Garaventa Hill Midyear Mystery

Statement to Livermore City Council

Prepared for the June 26, 2023 Open Forum

CBG values our historical partnership with the City of Livermore as we have worked together on environmental protection.  We began our cooperative efforts more than 20 years ago, when the City joined our successful lawsuit against a damaging development that ultimately created a multimillion dollar fund to acquire open space. 

The City and CBG continue to enjoy a shared goal and partnership to protect open space and the environment. Today, Garaventa Hill is first on our list to protect, and that is why the following subject is troubling.

The General Council of the FPPC Mr. Bainbridge sent a letter on June 16th to your City Attorney.  He states, “Lafferty is currently preparing a revised EIR for the Project…” and “The revised EIR and renewed application will be submitted to the Planning Commission”.  He also mentions Lafferty Communities as the owner of the Hill, which we know to be false. This raises a number of questions that beg clarity.

CBG has made public records requests so that we may review the root sources of this official communication and hopefully provide answers as to the genesis of these surprising statements. On numerous occasions we have already made it clear to your staff that we want to be informed about ANY development efforts that may jeopardize Garaventa Hill. Whatever the city knows, we need to know. 

Total transparency is essential for us to best assist the City to fulfill our shared commitment to preserving the Hill.  As a non-profit organization, we have tools and techniques for environmental protection that the City does not have.  Likewise, the City has resources that are not available to CBG. Together, we can continue to be responsive and work in tandem for the benefit of all Livermore residents.

CBG has been educating, protecting and defending for four decades. Here’s something we’ve learned. It is not unusual that after an agency’s staff members become involved in a process (such as the 10 years of Garaventa), it takes time for them to relearn new habits when conditions change.  Garaventa Hill is no longer developable, and that truth is a newer concept for City staff. It is entirely appropriate for your City Manager to give her staff regular reminders of that change, and preempt unintentional negative results. Otherwise, she risks having people on the inside working against Council’s wishes.

We thank you in advance, if there is anything you can do to expedite the records request we made through the portal.  We’ll update you on our findings once we know more.