Benicia First!


Benicians dedicated to ensure that all development adhere to our 
General Plan’s vision for a vibrant local economy, preservation of local ecology, and 
enhancement of our cultural and historic resources for the 21st century.

 
To RECEIVE UPDATES as new developments evolve on this issue, please sign up for our mailing list by writing to:
beniciafirst@earthlink.net
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View Slide Show Presentations:
 Oct.'07 Library Forum 

Feb'08 Council Presentation   

Sustainable Dev-LEEDConcepts 

May'08 Council Presentation on the Revised 2008 Seeno proj. 

 

REPORTS & ARTICLES:

Seeno Timeline 5-07 to 11-08 

 Short Seeno project Summary  

  Cleantech Reports & Articles 

  Chart of Ozone in Benicia 

Green Gateway Rept - Vision

Green Gateway Rept - Traffic

  Newspaper Articles  

 

USEFUL LINKS:

  View Benicia's 2008 Air Quality Data

New Law SB375 will reduce traffic emissions by curbing sprawl

Attorney General's CEQA mitigation guidelines 

BAAQMD CEQA guidelines

Air Resouces Board 

Green Gateway Group

  

View  Map 

View Interactive Map

View Benicia General Plan 
View Business Park documents

Please write to the
CITY COUNCIL
to express your concerns about this project:
 CLICK HERE!

READ OUR BLOG
Seeno changes his mind - puts project on hold until 2010

Council approves stiff resolution on Seeno project
 
Mayor Patterson's commentary on proposed Seeno Agreement
Community workshop to be held before reconsideration of Nov. 18 denial vote.
Council to discuss "reconsideration" of Seeno Denial vote!

Nov.18 City Council confirms Final DENIAL of  Seeno Project!
 
 Now we call on Seeno to come to the table and collaborate with the community on a visionary new plan that will work for ALL -- and protect our health as well.   

Read TIMELINE of this torturous process, 5/07-11/08
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View the slide shows from our Sept. 18 Public Forum 

Air Quality & Public Health

 Jenny Bard, Regional Director of Clean Air Programs
 for the American Lung Association of California
Slides describe serious public health effects of green house gases, ozone, and particle pollution.

Paul Roberts, PhD, Sonoma Technologies, Inc.
Slides document adverse health impact from "near roadway exposure to traffic-related air polution," based on a year-long study at three school sites.

Ira Tager, M.D., U.C.Berkeley, School of Public Health
Slides present serious respiratory health effects  from
traffic-related polution closely correlated with proximity and duration near roadway.

View VIDEO from Air Resources Board, "Health Effects of Smog"

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View the slide shows from our June 24 Public Forum 
Clean Energy & Global Warming:
Solutions for Sustainability

Rick Cole, City Manager of Ventura, CA
Slides showing the urgency of our energy and climate threats, and key measure that cities should take to respond to to the crisis and to the requirements of AB32. 

Read interview with Rick Cole:
AB 32 Compels Adoption of Smart Growth Principles

Carla Din, Western Regional Director, Apollo Alliance
Slides describing the burgeoning new cleantech industry that is rushing to meet the urgent need for alternative energy, and the promise this industry offers for local economies and local jobs. 

Ingrid Rosten, Director of CleanStart, business incubator.
Slides describing how cities can attract and nurture cleantech startup businesses emerging from University research programs, and what factors affect successful growth of a cleantech hub.

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A better vision
for the Seeno Project 

Imagine a high tech R&D campus set scenically in our northern rolling hills, providing jobs for Benicians, and focusing on the green energy/CleanTech industry as its theme and centerpiece...

LISTEN TO THIS 8-MIN. AUDIO REPORT from PBS News Hour discussing the highly promising economic potential of the burgeoning cleantech industry.  

Read Cleantech Reports & Articles

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Are you aware that the Benicia Business Park project, as currently proposed by Discovery Builders (a Seeno company), violates the essential vision of our General Plan?

The (revised 2008) Project would:
(see our slide show for more details)

  • Develop, over 20 years, 527.8 acres of undeveloped land across from the Industrial Park along East 2nd St., from Industrial Way to Lake Herman Road.
  • Level the hills, excavating 4 million cubic yards of soil.
  • Build 35 acres of commercial near I-680/Lake Herman Road intersection with uncertain tenancy (picture Gateway Plaza off I-80 and Auto Row on Columbus Parkway in Vallejo). This commercial zone would be Phase I, with expected completion taking 5-7 years.
  • Build 150 acres of light industrial, half of it designated for industrial warehouse, and half for "flex use".
  • Jobs provided will be primarily low skill/low wage; 75% are expected to be filled by out of town commuters.
  • Increase traffic and congestion: 51,000 daily auto trips.
  • Increase vehicle trips per day on E. 2nd Street by 200%, impacting Semple Elementary School and surrounding neighborhoods, threatening public health and safety.
  • The 2008 EIR Addendum confirms that this project will result in "significant unavoidable air pollution impacts" which will severely impact public health and inhibit our ability to reduce our carbon footprint in the coming years.
  • There was no Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared for the revised project (only a cursory EIR Addendum tacked on to the EIR of the previous project).
  • There is no Economic Impact Report for the revised project that will quantify whether the project will result in the fiscal benefits to the city that it claims.
  • There is no updated Urban Decay Analysis for the revised project to quantify whether the commercial uses of the project will result in urban decay pressures on our central downtown core business district.

This project is simply inappropriate for Benicia.
It doesn't fit our General Plan vision, or our employment demographics, or the air quality requirements and energy constraints that we face in the 21st Century. 

Although commercial and light industrial use is permitted for this property, the project, as currently designed, would radically and negatively change the character and livability of Benicia forever.

We need a new redesigned project that “fits” our General Plan vision.
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A Positive Alternative:

We have great concern about the proposed Seeno project, its size, conceptual design  and obvious impacts, including many not subject to adequate mitigation.  What is entailed in this project as designed will irrevocably alter the character and quality of life of Benicia without the  promise of a viable, prosperous long term future.   

We do not believe that Benicia should settle for a backward oriented, conventional project framed as something of an extension of our present industrial park.  The long term economic viability of that static twentieth century model would be in great doubt.

We believe that the site, the landscape, the quality of Benicia and its population make it an ideal setting for the types of creative, research oriented companies and enterprises that will be shaping the future of our country.   We believe that a development that uses the beauty of our landscape as an  asset is preferable to one that destroys it.

The country is beginning to awaken to concepts of sustainability, of green enterprises, of a future not dependent upon a petroleum economy and it is hungry for ideas.  Numerous cities and towns are beginning to respond with projects and ideas for that future.  We believe that Benicia has a unique opportunity to be  among them.

There has already been talk of searching for a research and development center, that itself becomes  a magnet for other creative and future oriented new enterprises.   We would like to work with other groups and  individuals in developing plans for such a  search and developing the criteria for the type of development in which all Benicians can have  confidence and pride. 

We believe that Benicians working together can frame such a future for  Benicia and we pledge to do  everything in our power to assist in achieving that end.