Borenstein: Seeno v. Seeno becoming building empire’s ‘War of the Roses’
Revelations from family legal feud should concern Concord council with Naval Weapons Station project on the line
Mercury News, by Daniel Borenstein, January 5, 2023
As Albert D. Seeno III seeks to strike a deal with Concord officials to lead the Bay Area’s largest development project, his father is trying to fire him as CEO of five companies in the family’s building empire.
In a stunning public airing of the internal fight for control of the businesses, Albert D. Seeno Jr., 78, has sued his son alleging that Seeno III, after his appointment in July 2020 as chief executive officer, improperly spent money and tried to shut out his father and uncle from their own companies.
While this court battle may seem like an internal business and family dispute, the allegations about Seeno III’s behavior and finances should concern members of the Concord City Council as they consider whether to partner with him for 40 years to develop the Concord Naval Weapons Station site.
Seeno Jr. says his son previously had taken hundreds of millions of dollars without permission from his father and his father’s companies, has debt of over $100 million, bullied his father to hire him as CEO under threat that he would otherwise never see his grandchildren, and has been abusive and misogynistic toward employees.
“Your anger is out of control, you need anger management, counseling and medication. The way you treated multiple … employees is unlawfull (sic), malicious, vindictive, mean spirited and outright wrong,” the father says in a handwritten note to his son contained in the court file…. [By request of the author, this article is continued only on the Mercury News / East Bay Times website, requiring subscription. Go to Mercury News / East Bay Times ]
CONCORD/CONTRA COSTA BACKGROUND:
- Concord Communities Alliance: SEENO IS AT IT AGAIN. SHOW UP SATURDAY, Jan. 7th at 9AM, Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle.
- Save Mt. Diablo: The Seeno Way—Why the Seenos Are Bad Community Partners
SEENO stories on the Benicia Independent (36 stories, going back to 2016).
- Benicia Green Gateway (citizen study of 2008, archive)
AND, here’s current information from the City of Benicia website, https://www.ci.benicia.ca.us/northstudyarea:
North Study Area
The North Study Area visioning project aims to solicit public input on potential future land use options for the North Study Area property. Community input, together with an economic analysis and evaluation of the property conditions, will be used to develop several mixed-use concepts for further public review. Once completed, the landowner may determine whether to move forward with initiating land use applications which must include a “Master Plan” (i.e., Specific Plan) as required by the Benicia General Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
The study area is a 527-acre undeveloped property in the northeast corner of the city. The property is within the City’s urban growth boundary and fronts on Lake Herman Road and East Second Street. Although a number of site development proposals have been considered over the years, most recently in 2016, none have come to fruition. The property is currently zoned Limited Industrial (IL) and General Commercial (CG).
The City wants to partner with the community to envision the future of this area, which is the last remaining large tract of privately-owned undeveloped land within Benicia.
There will be a variety of opportunities to learn more about this effort and to provide feedback over the coming year. The City will solicit public input through a series of community meetings, public events, and on-line engagement opportunities. To receive the latest updates, you can sign up for project email notifications here. The City expects to complete the visioning process by late 2023.
The North Study Area Community-Led Visioning Process is divided into the following primary tasks:
- Existing Conditions Review: Review of background materials and existing conditions information relevant to the visioning process.
- Economic Analysis: Analysis of real estate market conditions, financial feasibility of land use alternatives, and net annual fiscal impacts of land use alternatives.
- Issues and Options: Evaluation of key issues and options associated with development options.
- Mixed-use Concepts: Consideration of alternative land use concepts for the property.
- Summary Report: Summary of public input received and areas of consensus that emerged from the visioning process.
The City has formed an advisory group for the North Study Area project to help distribute information about the project, provide feedback on project materials, and to bring together diverse community perspectives. The advisory group consists of one representative selected by each of the following City committee/commissions and community organizations. Meetings are open to the public.
- City Council Subcommittee for the North Study Area (2 members)
- Economic Development Board
- Community Sustainability Commission
- Committee United for Racial Equity
- Planning Commission
- Benicia Chamber of Commerce
- Benicia Industrial Park Association
- Matthew Turner Elementary Parent Teacher Group
- Sustainable Solano
- Benicia Unified School District
- Housing First Solano
Adopted City Plans and Policies
- Benicia General Plan
- Climate Action Plan
- Business Development Action Plan (2012)
- Benicia Industrial Park Transportation and Employment Center Plan (2017)
- Benicia Industrial Design Guidelines (1989)
- Economic Development Strategy (2007)
Studies and Reports
- Benicia Industrial Park Market Study (2014)
- Northern Gateway Proposal Market and Feasibility Evaluation (2016)
- Moving Solano Forward: Solano County Economic Diversification Study (2014)
- Moving Solano Forward II – Final Report (2017)