Concord can lead wayBy Editorial
The city of Concord has a unique opportunity to demonstrate to the world that we Californians and Contra Costans are serious about our environment.
As reporter Erin Sherbert detailed in the Times on Monday, many cities in Contra Costa County are moving toward policies that insist on developers building environmentally friendly projects in their environs, while other cities are more hesitant to do so for fear of driving up housing prices.
County officials admit that while Contra Costa is making progress in this area, it lags behind other counties in the incorporation of green building features in structures.
But Concord is the city in the best position to change all of that. As we have detailed many times, the city will be taking over the closed portion of the Concord Naval Weapons Station at some point in the future.
The parcel will contain more than 5,100 acres of land that could be used for all sorts of purposes. The community is currently engaged in a discussion as to exactly how that land should be used.
There is little doubt that much of that land will be left as open space, which in itself is an environmentally friendly thing to do. But there is also little doubt that some of the land will be developed in some way.
There is likely to be a housing component as well as commercial and public buildings.
That is where Concord's opportunity comes in. The city could make a major statement from the beginning by ensuring that not only will a significant portion be used as open space, but also that the construction that occurs on the site will be environmentally friendly.
All structures should feature as many environmentally friendly components as is practical.
The most likely and sensible portion of the land to be developed is the area near the Concord BART station. That would encourage the use of BART rather than automobiles.
We bring all of this up now because we think it is a good place to start the discussions. We hope to attract many knowledgeable and intelligent people to the community dialogue.
We want Concord to show the rest of the country how to do this right. We know that it can.
Copyright ©2006 Contra Costa Times. Published 09/20/2006.