BRENTWOOD -- City leaders and residents plotted Brentwood's economic development and fiscal sustainability goals, including how to provide new business incentives and capitalize on the community's existing resources, at a workshop this week.
Through the drafting of an update to Brentwood's general plan, civic leaders and community members on the committee discussed how the city can continue to build upon its recent economic development victories and draw new and unique business ventures. The general plan is the guiding document for all of the city's land uses, safety guidelines, noise regulations, infrastructure plans, fiscal sustainability, design, community health and wellness, and economic development.
"We need to find our place, taking advantage of our well-educated work force that commutes out of here daily," said Bill Hill, a former member of the City Council who sits on the Brentwood General Plan Working Group.
Former councilman Bob Brockman agreed and called for a general plan policy that encourages Brentwood's pool of talent to establish locally based businesses in various industries. Group members cited the success of Brentwood companies like Halt Medical, which operates a pilot plant in the city and became the first company worldwide to obtain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for surgically treating uterine fibroids.
Much of Brentwood's economic success is centered on capitalizing on shoppers in surrounding East County communities who frequent the city's high-end retail stores, according to Hill. He added that future efforts should focus on putting infrastructure in place to encourage additional development.
"The city needs to be more assertive about land-use annexations around key areas of development," Hill noted.
Those key areas of development should be near the Highway 4 bypass corridor in the next 10 to 15 years with retail and medical additions, according to Brentwood Vice Mayor Joel Bryant. Other potential employment hubs mentioned were along Sand Creek Road and Sellers Avenue.
"We have become a retail hub. If we keep expanding, those are things that will provide us with the retail sales we need," Brentwood Planning Commissioner John Fink said about Brentwood's high-end retailers.
Other suggestions for building the local economy included supporting area farmers or agritourism and capitalizing on Brentwood's reputation as a desirable, family-oriented community.
"We have to get some job-generating businesses, but we can't outgrow ourselves," said Brentwood resident Kathy Griffin, who also sits on the committee.
Proposed changes from the last general plan include the city taking on the lead role in economic development activities, as opposed to the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce.
"It is time for the city to own that responsibility," Hill said.
Contact Paula King at 925-779-7174.
For more details on the Brentwood General Plan process, visit http://brentwood.generalplan.org.