated at $6.6 million) the long term solution they proposed and unanimously supported. Additionally the cost of improving Balfour Road to 4 lanes would add an additional $19 million for a total exceeding $25 million. How Superintendent Volta came to the conclusion that putting the same amount of traffic on what amounts to twice the existing roadway (we would build 17,000 linear feet of new road) does not reduce traffic defies common sense. Of course it reduces traffic and that is why the 4 agencies unanimously agreed in 2008 that this was the solution. If this becomes an Antioch project it is clear that the Brentwood benefits will become Antioch benefits. At this point we cannot suggest what those improvements might look like but I am fairly certain they will not include American Avenue and 4 lanes of Balfour road.

Open Space: An unfortunate common theme to the serial posters is any group supporting Measure L has been bought off. The suggestion that Save Mount Diablo has been bought off is insulting. I have developed a relationship with SMD for more than 25 years. I am a former board member. Board members dedicate their valuable time to serve the mission of SMD, which is to protect critical open space and habitat in the Mt. Diablo area. They have done an unparalleled job for our region. The deal we struck with SMD was based on the fact that we were protecting over 3 times more land than we were developing. The 1,700 acres of permanent open space we are including in Measure L includes 1,360 on the southeast flank of Mt. Diablo. It is property listed by the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy (ECCCHC) as having the highest priority to preserve. The 800 acres of Measure L would develop is listed as the lowest priority. The 800 acres also was well inside the County’s original Urban Limit Line and has been planned for future development by both Antioch and Brentwood. Pretty simple math if you are in the land conservancy business.

Fire District: Most of you are aware of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) BlackhawkNunn entered into with ECCFPD. We agreed to pay considerably more than our impacts to try and be part of the solution to the funding problem that exists today with our fire district. Currently 3 staffed stations service 120,000 people. With our proposal, at project build out, 125,000 people would be serviced by 4 staffed stations. Pretty substantial improvement from what I can see.

Bait and switch: It has also been stated, too many times to mention, that once we get approval of Measure L we will simply change the plan. Offer no Active Adult housing, change the densities, etc., etc., etc. Also completely incorrect. Measure L and its obligations are specific. It is a legally binding document. Any change to the 80% minimum active adult requirement requires a vote of the good people of Brentwood.

In closing I merely felt an obligation to answer the ad nauseum negativity and inaccuracies the small collection of No on L posters continue to state. As residents of Brentwood you have every right to vote in the manner you are most comfortable. My attempt here is merely to provide clarity so if you do decide to vote No it is at least factually based.

Win or lose I look forward to future civil conversations with those of you that voted No so I can better understand your position. I use to enjoy those conversations and hopefully we all can again.

Thank you
Bob Nunn

You may also like

25 comments

Larry Johnson Oct 23, 2019 - 9:22 am

Good for Bob Nunn. The way these anti-measure L people have acted is enough for anyone to actually want to support the measure. Nothing but sour grapes from people who are rude, mean, and using intimidation tactics while stating lies but not providing details to back up why people should vote no.

I will support police and fire who say this will help public safety. They are the experts, not a bunch of people who dont want their view obstructed for resale value of their home./

Jg Oct 23, 2019 - 10:19 am

Larry
Your comment describes today’s far left Democrat’s to the T.

Bob Nunn has provided quality developments to east county over the years. He is well respected in the community. While I wish our county would update our roads quicker, I do not think Mr Nunn is out to harm his own community. Hoffman in Discovery Bay would be a different story. I support Nunn and his quality developments as they will enhance The City of Brentwood.

Sara Oct 27, 2019 - 11:15 am

How can you enhance empty space that’s never been built on? Impossible. I enjoy driving out to that dead end and seeing the green hills. I miss the time when there was no Shadow Lakes, no Deer Ridge, and no Trilogy. It was beautiful, and now it’s developed. Once you build, that’s it. It will NEVER be the way God created it again. I’ve already sent in my “No” vote and that was with the hope that Antioch will do the same. We can’t do this to our town. We can’t destroy it for the many to create a Bucketload of profit for the few. Have you driven out there in the spring when there was a fog and the hills were green, and felt at peace because you were surrounded by nature? I have, and I want it to stay that way. I also have driven highway 4 into the city for work many a morning, and that is an ugly and unpleasant task on all fronts. Adding to Brentwood will only make the commute worse. It will also make Balfour worse. Ten years ago, Balfour was a calmer, friendlier road. People wouldn’t cut in front of one another to be first in line to the next stoplight. But that is changing. The busier and more congested Balfour gets, the angrier the drivers get. This whole culture of “me first” is highly exacerbated by the terrible traffic we experience. What you’re proposing will further congest all of Brentwood, Antioch, highway 4 and beyond. Let’s take a step back and think about this. Let’s give our environment a little break from us. What is the environmentalist stance on this? This seems like development going unchecked. What species would that affect? You may own that land, Bob, but it’s not really yours.

Sara Oct 27, 2019 - 11:20 am

How can you enhance empty space that’s never been built on? Impossible. I enjoy driving out to that dead end and seeing the green hills. I miss the time when there was no Shadow Lakes, no Deer Ridge, and no Trilogy. It was beautiful, and now it’s developed. Once you build, that’s it. It will NEVER be the way God created it again. I’ve already sent in my “No” vote and that was with the hope that Antioch will do the same. We can’t do this to our town. We can’t destroy it for the many to create a Bucketload of profit for the few. Have you driven out there in the spring when there was a fog and the hills were green, and felt at peace because you were surrounded by nature? I have, and I want it to stay that way. I also have driven highway 4 into the city for work many a morning, and that is an ugly and unpleasant task on all fronts. Adding to Brentwood will only make the commute worse. It will also make Balfour worse. Ten years ago, Balfour was a calmer, friendlier road. People wouldn’t cut in front of one another to be first in line to the next stoplight. But that is changing. The busier and more congested Balfour gets, the angrier the drivers get. This whole culture of “me first” is highly exacerbated by the terrible traffic we experience. What you’re proposing will further congest all of Brentwood, Antioch, highway 4 and beyond. Let’s take a step back and think about this. Let’s give our environment a little break from us. What is the environmentalist stance on this? This seems like development going unchecked. How many wild animals would be disadvantaged by this? You may own that land, Bob, but it’s not really yours. Jeez, I almost sound like I’m not a conservative right voter (which I am). I guess it shows this is not a partisan issue.. just a bad idea. One more thing.. people aren’t angry because of the growing trend of political nastiness, as you claim. People are angry because they feel cheated out of living in a peaceful, quiet, small town with undeveloped land and nature on all borders. That’s a rare thing to find in the Bay Area, and we might be the only one who has it to this extent.

owen Oct 23, 2019 - 10:28 am

No.

Robert-recently-retired Oct 23, 2019 - 2:41 pm

Larry and JG I agree completely
No without any solutions gets you what? At least Nunn is trying to solve current problems.

Jovita Oct 23, 2019 - 7:22 pm

🚫Vote NO on L🚫
Unchecked growth has gotten us delayed response times for emergency services, overcrowded schools and traffic.
Not never, but not now.
Fix Deer Valley, find funding for building more schools, and not 2,400 homes that will produce 2,400 homes – smaller development.
Safety for the community should comeback first.

Ana Flores-Siemsen Oct 23, 2019 - 7:59 pm

Lucky for us the no on L is a city wide voting block now from many many neighborhoods of individuals and homeowners of all kinds and all classes that don’t necessarily know each other but love Brentwood.

IF it wasn’t such a massive tide of concerned homeowners (some who reachout to the original Alliance Group, others that grassroots efforts on their own, and the most powerful group are the hordes we have that are afraid of social media and the backlash from the Yes on L marketing machine.

1) there’s currently enough product in the existing city lines for new individuals that need this type of housing to be able to buy if it is within their budget. We don’t need to add 2400 more and there are other developments to help the city.

2) many of us have newly adult children or college-age children that cannot decide on coming to Brentwood because we do not have an ability to attract that kind of talent and those young professionals with our current city makeup and our current myopic housing choices.
3) MOST TELLING WAS LAST NIGHTS AMAZING PRESENTATION from an outside independent expert panel group to the City that was commissioned (BY the City) to do an analysis on our growth needs. They said that our brand ,our identity has an agricultural aspect that is very unique to us. They gave us some very wonderful suggestions on the incredible transportation issues, discussed candidly items that cannot be resolved, and definitely said that in order for us to have a complete and successful vision for Brentwood ***we need to diversify the age population and type of housing options***. These outside experts basically said we had too much housing of a certain type that’s only addressing one type of community and that it will not help Brentwood in the long-term to not address it.
4) In one of my meetings this week with mental health professional that works with Summerset and Trilogy residents, the quality of life from a personal perspective is very high in Brentwood because of the senior community and golf aspects and other well-known amenities for that group. The rates of depression however are linked to grown children and extended family members but do not see Brentwood as a viable place to come VISIT much less live or work. There is an alienation that happens in Brentwood. They said if we adjust our brand back to our roots of agricultural heritage, the smart growth development options in the city center would BRING vibrancy, business, and reasons to come to visit -that do not take away from our core nor our hometown feel.

Because every single note on L voter is different with different personalities and aspects, with different motivations and ways of behaving, it would be hard to lump every single individual into someone that does not want someone else to get house because that is actually the opposite.

Wanting smart growth and smart development and the love for Brentwood for it to be viable in the future without making a disastrous mistake that will hammer the nail to what we could have been – it’s not something to be ashamed of.

Voting yes is your right. As is our right to vote no.

My message to the Yes on L hired marketing agency that keeps recalibrating in embarrasing ways:
To reduce and entire city of retirees, young families, established families, business owners, and people who LOVE BRENTWOOD as some anti-development rag tag group of pitchfork naysayers? – smells like a can of rotten fish.

Jovita Oct 23, 2019 - 8:12 pm

🚫Vote NO on L🚫
Let’s fix the issues we have with emergency response, let’s build more schools so we don’t continue to be over census and let’s fix Deer Valley first.
The only reason we’re having the issue we are is due to uncontrolled growth – time for moratorium on building.
Not never, just not now

Kristin Visbeck Oct 24, 2019 - 10:06 am

Agreed. But in all honesty, we Do Not Need All Those New Homes So He Can Become a Billionaire. I believe it’s for the 💰 and has nothing to do with what the posters say, reserving more Mt. Diablo land, expanding roads, ect.

As you said, fix the emergency things such as a safer wider roads before starting a 20 YEAR HOME CONSTRUCTION PLAN! NUMEROUS killings on balfour as you head towards Kaiser, complete the necessities prior to even considering a monster constriction plan.

🚫NO ON L🚫

Eric Oct 24, 2019 - 9:03 am

Mr. Nunn, thank you for your letter. Always good to hear both sides. I will say that my personal belief is the residents of Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge (I am generalizing, not everyone feels this way) have a very low trust with developers. Not only from the items that were promised during the original development of both communities but just recently with the proposed development of high density senior living in Deer Ridge and the closing of both Shadow Lakes and now Deer Ridge Golf courses. It appeared from your letter that you have been surprised by much the posts against measure L and I thought it was worth saying that the people probably most affected by your development have also not seen great support from developers.

Kristin Visbeck Oct 24, 2019 - 9:59 am

You’re performance of being a good guy with Brentwood’s interest best in mind is seen right through. It’s a rouge. No on L. Period.

Robert-recently-retired Oct 24, 2019 - 1:47 pm

Kristin
Curious, when did you move to wonderful Brentwood?
Thank yoi

David Oct 24, 2019 - 6:21 pm

Based on Mr. Nunn’s letter I see no concern with voting No on L. There is no downside. As he so eloquently wrote, Antioch is our wonderful neighbor to the East who are in a better position to run utilities to the location then Brentwood. On top of that as he said, they are already building a wonderful development in Antioch. Also if Nunn is still the developer he can just build the same project with the same amenities under the Antioch name, so basically nothing is different. If we vote no and Antioch votes no, which everyone, including Mr. Nunn acknowledges is a very real possibility, no development will occur there until more votes years down the road. If on the other hand Antioch votes yes, then we just get the same development as we would get anyways only with a different name. No loss, only upside to voting no.

John Oct 24, 2019 - 7:02 pm

Maybe we should think about this statistically. (Quantity vs Quality) More houses means more people more problems. Less houses means less people less problems. More houses, more taxes. Less houses less taxes.

Robert-recently-retired Oct 25, 2019 - 7:44 am

David
You are probably correct in your Antioch assessment but you’re missing a key point Brentwood gets the same impacts with none of the revenue

David Oct 25, 2019 - 11:36 pm

Often times life is a gamble and you only win big by taking chances. I’ll happily roll the dice on this one that Antioch voters vote just like we hopefully do, and how the votes have already gone in the past. I’m not going to get scared into voting for a bad development because it’s possible that even if we win, someone else might do the same thing, maybe a little worse. I also don’t believe the revenue will offset the additional service costs long term anyway. Ultimately development money is a ponzi scheme in my opinion. It’s a one time source of revenue that builds but doesn’t maintain. Why voluntarily agree to a bad idea just because it’s possible that if you don’t someone else will do it slightly worse? Besides with all the shots that have been taken at Antioch by the Yes side in various podcasts, mailers and flyers, I believe they will provide excellent no ads for our brothers and sisters in Antioch who will lead the no charge on that side. If we can defeat it, they can also. I for one do not believe that somehow our Antioch Brethren are somehow less able to see through all the corporate money then we Brentwoodians hopefully will be able to. Besides, by many of the Yes sides own proponents, the idea is that Brentwood homes and Antioch homes on the Brentwood border/Brentwood school districts command a premium over most of Antioch homes. If this is true Antioch voters would be voting to increase housing supply in their own city in areas that will be more valuable then their own. Essentially they will be voting to lower their own property values. There’s no incentive for them to do it.

Kathleen Goodwin Oct 25, 2019 - 11:08 am

NO ON L!
You can call those of us who don’t agree with Bob Nunn or the measure whatever you like. WE have our reasons for voting NO. I will continue to state where I stand on the measure. That is a big NO!

Bob Nunn Oct 26, 2019 - 10:10 am

Kathleen
You are a Brentwood resident. I support your right to vote no for the reasons that make you comfortable. Your vision of Brentwood does not have to be my vision and we should be able to discuss our differences in relaxed and friendly manner. I miss those days.
Take care
Bob

Sara Oct 27, 2019 - 11:39 am

Bob Nunn,

You’ve got her angry because of your big money, your big campaigns, and your relentlessness. All she’s got is her one vote and her ability to comment on your letter to the editor. Can you blame her for being pissed?

Donel Fontil Oct 26, 2019 - 9:00 pm

Bob,
Thanks for this beautiful piece. My research on this brought me to the same conclusion. Which is why I changed my vote at the last minute. I was learned some of the same information you just confirmed from direct official sources from Antioch.
I tried to have a discussion with some of my peers on Nextdoor and got personally attacked. Some accused me of being a paid outsider from Antioch and I was told to “go back to Antioch.” Some we’re upset I was bringing up the potential benefits that impartial analysis from the city attorney covered.
I now feel vindicated for having done my homework and make an informed decision. Let’s hope that cool heads will prevail.

Donel Fontil Oct 26, 2019 - 9:06 pm

Bob,
Thanks for this beautiful piece. My research on this brought me to the same conclusion. This is why I changed my vote at the last minute. I learned some of the same information you just confirmed from direct official sources in Antioch.
I tried to have a discussion with some of my peers on Nextdoor and got personally attacked. Some accused me of being a paid outsider from Antioch and I was told to “go back to Antioch.” Some we’re upset at me for bringing up the potential benefits that the impartial analysis from the city attorney covered.
I now feel vindicated for having done my homework and make an informed decision. Let’s hope that cool heads will prevail.

Sara Oct 27, 2019 - 12:43 pm

Here’s a hypothetical: If I, as a resident of this town, had the opportunity to develop all this land, and the measure had this much opposition to it, I would be a bit nervous to be seen in public. If it passed, nearly half the residents would resent me. It it went to Antioch and passed, most of the other half who voted yes would also resent me. It seems here that most of those who are voting yes will only do so to keep it from falling to Antioch. Unless I lived far away, the money would not be worth ruining this town for me and my family.

Sara Oct 27, 2019 - 1:34 pm

If I was trying to develop that land and was as surprised as you claim to be by the reaction, I’d drop this. If it passes, nearly half of Brentwood would resent me. It it passes in Antioch after being shut down in Brentwood, most of the other half would as well. I would only feel comfortable making that many people upset if I lived very far away.

Dirty Harry Oct 28, 2019 - 9:29 pm

NO on “L”

Comments are closed.