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NEWS AND EVENTS

November 11, 2014: Good news! The realtor who was handling the purchase of the Clark Road property from the buyer’s end says that “my buyer is not interested in this land”. We confirmed that with Nik Sernande of Ark Consultants(the group that was hired to research the communities response to the project). It’s impossible to say what led them to abandon the current proposal, but it’s quite likely that the massive letter-writing campaign was influential to a degree. So, a very big thank you to everyone who took the time to write.

The next step is to try once again to find a public agency to purchase the property. Several irons are in the fire, and hopefully one will heat up. Nik Sernande did say that his clients may be looking into other proposals. This would be the ideal time for a public-minded purchase, before another proposal from a developer arises. Keep your fingers crossed!

September 21, 2014: The importance of making your opposition to development known has led us to create a sample letter. Feel free to use it as a starting point or send it to the buyer's consultant as is. CPFOS Sample Letter

September 17, 2014: A "community outreach meeting" on a possible new Clark Road development was held on September 15th at the Elks Club in El Sobrante. The meeting was called by Ark Studio West, a consulting firm, on behalf of the present owners of the land, Lead Horse (a group of buyers in China).

The stated purpose of the meeting was to get a sense of the community’s response to their proposal.

Despite the short notice, the room was packed with residents and concerned parties, speaking passionately in opposition to any development on the site, one of the last remaining undeveloped hillsides in the El Sobrante Valley.

The buyers have a 60-day contingency (starting exactly when we don't know, perhaps as much as a month ago) that allows them to back out of the deal if they feel it’s too risky, because of community opposition, insurmountable geological/hydrological issues, doubtful Richmond approval, etc.. We want them to do that. The new owners are trying to gauge the level of community opposition to the idea of a development before committing the time and expense to continue the process. We have a small window of time in which to further persuade the owners that there are better options for their investment dollars.

If you are opposed to a large-scale development on this property, we think it would be really helpful if we flooded the planning adviser with letters making it crystal-clear how the community feels right away, before any ideas start to coalesce. We think it is important to write and state your opposition - a simple note is fine, though of course specifics are good too. The main thing is - please write! Timeliness is critical – asserting “confidentiality”, they would not tell us when the 60-day back-out period started and it is possible we may already be 30 days into it - so it would be best to write this week or weekend.

Mailing address is listed below:

Ark Studio West 1900 Powell Street, suite 460 Emeryville, CA 94608 Attn: Nik Sernande

September 10, 2014: A new threat to the Clark Road site has surfaced. A community outreach meeting with information on this new proposal will be held at 7:00 PM on September 15th at the El Sobrante Elks Lodge, 3931 San Pablo Dam Road. This feels like an attempt to gauge the level of community interest in what happens in the area, and so a good turnout might be meaningful. CPFOS would like to encourage community members who would like to voice their opinions about a new attempt to develop the Clark Road area to attend the meeting.

February 14, 2010: Victory! It has been a long time between posts but the wait has been worth it. The Forest Green Project has been closed out, meaning it no longer exists. Any further development project on that site will require starting the process over from the beginning. The economic and housing climate in California would lead us to think that any future residential development plans on our hillsides and open spaces are dead for the foreseeable future. Congratulations to all who have aided in the preservation of the undeveloped hills of the El Sobrante Valley.

August 30, 2007: Action Alert! It is time to change the endless cycle of development plans and EIR battles over our fragile hills and open space. We are circulating a petition through the neighborhoods and at the El Sobrante Stroll calling for the new Richmond General Plan to rezone the Forest Green and Clark Road project sites to limit development to 1 unit per 40 acres. If you would like sign this to help us save the hills for the future, please email us at our Contact Page  and include your name, address, and city of residence. We would like to have your phone number also,for confirmation purposes. If you, at a later date, sign the petition, please inform us that you have done so and we will take you off the email sign-on sheet – a physical signature is preferred, but we can reach out a lot farther electronically! The petition is available for viewing as a pdf file here.

August 1, 2007: News Alert! The extra 45 day extension for comments has led the Richmond Planning Commission to reschedule the public hearing on the recirculated DEIR for the Forest Greens Estate Project. The new hearing date is now set for September 6th at 7:00 PM

July 31, 2007: Great news! Many turned out at the Richmond City Council meeting tonight and presented our case eloquently. The Council did the right thing and granted 45 day extension to the comments period. The new final date for submission of comments is September 20th. The final vote was 8-1 with Vice Mayor Nat Bates as the only dissenter.

July 28, 2007: The Richmond Planning Commission is holding a public hearing to receive comments on the recirculated DEIR for the proposed Forest Greens Estate Project. The hearing, scheduled for August 2 at 7:00 PM, will be held in the City Council chambers. The Council chambers entrance is located in the rear parking area at 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond, CA. This hearing is only for receiving comments and they will be become part of the official record. No decisions will be made at this meeting. If you wish to make comments or show your support, please attend. A large public turnout sends a strong message!

July 25, 2007: The Richmond City Council has agreed to discuss and decide on whether to grant an extension to the comments period. We have requested this extension to allow all those residents who are away on summer vacation to add their views on this project. The hearing will be at the regularly scheduled Council session on July 31 at 7:00 PM. The Council chambers entrance is located in the rear parking area at 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond, CA. Please attend if you can. Your attendance and support can make the difference.

June 24, 2007: The Recirculated Draft EIR has now been released. The comments period will open until 5 PM on August 6th. A copy of the Recirculated Draft EIR and its technical appendices are available for review at the following locations:

  1. City of Richmond Planning Department: 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond, CA (510)620-6706
  2. Richmond Public Library: 325 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA (510)620-6561
  3. El Sobrante Library: 4191 Appian Way, El Sobrante, CA (510)374-3991
  4. Richmond Website:  Forest Green Recirculated DEIR 

May 3, 2007: The EIR process continues for the Forest Green Project. The applicant has chosen to submit a revised Draft EIR instead of submitting a Final EIR which would necessitate the inclusion of community comments and questions and the applicant's responses to them. So, it starts all over again. Available information indicates that the upcoming EIR has been changed but the project remains the same. The most recent information gives a tentative date for release of the revised Draft EIR as May 17th.

November 28, 2006: The EIR has not yet been released and most likely will not be until the holiday season has concluded. The Planning Department has notified us that the EIR hearing will not be held until sometime in the first quarter of 2007. They are trying to get a 30 day window for reviewing the EIR but they will not respond to comments arising from that review.

November 22, 2006: The Richmond mayoral race is over and Gayle McLaughlin has been declared the winner! We finally have a mayor who believes, as we do, that development in geologically unstable areas is not in Richmond's best interest.

October 25, 2006: Good News! The release of the Final EIR for the Forest Green Project has been delayed until the first quarter of 2007.

September 20, 2006: The Forest Green Project applicant is holding a "community workshop" this evening from 6:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. at Sheldon School, 2601 May Road, El Sobrante Valley, Richmond, CA. Questions need to be submitted by email prior to the meeting. Send them to: lakassoc@sbcglobal.net.

July 9, 2006: General Holdings has started testing for evidence of landslide conditions on the Jung property.

June 1, 2006: The Richmond Planning Department informed us yesterday that the public coments period for the Forest Green Project Draft EIR has been extended for 2 weeks. The new deadline for submission of comments will now be at 5 PM on June 16th.

May 6, 2006: General Holdings, the owner of the Forest Green Project, has purchased the Jung property. The intent is to get approval to build several homes on that site along with the very real possibility of running a road through the drainage to connect the Forest Green site to San Pablo Dam Road. This information is not addressed in the DEIR but the plans are in progress. The upper right corner of the   Forrest Green Project map  shows a road exiting the site but connecting to nothing. That is the hidden Jung property connection.

May 5, 2006: A public meeting to receive comments on the Forest Green Project Draft EIR will be held on May 25, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. at the Sheldon Elementary School, 2601 May Road, El Sobrante.

April 18, 2006: The Draft Environnmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Forest Green Project was released today. The comments period will open until 5 PM on June 2nd. A copy of the Draft EIR and its technical appendices are available for review at the following locations:

  1. City of Richmond Planning Department: 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond, CA (510)620-6706
  2. Richmond Public Library: 325 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA (510)620-6561
  3. El Sobrante Library: 4191 Appian Way, El Sobrante, CA (510)374-3991
  4. Richmond Website:  Forest Green DEIR 

November 2, 2005: A conversation with the Richmond Planning Department has confirmed that the Draft Environmental Impact Report(DEIR) for Forest Green is nearing completion and is scheduled to be released for review, at the earliest, in mid-December. The latest iteration of the development plan also calls for 120 homes.

March 25, 2005: Items from the meeting on the 22nd. First, the Forest Green Project has been downsized again. More "promised" open space and one fewer home. The possible acquisition of the Jung property is on hold pending word from the Contra Coast County about feasibility of constructing a road through a riparian habitat.

March 19, 2005: Great News! The Clark Road Project housing proposal has been withdrawn and is no longer an active development plan!









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