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The Solano Breeze Newsletter

A publication of the Solano Group, the Solano Breeze newsletter is available here, or in print format as part of the Redwood Chapter's "Redwood Needles" newspaper. 

Sierra Club members in the Redwood Chapter region automatically receive  "Redwood Needles" by mail. Join the Sierra Club and stay informed about local & regional Sierra Club issues & events.


Rockville Trails update:

A revised Draft Environmental Impact Report was recently released for public review for the proposed Rockville Trails project. The project will add 370 estate homes, even though doing so could endanger water availability for existing residents! Other problems with the project include traffic problems, known earthquake faults on the property, and setting a precedent for allowing large growth tracts on rural land. Local activists will continue to fight the project. The comment period ended August 7. For more information, contact Nicole Byrd, Greenbelt Alliance, (707) 427-2308

The Solano County Board of Supervisors, at the October 14 public hearing, approved the Rockville Trails Estates housing project by a 3-2 vote. In casting their votes, three members of the Board chose to ignore a deeply flawed Environmental Impact Report, gross inconsistencies with the county's General Plan & Orderly Growth Initiative, and overwhelming community opposition.

Rockville Trails Estates is a 370 house subdivision located on 1,560 acres of pristine hillsides between Green Valley and Suisun Valley. The main entrance to the project is on Rockville Road, across from the Rockville Hills Park access. Since the project is well beyond the reach of municipal services, it requires an on-site package sewer treatment plant, as well as a high producing well, to serve the hundreds of new houses. This is in direct contradiction with the Solano County General Plan's cornerstone principle, "Direct new urban development and growth toward municipal areas". Almost every aspect of this project directly contradicts the basic tenets of sustainable development.

The Rockville Trails site is rich in biological resources, including sensitive species and habitats. The potentially significant impacts generated by the project on these resources has been inadequately analyzed or mitigated. The effect of the project's high producing well pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water daily from the local aquifer could be devastating to the sensitive oak woodlands, as could the drip irrigation system proposed for dispersal of the treated wastewater. There are many other under analyzed impacts associated with project, which all stem from the fact that a residential subdivision of this size and scope is an entirely inappropriate use of the site.

Local residents had sincerely hoped that government officials would put the best interests of the public ahead of the financial goals of the developer. Unfortunately, that hope was unfounded. The countless negative impacts of this project on the environment and the quality of life of neighboring residents are so significant that they cannot by accepted by the community. Consequently, the decision has been made to seek relief through litigation. 

The Green Valley Landowners Association, along with the Sierra Club, is preparing to bring suit against the Board of Supervisors for violations of the California Environmental Quality Act and numerous zoning and land use laws. 

Contributions are needed to help fund this important litigation. Tax deductible donations can be made through the Sierra Club Foundation (please be sure to designate the Rockville Trails Estates project.


Volunteer Opportunities with the Solano Group:

  • E-mail list administrator: Do you have a little time to maintain our volunteer email lists? We send out alerts, hikes, meetings and VALCORE workday emails. More information: JustAskJane at 644-9183, jabogner@juno.com
  • VALCORE Community Recycling Board Representative: Meetings are held on the 4th Monday of each month in Vallejo. Contact JustAskJane at 644-9183 or email jabogner@juno.com

GOT YOUR NEW PHONE BOOK? Recycle your old one! Check out the Recycle Guide in the yellow pages. Updates and new recycling information are available at http://www.recycle-guide.com. Did you know Sharps are banned from landfills? See the news feature on this web site for details


Regional Wal-Mart Issues

Vallejo: Wal-Mart has pulled its application for a 393,000 sq. ft. Wal-Mart Super-Center on the edge of the White Slough wetland. The Solano Group was opposed to this project because the proposed location is part of the Napa River marsh system. Wal-Mart chose to withdraw before the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) was completed, in part due to the opposition brought by Vallejoans for Responsible Growth (VFRG) and the Solano Group. However, Wal-Mart still owns the site which can hamper other developments, including the revitalization of Vallejo's nearby historic downtown, due to the uncertainty of future uses for Wal-Mart's site. Wal-Mart does not seem to have any clear plans for this property and is allowing it to become blighted. 

Please call or email the Vallejo City Council at (707) 648-4575; juliae@ci.vallejo.ca.us and ask them to take action against Wal-Mart's neglect of this important property and encourage them to plan for a much lower impact mixed use development that is allowed for in the "White Slough" development plan. 

To learn more about the role the White Slough wetlands plays in keeping Vallejo from flooding during periods of heavy rain, click here.

Suisun: Stemming from a decision by the Suisun City Council to approve a Wal-Mart Super Center in Suisun City, a recall was mounted against Mayor Pete Sanchez, Councilwoman Jane Day and Councilman Mike Hudson. According to the Solano County registrar of voters, the petitions turned over by the group, Save Our Suisun (SOS), lacked sufficient valid signatures and fell short of the 2,013 needed signatures of registered voters. During the signature collection process, SOS was victorious in their challenge to be allowed to collect signatures at the Heritage Shopping Center in Suisun, Their argument--which Judge Paul Beeman agreed with--is that the shopping center is a quasi-public forum for the expression of free speech and petitioners should be allowed to collect signatures there. Mark Merin, attorney for SOS, successfully argued that because Suisun City has no central downtown, the mall has become the new public market place. saveoursuisun.com

For more information on the fight against Wal-Mart Superstores in our region, please visit California for Healthy Communities, or email them at info@calhcn.org 

---- Katy Meisner


VALCORE Community Recycling: 

Donate your CRV cans/bottles to the Sierra Club during CRV Buy Back hours. Please also bring CRV #1 PET and glass bottles. This is how the Solano Group raises money. Thanks to all who donate their CRV to Solano Group at VALCORE’s Buy Back operation: So don’t forget to come by at least once each year. VALCORE also accepts household batteries, cell phone, ink jet cartridges, lap tops and PDAs for recycling. Drop them off the next time you are in town.

  • http://www.VALCORErecycling.org

  • The next VALCORE work day is Jan. 24, 2009 

  • Location: 38 Sheridan St., Vallejo

  • Open Monday through Saturday

  • Donations accepted 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; CRV Buy Backs from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  

  • Closed for Lunch 1 p.m. - 2. p.m.

  • For VALCORE Recycling WORKDAY 2009 schedule: Call 644-9183, or email jabogner@juno.com.

  • We meet at VALCORE and work from 9 am to Noon. 

  • $50 is offered to volunteer supervisors for their favorite classroom or environmental project. Call 644-9183 or email jabogner@juno.com.

  • Thanks to the VALCORE Recycling Volunteers on Sept 27, Kenn Browne, Sam McGee and Al Molnar. And a big round of applause to all who worked at Coastal Cleanup spots around the county.

  • More information: JustAskJane at 644-9183, jabogner@juno.com


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