Guest column: Neighbors want park, not houses, at Pine Meadow Golf Course site


“We want a Park, not 99 houses!!!!!!!!!!!” is what we heard loud and clear as we walked several blocks all around the neighborhood of the Pine Meadow Golf Course.

Over 350 homes were surveyed. Of the 280 voting-age residents who responded, 90.2 percent said they preferred a city-owned park bought from the owners for open space/park/recreation uses versus a 99-house development.

Of those who preferred the park, 68 percent said they would be willing to see some increase in their property taxes to help pay for it. Only 5 percent said they preferred the housing, and only 12 percent said they would not help pay the costs.

This survey was done by Friends of Pine Meadow, and the results were given to all the council members.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, the Pine Meadow development will go before City Council to consider a General Plan amendment to redesignate Pine Meadow from Open Space Permanent Recreation to Residential so DeNova Homes can build 99 houses there.

The neighbors overwhelmingly support maintaining this site as Permanent Open Space due to the traffic concerns, impacted schools, and destruction of this beautiful land, animals and trees that are protected by our Tree Ordinance that would occur if this DeNova development is approved by the City Council.

Martinez is a designated as a Tree City. Decimating over 100 mature trees, some oaks, should not be an easy thing to do.

There are several competing interests at play in this project: The current property owners of the golf course have worked diligently to try to find a community-supported outcome for this property that would leave a legacy to their father and family who have owned the property since the 1800s; DeNova Development is in the business of building houses; the city officials in Martinez have an obligation to do what is in the best interest of the community and to listen to the concerns of residents; and Friends of Pine Meadow are working to find a way to preserve land that is already designated as Permanent Open Space/Recreation in the city”s existing General Plan.

We strongly urge the City Council to not approve the General Plan amendment to change the Pine Meadow Golf Course from Permanent Open Space/Recreation to Residential. The City Council stood firm and said no to Seeno in the early ”70s because this property is Permanent Open Space/Recreation, so should our current City Council.

According to FPPC under the Material Financial Effect on Real Property Standard and the City Council Policies and Procedures listed on page 8, Section 8 under Conflict of Interest detail criteria for conflict of interest in important decisions like this. We believe two of our City Council members fall under this conflict of interest category and should recuse themselves.

Martinez City Council uphold our General Plan/Hidden Lakes Specific Plan and keep this property Permanent Open Space/Recreation. Work with the citizens of Martinez and help find a solution to purchase this property from the owners and maintain it as a community asset.

The citizens of Martinez don”t want to see our open space lost. It is a primary reason that people live in Martinez. Don”t jeopardize our future just to put in more houses.

Community: Voice your concerns at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at City Hall. Write a letter to your council members. Their addresses are on our website. “We want a park, NOT 99 houses!” Remember, once it”s gone, it”s gone!

Tim Platt and Friends of Pine Meadow

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