Senator DeSaulnier defends myth of local planning at Town Hall

California State Senator Mark Desaulnier

Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), at his recent Town Hall meeting told communities who believe they are losing local planning control they need not worry. In fact, DeSaulnier insisted that local governments are in charge of the redevelopment process under SB-1. Easy for him to say as DeSaulnier is headed to the next stop of his political career […]

With no real opposition, DeSaulnier disconnects with voters on the road to D.C.

California State Senator Mark Desaulnier

It’s an odd thing to watch. State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) faces little opposition in the June Primary for the 11th Congressional seat held by George Miller who announced his retirement. Yet, without a credible  foe, DeSaulnier  seems to disconnect  from his constituent’s concerns. Within the Democratic Party, no viable liberal  is opposing DeSaulnier in the June primary. Insiders point […]

Exposing the Urban Myths of Redevelopment and Sustainable Housing

We all know margarine tastes better than butter. Experts agree Charles Shaw’s “Two Buck Chuck” is superior to vintage wines. Weed was stonier when we were kids compared with the product that comes out of pot clubs these days. Tom Shane is my friend and George Zimmer wants me to dress better. Claims such as these […]

Avalon redevelopment project at Pleasant Hill BART raises second thoughts

Avalon at Pleasant Hill BART

In the world of athletics when the infamous words “We are doing a good job to build character” are spoken, it ususally means the team is losing and the coach is about to be fired. Taking the high ground is not a substitute for being successful. This is how life works. Not so with projects […]

Plans evolve for Concord’s future development

Pixie Playland Concord CA

Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know you got til it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot” Big Yellow Tax, Friends, ~Joni Mitchell, 1970. As we get older, the prophetic words of Joni Mitchell seem to become more relevent as we see important parts of our lives dissipate […]

OSIP The cost of doing business in Concord

On a cold rainy January evening, I trudged over to Concord City Hall for a briefing on proposed revisions for the city’s OffSite Street Improvement Program (OSIP). In layman’s terms, this means the fees developers pay prior to building new construction to cover road improvements and maintenance.

Orinda citizens blast Stack-and-Pack construction plans

Strong opposition emerged Tuesday night (Jan. 31) to plans to create high-density, high-rise housing in Orinda. About 10 Orinda residents told the Orinda City Council that they did not want high-rise, high-density housing placed in Orinda. No Orinda residents spoke in favor of the city’s plans to revamp Orinda by building new apartments, condominiums, and […]

Redevelopment Blight at Pleasant Hill BART faces Eminent Domain proceedings

blight at pleasant hill bart redevelopment

Local activist, John Galt, has initiated eminent domain proceedings at the nationally acclaimed Transit Village that surrounds the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART station due to blight created by Contra Costa County. Legal consultants and property rights experts are intrigued with the possibility that government property could be declared blighted and put to better use […]