Proposed ballot measure substantially scales back “The Ranch” project, bans hillside and ridgeline development, permanently protects additional open space areas, and funds public safety, transportation infrastructure, and high-school athletic facility improvements
Antioch, Calif. – A proposed citizens’ initiative that would protect two-thirds of Antioch’s Sand Creek Focus Area west of Deer Valley Road from future urban development has been submitted to the City by Antioch residents as the first step in its qualification for the November 2018 ballot.
The measure would preserve approximately 1,244 acres of hillsides and natural open space and approve a significantly smaller master-planned project known as The Ranch compared to what has been under consideration by the City of Antioch.
“We are listening to the citizens of Antioch and substantially revising our project so that it includes fewer homes and protects the hills, ridgelines, and valuable open space and environmentally sensitive areas around Sand Creek,” said Matt Bray, CEO of Richland Communities, the company that is proposing The Ranch project. “We see ourselves as a community partner and want to do the right thing.”
With the substantially scaled-down project now proposed in the initiative, voters will have the opportunity to support:
- Protection of approximately 1,244 acres at the western and southern boundaries of the Sand Creek Focus Area west of Deer Valley Road from future urban development by designating the land for open space, agriculture and rural uses.
- Protection of approximately 250 acres within The Ranch from future development, including a development ban on hills.
- Investment of at least $1 million in high school sports and performing arts facilities from an additional $1,000 contribution from each new home in The Ranch, including a proposed initial project at Deer Valley High School to fund installation of a synthetic turf field in the football stadium.
- Establishment of an open space corridor for Sand Creek averaging 430 feet in width.
- Preservation of at least 98 percent of trees in The Ranch, including oaks and eucalyptuses.
- Establishment of a 300-foot open-space buffer within The Ranch along its western boundary at Empire Mine Road.
- Restriction of development to only flatter terrain within Antioch’s voter-approved Urban Limit Line in the Sand Creek Focus Area west of Deer Valley Road and east of Empire Mine Road.
- Voter control of any amendments to the Urban Limit Line.
- Developer funding of additional public safety services.
- Developer construction of Sand Creek Road from Dallas Ranch Road to Deer Valley Road.
In addition to reducing The Ranch’s development footprint, the initiative would remove about 130 previously proposed homes from the project.
“This is a total win for Antioch,” said Antioch resident Terry Ramus, a proponent of the initiative submitted to the City. “With the scaled-back version of The Ranch project, we get more hillside and open space protections, and the initiative substantially limits future development around Sand Creek. The funding of at least $1 million for long-needed capital improvements at Deer Valley High School is an additional bonus.”
The Ranch is a proposed master planned residential community that is proposed to include a mix of housing types – including Antioch’s first large-scale age-restricted community for residents 55 years of age or older – along with new commercial and retail services, a trailhead and staging area for East Bay Regional Parks District, a fire-station site, six miles of new public trails and 22 acres of park facilities.
The initiative needs 5,104 valid signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot, and signature gathering on the measure is expected to begin immediately.