Mayor Pro Tem Rocha and Council Members Gary Agopian and Monica Wilson, take a bow! You did the City of Antioch a great justice by your recent vote to deny the Pointe Project. That development would have ravaged 21 acres of hillside land at the western edge of the city, robbing God-given beauty and some wind barrier.
More frightening for the future, it would have overturned a hillside development ordinance that has been in effect since 1981. That ordinance had been applied on at least six projects over the past three decades. It’s disregard would send a signal that agreements can be bent and broken when expedience dictates.
They say you can’t fight City Hall but in the Philippines, where my wife hails from, they call it ‘people power’. I applaud the residents of the Black Diamond Estates Project, Save Mount Diablo Organization and the Antioch Planning Commission for all standing tall and fighting the good fight.
Antioch takes its’ knocks. We can all agree it was overbuilt, is too saturated, too cookie cutter and in the case of our Malls, too boxy (how one wishes we had insisted on a pedestrian-friendly plan like the Streets of Brentwood, which has strolling charm). Be that as it may, our mistakes can’t be undone.
We do, though, have three natural assets other locales don’t. One, obviously, is our seat at the Delta. The River brings views, recreation and a cooling breeze.
The second blessing is our undulating streets. Hillcrest and Deer Valley come to mind as a boon from monotonous straight lines!
The third asset are the hills that we didn’t all chop off; some internal and some dramatically framing our town. Guests visiting me who drive along Hillcrest marvel at the ambiance. It feels palatial.
Yes, more homes is easy money. We know and respect that the fees are tempting, what with city services having hit rock bottom. Things are on an upswing, though, and patience will be rewarded.
In the meantime, let’s hope that whenever there is the next, let’s face it, inevitable ‘mini-wave’ the infrastructure is long set. Wouldn’t it be nice, then, to have something really different from the hum-drum, we’ve got plenty, tracts. How about senior developments like Trilogy in Brentwood; or McMansions on oversized lots that draw in the Blackhawk crowd who could set up needed business and light industry here? Now you’ve got my attention.
Yes, more city workers and a return to five days of City Hall service? Valued.
Respect for past agreements…. appreciation of the hills.
They are priceless.