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What is California Forever?

“California Forever” is a massive sprawl development project proposed for Eastern Solano County by a group of billionaire Silicon Valley investors called “Flannery Associates.” Since 2017, the group has acquired 54,000 acres of agricultural land between Fairfield, Rio Vista, and beyond—an area the size of Oakland—for over $800 million. Deploying secretive tactics, Flannery did not reveal their identity and misled sellers about their intentions. Later, they launched a half a billion dollar litigation process against local farmers and ranchers.

In their preliminary plans, Flannery Associates proclaims to want to build an “utopian California community” made up of one or more cities and thousands of new homes, offering its residents dense urban living, walkable communities, access to public transit, open spaces, and clean energy. Sounds great, right?

However, they plan to build this “community for the future” inspired by failed models of the past, and disconnected from the aspirations of the existing communities, both in agricultural lands and urbanized cities. 

The development of a remote, isolated community by paving over ranchlands and prime habitat comes with a suite of concerns, from social justice and equity to endangered species and water security. Most of the area proposed for development is zoned for agricultural use. Born out of a countywide effort to protect Solano’s open spaces and agricultural industry, voters passed the first Orderly Growth Initiative in 1984, which focuses growth within existing cities and requires a vote of the people to develop agricultural land. Since then, orderly growth principles are now firmly embedded in the County’s General Plan (2008) and remain a core value of Solano residents.

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