Concord Mayor's Message
Oct 05, 2014 12:20PM
● By Jennifer Neys
Tim Grayson, Mayor of Concord
There are times I like to visualize how Concord will look to the next generation. I can see the pictures in my mind, and I get excited about where we are going. We are blessed with a unique opportunity given to very few cities, and we need to get it right.
With the annexation of over 5,000 acres of the former Concord Naval Weapon’s Station, we have added twenty percent to our size, but the meaning for the future is far greater. The opportunity is not without problems, but the overriding feeling is one of being challenged to use the knowledge, experience, expertise, and technological advances of the past to create something far better than we enjoy today.
The process of developing this huge parcel has been, and will continue to be, transparent. Our citizens met many times on Saturday mornings and contributed serious input to what was being planned. Fourteen development plans were created and presented to the Citizen’s Committee, comprised of many talented people, including non-residents, because we appreciate the regional nature of our opportunity.
Over a two-year period, the plans were studied, whittled down, modified, and finally, with a significant majority consensus, condensed to two plans, which were provided to the city council. One was selected and that became our beginning point.
Late this year or early next year, we will select the master builder who will oversee the ultimate development of the parcel. For openers, we already know that over sixty percent of the land will remain as open space. This is huge. It dwarfs the percentage of open space and parkland now existing in Concord. The message has been sent: this land shall remain people-friendly, with parks and promenades and development-free hillsides. I visualize soccer fields, softball fields, creek-side development for weekend outings, and beautiful recreational areas for families to spend their leisure time.
We are going to have a variety of housing, office buildings, and commercial space. There has to be a way of paying for all the family amenities we are planning. Infrastructure will be a challenge. With the demise of the redevelopment agencies in California, we lost the advantage of tax-increment financing, but the need for roads and sewers and other services still exist. We will find answers in the development process.
In future reports, I plan to provide information of a specific nature on our progress as we pursue the realization of our dream.