CONCORD, CA (Jan. 9, 2023) — After nine hours of presentations, questions and almost 80 public comments, a worn out Concord Council had still not reached a decision on the term sheet presented by Concord First Partners, master developers of the Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse at Saturday’s special meeting.
Both the City Council Chamber and an overflow room were packed mostly with union supporters hoping to hear approval of the deal which the developer says promises 5,000 living-wage jobs for Concord and Contra Costa residents.
Opponents, however, say the term sheet as presented does not meet the 25% affordable housing requirement after adding more than 3000 units to the original 12, 275 homes planned. Jeb Elmore, spokesman for the developer consortium which includes Discovery Homes owned by Albert D. Seeno III, says the additional units are necessary to make the project financially feasible. CFP includes 879 accessory dwelling units in the additional 3,323 units and wants them to count towards meeting the 25% affordable housing requirement. ADUs are attached to the single family homes with no requirement that they go to low income households. Without counting the ADUs, the term sheet only provides for 19% affordable units.
Others opposed worry about interfamily lawsuits between Seeno III, his father Albert Seeno, Jr., and the family trust. East Bay Times opinion editor, Dan Borenstein, detailed the legal mess just two days before the meeting.
The council heard 79 public comments with 44 in support of the term sheet and 35 opposed.
Well before 9 a.m., both city hall parking lots filled up. Over 100 people, mostly men, gathered under a dozen pop-up canopies set up in front of the chamber entrance offered free coffee and union swag.
“It felt like running the gauntlet,” said one woman who plannned to attend but left, intimidated.
The council will reconvene the meeting Jan. 28 at 9 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 1950 Parkside, Concord. The council closed public comment at the Jan. 7 meeting. There will be follow up questions only from councilmembers before the vote.
For a look at the term sheet and for a video of the Jan. 7 City Council meeting, click here.