CONCORD — After four years and three dozen public hearings, the City Council on Tuesday approved the "clustered villages" plan for the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

Years remain before the Navy can sell the base and before anything will be built on the site.

But Tuesday's vote at a crowded meeting lays the final development blueprint to add 12,272 housing units, 28,800 residents, 26,530 jobs and a park bigger than Tilden Regional Park to the 5,028-acre site.

The plan would put higher-density, transit-oriented development near the North Concord BART station, along with three "villages" along the southwest border of the base in the area known as "bunker city."

It leaves about 65 percent of the site as open space or park land, including almost the entire area east of Mount Diablo Creek.

The plan passed on a 3-2 vote, with Vice Mayor Helen Allen and Councilman Mark Peterson dissenting.

In the coming months, the city must amend its general plan to include the provisions of the plan to give them the force of law.

In passing the plan, the three-vote majority added the option that an area zoned for low-density housing east of Mount Diablo Creek could instead be used as park land.

Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister said she did not want fewer low-density homes overall, but wanted to see if there was somewhere else in the plan to put them.


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Peterson supported the plan in general, but voted against it because he said he could not support any change to the plan at the final meeting.

He said he considers adding the option to use that space as park land as a change.

Vice Mayor Helen Allen voted against the plan because she believes it represents the wishes of the interest groups who packed city meetings, not the wishes of Concord residents. She said the plan should be put to a citywide vote.

Last year, Allen supported the plan in the final vote in January 2009, but she had previously opposed it. At the time, she said she was being "benevolent" by voting for the plan.

Twenty-nine people spoke to the council before the vote.

Many represented the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord, which includes environmental, labor, housing and neighborhood advocacy groups.

The coalition had submitted a list of additional mitigation measures they wanted the city to include, on such issues as affordable housing, environmental protections and rules to require hiring local workers for construction projects.

Council members said they supported many of the ideas presented and wanted more information on local-hire rules, but that they would consider them later with the general plan amendments. They said they believed they were approving a strong and legally adequate plan and environmental review that could be tweaked later.

It was disappointing that the city did not take the coalition's suggestions, said Samuel Tepperman-Gelfant, an attorney with Public Advocates, a nonprofit law firm that is a member of the coalition.

The environmental review they passed does not meet legal standards, he said.

Contact Paul Thissen at 925-943-8163.