PAGE 1

Photo: Richard Rollins

Go Greenbelt! Rides On

Urban Outings Explore Smart Growth
PAGE 2

Victory in Antioch!
PAGE 3

GreenbeltAction
P R O T E C T I N G O P E N S PA C E A N D P R O M O T I N G L I V A B L E C O M M U N I T I E S
THE BAY AREA’S LAND CONSERVATION AND URBAN PLANNING NONPROFIT SAN FRANCISCO
s

FAIRFIELD

s

SAN JOSE

s

SANTA ROSA

s

WALNUT CREEK

SUMMER 2004

STUNNING LANDSCAPES
Brought To You By Your Local Open Space District
JEREMY MADSEN FIELD DIRECTOR

ave you ever hiked up Black Mountain in the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve to get a panoramic view of the Santa Clara Valley? Or descended into the hush of a redwood grove in Redwood Regional Park, forgetting that downtown Oakland is only a few minutes away? Or maybe you’ve driven along a winding rural road in Sonoma County and gazed across thousands of acres of green farmlands.... Have you ever wondered what made these experiences SOLANO COUNTY possible? In Solano County, one of only These getaways, rural and two Bay Area counties without wild, are brought to you by the an open space district, local region’s open space districts. leaders are building support for These include the Midpeninsula a Solano County Regional Park Regional Open Space District, District. The County already has the East Bay Regional Park Dis- a significant amount of protrict, the Sonoma County Agritected land, but lacks an agency cultural Preservation and Open to properly manage the land. Space District, the Marin This means that stunning open County Open Space District and the Santa Clara Open space districts are County Open Space Authority. These five districts currently protect the unsung heroes of 220,000 acres of recreation lands, farms and open space conservation— wildlife habitat—an amount of land equivalent the public agencies that to three times the entire Golden Gate National make it possible for all Recreational Area. Open space districts of us to enjoy some of are the unsung heroes of open space conservathe most spectacular tion—the public agencies that make it possible for places in the Bay Area. all of us to enjoy some of the most spectacular space areas, like southern places in the Bay Area. The districts are established by a vote Solano County’s Lynch Canyon, of local residents, who agree to are open to the public only on pay a tax to fund open space a limited basis, or not at all. Proponents of the Regional Park preservation. These tax dollars enable the district to purchase District hope to introduce a bill to authorize the creation of the and manage land, and open up thousands of acres for pub- district in the state legislature lic enjoyment. The funding can by early next year. Under state also purchase conservation law, this step is required before

H

Riders head toward the windmills of Altamont Pass on Day 4 of Go Greenbelt!

a local vote to create a district can take place. NAPA COUNTY Napa County is the other Bay Area county that lacks an open space district. Napa is a step ahead of Solano County because the state legislation that is required to form a district has already been passed. Currently, County leaders are working on a local ballot measure to create the district. In both Napa County and Solano County, measures to create open space districts will not likely go before voters until 2006. SAN MATEO COUNTY The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District received approval in April to expand its jurisdiction to the coast. With the expansion, the district will have the opportunity to protect thousands of acres of redwood forests, coastline and farmland from Pacifica to the Santa Cruz county line. Unfortunately, radical property rights advocates are
continued on page 3

Go Greenbelt!–
Still Going Strong After 15 Years
STEVE VAN LANDINGHAM DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

T

he 15th annual Go Greenbelt! bicycle tour began in San Francisco’s Presidio in fog and showers and ended seven days later in blazing heat. In between, 70 fit and cheerful cyclists rode 480 miles and climbed more than 30,000 feet (the height of Mt. Everest!). This incredible feat was only topped by the fact that the riders raised a whopping $85,000 in gifts and pledges for Greenbelt Alliance’s work to protect open space and promote livable communities. Special thanks go to our top fundraiser, Sean Mattingly, who raised more than $7,000 to win a new bicycle donated by City Cycle of San Francisco. This year, too, saw the youngest unassisted rider ever, 14-yearold Adam Perelman, who zoomed up every climb. Congratulations to Adam and his dad Roberto! As the route wound through the Bay Area’s nine counties, the riders stopped for snacks and fresh organic fruit provided by Veritable Vegetable (thank you, Karen, Liz, Chris, and Mary Jane!). Then they hopped back on their bikes to pedal through the amazing diversity of landscapes that makes the Bay Area so unique. They rode past productive farmlands and craggy coastlines, beneath towering redwoods, over fog-draped hills, and through grasslands bursting with wildflowers. The riders also witnessed sprawl development encroaching on
continued on page 2

1

Photo: Dan Fahey

easements and agricultural easements. With easements, the land itself remains in private hands; only the development rights are sold. This is a less expensive way to ensure the protection of farmland and natural areas, which provide locally-grown food, spectacular scenery, and clean water sources. Several efforts are underway now in the Bay Area to expand the ability of open space districts to purchase and manage important recreation areas, wildlife habitat and farms.

Go Greenbelt! Still Strong After 15 Years

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

MISSION
To make the nine county San Francisco Bay Area a better place to live by protecting the region’s greenbelt and improving the livability of its cities and towns. We work through public policy development, advocacy and education, in partnership with diverse coalitions. CENTRAL OFFICE
631 Howard Street, Suite 510 San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 543-6771 info@greenbelt.org www.greenbelt.org.

the Bay Area’s remaining open lands. They faced the increased danger to bicyclists where once-empty rural roads are now packed with impatient commuters. From all of this, they came away with a better understanding of the Bay Area, and of the threats to its quality of life. For them, it reinforced the importance of Greenbelt Alliance’s work. They helped spread the word about our work, too, and helped us to get great media coverage of threats to the greenbelt. Many thanks to all of our incredible volunteers and sponsors, who helped make this year’s success possible. Thank you to Derrick, Jeremy, Chris, and Bonnie for keeping the riders safe and dry. Next year’s Go Greenbelt! will be May 7–14, 2005; you can register for the ride now at: www.greenbelt.org. This year’s ride was dedicated to Jim Sayer, Greenbelt Alliance’s former Communications Veronica Vuksich and Renee Armstrong enjoy the sunshine at ride’s end outside the Presidio’s Director and Executive Director. Jim created Thoreau Center. the ride, and helped produce 15 years of memories from the road. Thanks, Jim! web journal of the ride—visit it at www.greenbelt.org/ Special thanks also to Dan Fahey, who produced the daily getinvolved/events/go_photo_gallery.html s

Photo: Dan Fahey

SONOMA-MARIN OFFICE
50 Santa Rosa Ave., Suite 307 Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (707) 575-3661 kbrown@greenbelt.org

SOUTH BAY OFFICE
1922 The Alameda, Suite 213 San Jose, CA 95126 (408) 983-0856 ksimpson@greenbelt.org

Painting The Town Green: Greenbelt Alliance’s Urban Outings
JULIE CUMMINS EDUCATION PROGRAM COORDINATOR

EAST BAY OFFICE
1601 North Main St., Suite 105 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 932-7776 dreid@greenbelt.org

SAN PABLO AVENUE ssemblywoman Loni Hancock has an ambitious vision. She sees the East Bay’s San Pablo Avenue as "a world-class boulevard." On Saturday, June 12th, Greenbelt Alliance helped her share that vision with an Urban Outing highlighting the avenue’s successes, plans, and opportunities. San Pablo Avenue, which stretches from Oakland to Crockett, is one of the oldest roads in the Bay Area. It’s a road on the move: AC Transit just began rapid bus serv-

A

ice along the corridor, and Hancock hopes to start a regional planning process to improve it further. About 60 people, including councilmembers, planners, and regional agency representatives, joined our outing. First architect Phil Erickson explained what makes a transit corridor successful. Then the group boarded one of AC Transit’s new Belgian buses for a guided tour of San Pablo Avenue. Highlights included the walkable shopping district near Dwight Way in Berkeley; Del Norte Place, a transit-oriented development in El Cerrito; Emeryville’s new housing and retail; the affordable

Monte Vista Senior Apartments in San Pablo; and the Ohlone Greenway, a multiuse path that runs parallel to San Pablo from El Cerrito to Berkeley. Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, Caltrans, AC Transit, and the East Bay Community Foundation were our partners in the day’s events. SAN FRANCISCO Why should environmentalists support smart growth? On Saturday, June 26th, about 45 people gathered in San Francisco to find out. Speakers from Greenbelt Alliance, National Resources Defense Council, and the City of San Francisco set the tone for the day. After describing the Bay Area’s greenbelt-gobbling sprawl, rising housing prices, and worsening traffic, Greenbelt Alliance Board member Peter Cohen summed it up: “Environmentalists need to be part of the solution.” A walking tour of the Duboce Triangle neighborhood provided examples of successful smart growth. These included an affordable infill housing development, an attractive, higher-density mixed-use building near transit, a community garden, a park, and a pleasant street lined with trees and planters—and benches for weary walkers. s

SOLANO-NAPA OFFICE
725 Texas Street Fairfield, CA 94533 (707) 427-2308 bschoradt@greenbelt.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Officers
Michelle Yesney, President Ignacio Dayrit, Vice President Margaret Spaulding, Vice President Betsy York, Vice President David Azevedo, Secretary-Treasurer
Nancy Adler, Bob Berman, David Bomberger, Janet Byron, John Chapman, Kristen Clements, Peter Cohen, Zach Cowan, Tina Duong, Volker Eisele, Marilyn Farley, Mort Fleishhacker, Robert Hambrecht, Bud Johns, Robert E. Johnson, Vivian Kahn, Jon Kannegaard, Jake Mackenzie, Jean McCown, Vicki Moore, Annette Rose, Cindy Rubin, Michele Stratton, Dee Swanhuyser, Laney Thornton, George D. Tuttle, Gary Zimmerman

Urban Outing participants explore San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle to see how the city can be good for the greenbelt.
Photo: Dan Fahey

Photo: Julie Cummins

Staff
Tom Steinbach, Executive Director • Blair Alpert-Sandler, Systems Coordinator • Kelly Brown, Sonoma-Marin Field Representative • Samantha Brownstein, Director of Administration • Julie Cummins, Education Program Coordinator • Anita Lalwani, Membership Assistant • Jeremy Madsen, Field Director • David Reid, East Bay Field Representative • Brent Schoradt, Solano-Napa Field Representative • Kyle Simpson, South Bay Program Coordinator • Elizabeth Stampe, Communications Director • Evelyn Stivers, Associate Livable Communities Director • Kit Thomas, Bookkeeper • Steve Van Landingham, Development Director • Melissa Wright, Membership/Events Coordinator

PROMOTING LIVABLE COMMUNITIES
EVELYN STIVERS, LIVABLE COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

LAUNCH OF INCLUSIONARY HOUSING CAMPAIGN Greenbelt Alliance is helping launch a major new campaign to address the region’s affordable housing shortage. We are partnering with Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, Institute for Local Self-Government, the California Affordable Housing Law Project, the Nine County Housing Advocacy Network, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, local foundations, and other community groups to kick off a region-wide campaign. The campaign will help jurisdictions around the Bay Area adopt strong inclusionary housing policies. Inclusionary housing policies require developers to create affordable housing as part of market-rate development. This helps meet a community’s entire range of housing needs. In California, 20% of all jurisdictions, or one in five, have adopted inclusionary housing policies. The result has been the construction of more than 34,000 affordable homes across the state. In the Bay Area, 57 jurisdictions,

including cities like East Palo Alto, Novato, and San Ramon, have adopted inclusionary policies. This step has added over 7,800 affordable homes to the region’s overall supply. The new collaborative campaign will target the Bay Area’s fastgrowing cities and counties that have not yet adopted inclusionary policies. The goal of the campaign is to more than double the current rate of inclusionary housing production, adding 9,000 new homes in the next five years. This effort will help to address the region’s affordable housing shortage while reducing pressure for sprawl development in greenbelt areas. FAREWELL TO JANET STONE Janet Stone, Livable Communities Director for the last four years, has moved on to the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County. Although Janet will be sorely missed at Greenbelt Alliance, we are excited about her new opportunity, and are looking forward to working with her and the Housing Trust in the future. Thank you, Janet, for all of your hard work and dedication. s

Founder: Dorothy Erskine (1896–1982)
PRINTED BY UNION LABOR ON RECYCLED PAPER

2

Stunning Landscapes
opposing the expansion and and have attempted to gather enough signatures to put the issue before local voters. If the opposition is successful, the expansion could be on this November’s ballot. SANTA CLARA COUNTY In 1992, when the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority was formed, Gilroy opted not to join. Now, Gilroy leaders see joining the Open Space Authority as an opportunity to help implement the City’s newly adopted agricultural preservation policy. To join, Gilroy property owners will have to approve a vote-by-mail property tax assessment measure. If the measure passes, the money will be available to protect southern Santa Clara County farmland and other critical open space. The timing of the local vote in Gilroy is not yet established. To find out more about how you can help the Bay Area’s open space districts protect and manage our region’s most precious lands, contact Greenbelt Alliance at 415-543-6771. For regular action alerts, email info@greenbelt.org to sign up for our email Newswire. To contact the region’s existing open space districts, see the box on this page. s

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Bay Area Open Space Districts
MIDPENINSULA REGIONAL OPEN SPACE DISTRICT

www.openspace.org • 650-691-1200
EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT

www.ebparks.org • 510-562-7275
SONOMA COUNTY AGRICULTURAL PRESERVATION AND OPEN SPACE DISTRICT

www.sonoma-county.org/opensp • 707-565-7360
MARIN COUNTY OPEN SPACE DISTRICT

www.marinopenspace.org • 415-499-6387
SANTA CLARA COUNTY OPEN SPACE AUTHORITY
Photo: Dan Fahey

www.openspaceauthority.org • 408-224-7476

A R O U N D T H E G R E E N B E LT

Stopping sprawl and spurring smart growth throughout the Bay Area.
South Bay
(Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties) Kyle Simpson
SOUTH BAY PROGRAM COORDINATOR

East Bay
(Contra Costa and Alameda Counties) David Reid
EAST BAY FIELD REPRESENTATIVE

Sonoma and Marin Counties
Kelly Brown
SONOMA-MARIN FIELD REPRESENTATIVE

In collaboration with environmentalists, housing advocates and other allies, Greenbelt Alliance is working hard to ensure that the City of San Jose’s Kyle Simpson specific plan for the 6,800-acre Coyote Valley is truly a plan for smart growth and not sprawl. Our goal is to ensure that the plan is similar to Getting It Right, our awardwinning vision for Coyote Valley, combining a compact, pedestrian-friendly urban design with incentives for urbanedge farming and protections for the hills that frame the valley. This summer, the City is developing a “preferred alternative” that will be the framework for the ongoing specific plan process. We will track this development closely, and work toward a decision in early fall that selects a strong smart growth alternative. In late spring, the San Mateo County LAFCo (Local Agency Formation Commission) approved the expansion of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, to protect lands all the way to the coast. However, this victory for open space protection is being opposed by radical property-rights interests. Also in late spring, Gilroy began exploring the possibility of joining the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority. See the story about open space districts on Page 1 for details on these issues.

Victory in Antioch! In a significant win for Greenbelt Alliance and local smart growth advocates, the Antioch City Council has shelved a proposed 2700-acre sprawl David Reid development in the Sand Creek area south of town. After years of negotiation, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority has approved a spending package for the reauthorization of the county’s one-half percent transportation sales tax. The tax, which will appear on the ballot in November, would generate millions of dollars for road construction. The measure also includes funding for mass

Sonoma County is currently updating its General Plan. The General Planupdated once every 15 years-will act as the blueprint for growth on the County’s uninKelly Brown corporated land through 2020. This update is a critical opportunity to advocate for long term protection of the County’s roughly 900,000 acres of open space. The County Planning Commission expects public hearings on the Draft General Plan to begin this fall. To guide the debate, Greenbelt Alliance will release a position paper with several policy recommendations for the final plan. We are also working with local groups, like Sierra Club and Community Alliance with Family Farmers, to form a broad coalition to positively

Bureau have been working together to implement the report’s recommendations. These include higher density development to keep sprawl off farmland, and renewed funding for the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. To download a copy of the report, visit www.greenbelt.org.

Solano and Napa Counties
Brent Schoradt
SOLANO-NAPA FIELD REPRESENTATIVE

transit, trails and bikeways. Since transportation spending, especially for roads, can encourage sprawl development, the Authority has proposed including a growth management plan with an urban limit line. Unfortunately, the plan still does not specify where the line will be, or how the land outside the line will be protected. Greenbelt Alliance is leading an effort to support a tight line with strong growth control policies. We are withholding our judgment on the tax measure as a whole until there is more clarity regarding the growth management plan. In June, ballots went out for the Contra Costa Open Space funding measure. Property owners in Contra Costa were asked to vote on funding open space acquisition and stewardship with $127 million over the next 20 years. Greenbelt Alliance supports this critical funding. We should know the measure’s fate by late August.

influence this process. To get involved in our campaign, email Kelly at kbrown@greenbelt.org. After the successful release of Preventing Sprawl: Farmers and Environmentalists Working Together in late March, Greenbelt Alliance and the Farm

On June 8th and 22nd, the Vacaville City Council unanimously approved a massive development in Lagoon Valley, including 1,300 housing units, a golf course, Brent Schoradt and one million square feet of commercial space. Lagoon Valley is the last rural valley along Interstate 80 between Fairfield and Vacaville. Its development would pave over productive farmland and erase the distinction between the two towns, creating one long corridor of sprawl. Now opponents of this development are taking the issue to Vacaville voters. Greenbelt Alliance has been assisting Friends of Lagoon Valley in circulating two petitions among Vacaville voters to send the City Council’s decision to the November ballot. Even with a tight 30-day signature-gathering deadline, we were able to gather 7,000 signatures on each petition, almost twice the amount needed; now we can put this important decision in the hands of the people. This July, Greenbelt Alliance worked with elected officials and open space advocates throughout Solano County to host a Friends of Solano Regional Park District Stakeholder Summit. The summit began building consensus on the need for a special district to acquire and manage open space throughout Solano County. The Solano Transportation Improvement Authority has decided on a highway-heavy transportation funding measure that is headed for the November ballot. We and our local allies are concerned that the measure will encourage sprawl. To learn more, contact Brent Schoradt at bschoradt@greenbelt.org. s

3

Many Thanks To Our 2004 Go Greenbelt! Sponsors
Fog shrouds Mount Hamilton as two riders pedal up the narrow road to the summit.
Photo: Dan Fahey

24 Hour Fitness—Fairfield Almaden Valley Cycling Club Blue Waters Kayaking Bonny Doon Vineyard Church of the Incarnation Episcopal Clif Bar Crissy Field Center Diestel Turkey Ranch Evergreen Valley Church Evergreen Valley College

Falcon Trading Funky Door Yoga Greens Restaurant Grizzly Peak Cycling Club Hayes Street Grill Inn on Tomales Bay Insalata’s Jeremiah’s Pick Coffee John Bentley’s Restaurant Judy’s Breadsticks Kelty

Lagier Ranch Lagunitas Brewing Company Laurel Glen Vineyard Livermore Valley Amateur Radio Club Los Gatos Athletic Club Los Gatos United Methodist Church Magnolia Brew Pub McEvoy Ranch Millennium Restaurant

Mountain Peoples Warehouse Noah’s Bagels OlivetRestaurant Rainbow Grocery Ravenswood Winery SacramentNatural Foods Co-op Sacred Heart Church San Francisco Symphony Santa Rosa Cycling Club

Smuckers Quality Beverages/Recharge Sonoma County YMCA St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Terry Precision Cycling Thoreau Center for Sustainability Timbuk2 Designs Towanda Tours

GreenbeltAction
631 Howard Street, Suite 510 San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 543-6771 info@greenbelt.org www.greenbelt.org
Change service requested

Nonprofit organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit No.9294 San Francisco, CA

Photo: Julie Cummins

Two fifth-graders hunt for hermit crabs at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. With help from Greenbelt Alliance, ninth-grader Damico Shields and classmates from San Francisco’s Lowell High organized this tidepool expedition for fifth-graders “to help urban youth get out from in front of television and computer screens and out into nature.”

4

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful