Brendan Weber

Proposed Housing Development in Brentwood Draws Debate

A major housing development is one step closer to becoming a reality in Brentwood, but a number of residents aren't happy about it.

Opponents worry that the proposed Vineyards at Deer Creek development would increase traffic and stress the infrastructure in the Contra Costa County city.

Blackhawk Nunn Partners wants to build up to 2,400 homes — 80% of which would be for seniors — on an 800-acre parcel of empty land located north of Balfour Road and east of Deer Valley Road.

In order to accommodate the project, the developer needs to get voter approval to move Brentwood's urban limit line.

Earlier this week, the developer said he received more than the 3,500 petition signatures needed to put the measure on the November ballot.

Opponents of the project have formed a group called Alliance for a Better Brentwood, arguing that now is not the time to create the development.

Opposition members say Brentwood needs to first see how its infrastructure can handle the hundreds of other homes already approved and awaiting construction. They also worry about the noise and bad air quality brought on by the proposed 20-year construction project, added stress on the underfunded fire district, and increased traffic in the area.

"Our organization's goal is to make this parcel the community separator between Antioch and Brentwood, remain county, agricultural, dry-farmed land until such a time as we need to expand," Kathy Griffin from the Alliance for a Better Brentwood said.

Blackhawk Nunn, which has been developing in Brentwood for 30 years, says that of the 800 acres for the project, 225 would remain permanent open space. Blackhawk Nunn also says the project would send millions of dollars to the fire district, would build out American Avenue around Heritage High School and Adams Middle School, would widen Balfour Road, and could fund safety improvements along Deer Valley Road.

"This property will be developed either through Brentwood or through Antioch, either by us or someone else," Bob Nunn of Blackhawk Nunn Partners said. "With us and Brentwood, you have a history. You know what we've done here. You know what we're going to do there. If it's not us, it'll be somebody else and not sure what that will bring."

The city of Brentwood is tabulating the petition signatures. If the voters were to approve such a measure and the city gave its approval, Blackhawk Nunn believes it would still be another two to three years before construction would begin.

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