Green Valley Landowners Association
“Our mission is to preserve and enhance the rural character of Green Valley”
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR ITALIAN TENOR PASQUALE ESPOSITO!
Join friends, neighbors, Pasquale fans and Lakes Water System customers from Solano and Napa Counties on Sunday, April 19th at the Downtown Theatre, 1035 Texas Street, Fairfield. Pasquale is a world class Italian Tenor – check out his accomplishments at www.pasqualeesposito.com. Experience a wonderful evening of entertainment! Proceeds go to the Lakes Water Fund. The legal challenge is necessary to insure that Lakes Water System customers have an affordable and well-managed water system in the future.
Tickets: www.downtowntheatre.com. Performance begins at 6:00pm; doors open at 5:00pm.
The GVLA has had an exciting several months with our Lakes Water System Class Action lawsuit. Unusual legal interpretations in Judge Johnson’s Superior Court last fall led our attorney, Stephen Flynn, to file an appeal the very next day with the California State First District Courts of Appeal. Our appeal was accepted, and Stephen immediately began writing the first of two filings and an Appendix that form our legal challenge to the Solano County Superior Court ruling.
Our Opening Appellate Brief and Appendix were filed with the Courts of Appeal was on January 6, 2015. Vallejo followed with their response on February 27, 2015 and we filed our Appellate Reply Brief on March 19, 2015.
The GVLA Litigation Committee, joined by local attorneys and engineers, encouraged Stephen to seek and engage the best legal minds specializing in water issues in California to provide legal and procedural consultation on each of our filings. We were fortunate to have the capable assistance of two of the best water attorneys in the State, as well as the generous contributions of Lakes Water System customers, which allowed us to construct extraordinary and powerful legal briefs. All of Stephen’s filings on behalf of the Lakes Water Class Action are available to you on his website: http://www.smflynn-law.com/documents.html. The GVLA hopes you will read these: they will provide you with added dimension regarding our efforts.
On review of Vallejo’s attorney’s response filing of February 27th, we are confident in the basis and legal strength of our original arguments against Vallejo, and that the law has always been on our side in our class action. We are even more encouraged that we will prevail in our appeal as well as in the class action lawsuit. The 810 households, businesses, and schools that make up the class should all be proud and thankful for the representation we have in our appeal process.
At this point the Appeals Court has all of the court records and filings and is in the process of reviewing these materials, selecting the three-judge panel to hear the appeal, and will schedule a hearing for oral arguments in San Francisco. Our hearing date will be posted on the GVLA website, www.glva.com. Although the arguments may be highly technical in nature, we encourage you to attend.
Bill Mayben, GVLA President
FALLS SCHOOL UPDATE
The status of the Fairfield Suisun Unified School District’s (FSUSD) intended sale and subsequent residential development of the Falls School site on Rockville Road has been widely discussed among Green Valley residents. FSUSD declared the 10-acre site “surplus” and about four years ago determined it should be sold. From the outset, the GVLA Board of Directors has continuously and emphatically expressed to FSUSD the conditions for their vote of endorsement of any development concept proposed for this site. GVLA supports an outcome for the Falls School site that:
(1) Is acceptable to the adjacent property owners and to the community as a whole.
(2) Preserves the rural character of Green Valley.
(3) Ensures the enduring presence of the fire station and the site’s multipurpose building for the benefit of the community.
(4) Is economically viable and rational.
Expanding on these requirements:
(1) GVLA expects the site owner and project designers to engage with Falls Schools neighbors, Green Valley residents and GVLA to hear their expectations and concerns about the project. The community needs to be kept in the loop. The project needs to be acceptable to the community, especially to those living nearby. Direct communications between the community and FSUSD have been sporadic. We have encouraged FSUSD to hold some “town hall” meetings with neighbors.
(2) The project should be compatible with and preserve the rural character of Green Valley. The Falls School site has natural features that require special attention to design. The open space character of the site could be an appealing feature of new development. There may be advantages to a development with common areas, designed common landscaping with common pathways, protection of the riparian zone wildlife corridor and vegetation along the creek. The surrounding area includes homes on 1/3 acre and 2.5 acres, as well as open space and views up to the ridgeline. The community is clear that development should not look like high-density housing.
(3) Save our fire station! The fire station crew responds to medical emergencies as well as fires. Its location in the heart of the community provides short response time. Without the fire station the response time will increase by 10 to 15 minutes. There are two potential consequences: delayed medical services decrease the chances of successful interventions, and insurance companies may raise our insurance rates. According to the Fire Chief, without this fire station, our homeowners fire insurance could increase significantly and it is possible that some homes located at perceived fire hazard situations could have trouble obtaining fire insurance.
The FSUSD currently leases less than ¼ acre on the Falls School site to the Fire Department on a month-to-month basis for $1/month. We prefer permanent status for our fire station. Any change in property ownership could threaten the existence of our fire station. Thus, GVLA requires that as part of the sale and development of the site, the portion of the site with the existing fire station and the existing multipurpose building will be deeded to the Cordelia Fire Protection District in perpetuity. As a developer’s planning process evolves, meetings with the Fire Chief and the Fire District Board will be necessary to conclusively determine the minimum area needed. Present estimates are between 1 and 2 acres for facilities that conform to reference standards and current regulations.
(4) GVLA expects a high quality project that is rational and has economic viability. About four years ago, FSUSD entered into a sale agreement with a buyer who wanted to build as many homes as possible. GVLA emphatically did not support this idea. With our input to the planning process, the number of planned homes went down from 36 to 30 to 24 before the buyer withdrew his offer.
Subsequently, in 2013, FSUSD hired a planning consultant and interacted with several GVLA board members and residents. This resulted in a proposed site plan that carved out the requisite fire station site and a planned development concept for 16 individual homes on lots surrounded by common open space with perimeter landscape screening. FSUSD shared this plan with about 20 Green Valley residents last October and received harsh criticism and reaction. FSUSD felt that 16 homes was the minimum number required for economic viability and to attract developers to engage.
Last year a group of neighbors of the site formed an action group called “Friends of Falls School (FOFS).” They circulated a petition requesting that the site be re-mapped by FSUSD with four home sites (approximately 2 acres each) and a 2-acre fire station site.
The economics of development on this particular site are difficult to assess. The site has some unique physical features that require special attention to design; they can also drive up development costs. The sale prices and construction costs of the homes are uncertain. Special aspects include, but are not limited to: (a) the need for a retention basin for storm run-off drainage, (b) a tertiary treated engineered septic system (with extensive drain fields) to prevent ground water and creek pollution, (c) planting for privacy, and (d) where possible, maintain sight lines to the nearby hills and ridgeline.
If the site is not developed, FSUSD has indicated that it may have to reactivate the site as a school facility using portable classrooms for special education programs. However, its preference is to sell the site and use the funds to support needed education facilities within their district.
Our GVLA website, www.gvla.com, displays our letter of January 19, 2015 sent to FSUSD summarizing our position.
We are in a holding pattern until a buyer steps forward, and until enough detailed analysis has been done to reveal any economic limitations on what can be achieved at the site. GVLA does not oppose the concept of four large lots, just as we have not endorsed the 16-home plan of FSUSD. GVLA continues to engage the FSUSD regularly to monitor developments in order to ensure that our desired outcomes for the Falls School site will be met. We look forward to a collaborative situation where a buyer works out a viable plan with community support that includes deeding land for the fire station and deeding the multipurpose building to the Cordelia Fire Protection District.
There is no confirmed offer to buy and develop the site as of April 2, 2015.
MIDDLE GREEN VALLEY UPDATE
In accordance with the County’s General Plan, the Middle Green Valley Specific Plan maintains the rural character of 1900 acres in the heart of Green Valley while allowing opportunities for compatible residential development. The MGVS Plan is the result of community, landowner, and County consensus and cooperation. It will ensure long-term stability of agriculture in the area.
Last November, the Solano County Board of Supervisors approved an amended MGVS Plan and certified the associated Environmental Impact Report. The Plan and EIR contain a revised water supply section that adds a third possible water supply option – Solano Irrigation District – to the two originally proposed potential sources: groundwater and City of Fairfield. The revision was made in response to litigation that claimed the original EIR did not adequately analyze possible water sources.
County staff is currently assembling the administrative record associated with the project for submittal to the court, which will once again review the County & Board of Supervisors’ actions.
Many of you have probably noticed construction activity to the west of the “Totally Local” market site. A barn is being built by the landowner in conformance with the MGV Specific Plan designated land use and architectural design guidelines.
Meanwhile, the Green Valley Farm Preserve, a key component of the Plan, will start taking shape this summer. Plots of long-fallow farmland will be planted with row crops and orchards. Plans are being developed for a permanent Farm Stand slated for construction at the site of the seasonal “Totally Local” Farmers’ Market. The Green Valley Agricultural Conservancy will be focusing its resources on the Farm Preserve this summer, so will not be hosting the once monthly Farmers’ Market. However, there will be one-day “end of summer” festival in September for all fans of “Totally Local”. The Conservancy is grateful to the Green Valley community for supporting the Market the past four years and looks forward to presenting the community with an even better, permanent Farm Stand in the future.
THANK YOU JANE HAWKES – NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Thanks to Jane Hawkes for presiding over our ENTIRE valley’s Neighborhood Watch Program for over 2 years! We are assembling a team of residents to take over Jane’s work and welcome assistance from all interested people. Most of us have seen Jane walking our valley, bags and stick in hand, tirelessly picking up trash: not a Neighborhood Watch duty, but one that all of us can help with moving forward. Captains, make trash pick up in your “block” your next activity and have a potluck afterwards. Recycling reimbursements may even cover refreshments!
Neighborhood Watch updates will come to you via the dedicated Neighborhood Watch email list and a dedicated page on www.gvla.com.
FIRE CHIEF JAY HUYSSOON & ADMINISTRATIVE AIDE PATTY HUYSSOON
GVLA would like to thank Fire Chief Jay Huyssoon for his 12 years of service leading the Cordelia Fire Protection District. Chief Huyssoon retired on March 30, 2015 after a total of 44 years of fire service. His wife, Patty Huyssoon, also retired as an Administrative Aide for the District and her 20 years prior as a police officer. What at team!
Jay and Patty did a lot to upgrade the fire protection and emergency response in Green Valley and the surrounding areas. As one example, they spent 10 years upgrading the ISO rating for the area with the establishment of Fire Station 29 on Rockville Road, a review of water pressure records, number of personnel on duty, response time history, number and location of hydrants, accurate department training records and more. This ISO upgrade is indicative of the improvements across the District and resulted in better protection and responsiveness for the community – it also lowered homeowner’s insurance for many in the area.
GLVA would like to acknowledge the many contributions from and close working relationship with Jay and Patty over the years and wish them well in their retirement.
Chief Huyssoon will be followed by Chief Keith Martin who started April 1, 2015. Jay and Patty will be working with Chief Martin in a transitional period to review the challenges and opportunities across the District and lend their support. GLVA looks forward to working with Chief Martin in his new assignment and sustain the close working relationship with the community.
gvla contact information * www.gvla.com
GVLA is a 501(c)4 registered entity with the state of california
GVLA BOARD MEMBERS
Bill Mayben, President Claire Boyd Ken Stewart
Chris Davis, Treasurer Larry Burch
Amy Drake, Vice President David Eimerl
Herb Hughes, Secretary & Vice President Craig Gillespie
Grant Kreinberg, Vice President Roger Merrill
YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS ARE ESSENTIAL
SUPPORT YOUR GREEN VALLEY LANDOWNERS
ASSOCIATION WITH YOUR 2015 DUES
ATTEND THE APRIL 19 CONCERT
6:00PM – FAIRFIELD’S DOWNTOWN THEATRE
PROFITS GO DIRECTLY TO THE LAKES WATER SYSTEM LEGAL FUND
Email ______________________________________ Telephone ____________________________
Annual GVLA dues are $50.00 (a second contribution for the Lakes Water System Legal Fund is always appreciated!)
Checks are payable to: GVLA
4160 Suisun Valley Road #E240
Fairfield, CA 94534-4027 An envelope is enclosed for your convenience.
Permit No 8
Green Valley Landowners Association
4160 Suisun Valley Rd #E240
Fairfield, CA 94534-4027