Former Concord Naval Base Clears Another Hurdle
The Navy issued a final record of decision and environmental impact study, or EIS, for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station on Sept. 30, 2017, clearing a major hurdle in the ultimate transfer of the large, centrally located property into the hands of Concord for its eventual transformation into homes, businesses and parks. Concord Community Reuse Project Director Guy Bjerke told BIA|Bay Area members the news during a conference call in early October. The second in a series of quarterly updates held for BIA members only, the next call will be held later this year. In other base reuse-related news:
• The Navy published on Aug. 30, 2017, what is called a Finding of Suitability to Transfer or FOST1, a document that explains everything that has been done to clean up the first 1,200 acres that will be transferred to Concord. These acres are bounded primarily by Willow Pass Road, Highway 4 and the North Concord BART station. The Navy will continue to remediate the acres commonly referred to as Bunker City and the airfield in preparation for the next property transfer.
• The Navy and Concord continue to negotiate the final sale price for the 5,028-acre property. In addition, the Navy wants to turn over day-to-day management of the former base — including the properties that will remain in federal ownership — to the local agencies at first transfer. Bjerke is hopeful that the parties will reach agreement by late 2018 or early 2019.
• To ensure consistency, Concord has agreed to fold into the former Concord Naval Base Specific Plan BART’s 18 acres adjacent to the property along with another proximate 58 acres that the Coast Guard wants to sell to the city.
• The Concord City Council will hold a study session on Oct. 11, 2017, to start the process of selecting a preferred project for the specific plan. As soon as an option is chosen, the balance of the analysis work on including the numerous traffic, CEQA and other studies can be completed. Bjerke hopes the specific plan and the environmental impact report will be ready for adoption in 12 to 18 months, around the same time as it is hoped the City and Navy will have finalized a sales and property management agreement.
• If all governmental entitlement approvals proceed as scheduled, work on horizontal infrastructure such as grading, water and sewer installation could start in 2019. The first homes, schools, shops and parks could start going up as early as 2023 or 2024. The reuse project area plan calls for building up to 12,200 housing units and 6.1 million square feet of commercial space on 2,300 acres. Lennar was selected as the master developer for the first 500 acres and is doing the specific plan for the full project area. Additionally, the East Bay Regional Park District will receive 2,600 acres for the future Concord Hills Regional Park.
BIA members interested in following the former naval base planning progress will find information about meeting dates and times along with documents and other reports at www.concordreuseproject.org. The 13-member Community Advisory Committee meets once a month and its meetings frequently feature detailed presentations about various components of the project. On Oct. 17, 2017, the CAC will discuss the preferred project option.