Tag Archives: Benicia General Plan

ALERT: Benicia City Council subcommittee to explore Seeno development plans – proposed at Council on Tuesday, Aug 17

 By Roger Straw, August 13, 2021

Important to read the agenda, comment by email, attend and voice your thoughts at the August 17 zoom meeting

The Aug 17 Benicia City Council agenda is PACKED with important items.  One is the ESTABLISHMENT AND APPOINTMENT OF THE NORTHWESTERN STUDY AREA SUBCOMMITTEEThis is all about the SEENO PROPERTY, and appears in the CONSENT calendar, Item 20 B. on p. 7.

The agenda’s Staff Report – Establishment and Appointment of Northwestern Study Area Subcommittee, is measured and thoughtful, well worth reading (note some details here below).

The intent is to set up a Council Subcommittee composed of Mayor Young and Councilmember Macenski, who will “help City staff and consultants facilitate discussions about considering potential future land uses” of the Seeno property.

In my opinion, this initiative somewhat misleadingly re-names the Seeno property the “Northwestern Study Area”.  Renaming the area will not remove the deservedly untrustworthy reputation of the Seeno family and its corporate entities.  Utmost caution must be urged as the City moves forward to consider development there.

A Few Details
Download Green Gateway Business Community – A 21st Century Possibility, September 2008

The Staff Report accompanying the item, Establishment and Appointment of Northwestern Study Area Subcommittee includes a short section on Previous Planning Efforts, very briefly summarizing two previous Seeno proposals, and highlighting our 2008 community-led Green Gateway Plan.

 

It’s good news that the staff report mentions a City-sponsored “Specific Plan” 3 times, including a reference to the fact that adoption of a Specific Plan (Master Plan) is required by Benicia’s General Plan for any development of 40 acres or more.  A Specific Plan was a primary focus of our 2008 Green Gateway Plan.  Reference – see Benicia General Plan Policy 2.3.1, PDF pages 48-49, [document pages 34-35].

A Few Questions

Will the renaming confuse or fail to alert those of us who have been through battles concerning the Seeno property?  Should the committee include citizen representatives in addition to the two Council members?  Will the Committee recommend the City require a Specific Plan for any new development?

Alert!

Your continued vigilance and thoughtful input is needed!  See

Benicia Planning Commission decision – another important perspective

By Roger Straw, posting a comment by Benicia resident Kathy Kerridge, May 28, 2020

Yesterday I posted an article, “Benicia Planning Commission to consider permitting commercial facility in Benicia Open Space Reserve,” in which my friend and colleague Don Dean urged opposition to a project to build a solar panel field in Benicia’s beautiful open space hills.

Later, I heard from several Benicia environmental advocates who favor the project.  The Planning Commission will have to weigh the pros and cons of this one carefully.

Check out the Planning Commission agenda for details on how to submit comments by email and how to participate in the live videoconference.

Kathy Kerridge, Benicia

Here’s my friend Kathy Kerridge’s reasoning:


May 27, 2020

Re: Agenda item 11B, Lake Herman Road Solar Project

Dear Planning Commissioners,

I am writing to voice my support for the Solar Project proposed for Lake Herman Road.

We are in the midst of a climate crises.  Scientists have said we need to act within the next 10 years to substantially reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.  We are starting to see the world change around us, with increasing fires, droughts, stronger storms, floods, sea level rise and even plagues of locus.   The ocean is increasingly becoming acidic.  The coral reefs are dying. We cannot wait to act.  We must act now to reduce emissions.  This project can be part of the solution.

This project will sell power to Marin Clean Energy, our local power provider. A company that is run by the communities it serves.  It will add to their renewal energy portfolio.   It will provide local jobs.  It is located in open space that is near a nice recreation area, Lake Herman, but I don’t believe it will be visible from the trail around the lake.  Even if it is the benefits out weight the costs.  The Lake Herman area is within a stone’s throw of a major oil refinery.  We are not talking here about a pristine wildness area being developed, but are putting a solar facility pretty much across the street from an industrial park.  If not here where?  Of course the ideal location for solar would be on rooftops, over parking lots and over roads, but I don’t believe this is an either or decision.  Ultimately we will need solar in both places.

If local projects like this do not get approval we will never make progress in fighting the climate catastrophe that we are facing.  Delay is also not an option.  We need to start acting now on the transformation of our society.  No project is ever perfect.  But we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  This is power that will be used by our local power company.  If we say no to projects like this I don’t know how we will ever make progress in reducing our emissions.  Please approve this project for the sake of our future.

Sincerely,

Kathy Kerridge
35 year Benicia resident