Background History


Background on Pittsburg's hillside development and Measure P

In order to talk about hillside development, we first have to back up and talk about Measure P that passed in 2005. Measure P expanded Pittsburg's Urban Limit Line (ULL) to include the Faria (607 acres), Montreux (161 acres), and the Thomas properties. These three properties are expected to hold over 1,600 houses in Pittsburg's hills.

An ULL is a boundary that limits development. Nothing can be built outside the ULL. The only way to build is if it is inside the City Limit AND inside the ULL.

In the case of Pittsburg, it's more confusing because the city has expansive ULL that goes beyond the current city limits. The area under discussion (the Faria, Thomas and Montreux properties) is currently within the ULL, outside the city's sphere of influence (SOI), and outside the city's limits. In January 2007 the Pittsburg City Council expanded the SOI in their general plan to meet the ULL, which begins the process of bringing the hillsides into the city. The next step is for the city to apply to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to bring this area into the city limits. It is projected that the hills will be in the city by January 2008.

Click here for more information on Measure P.

The Hillside Development Ordinance

The city is going through two steps to develop the hills:

  • First, the city needs to officially bring the hillside areas (Faria, Montreux, and Thomas properties) into the city limits by applying to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). LAFCO is projected to approve the city's request to bring the hillsides into the city by January 2008.
  • Secondly, the City is creating a hillside development ordinance that would govern new hillside development once the area is official in the city limits.

Right now is our chance to create a hillside protection ordinance that actually protects the hills. What the hillside ordinance should do, and what the City is claiming that it will do is to protect the hills. Unfortunately, the City's current hillside ordinance serves more as an instruction manual to develop the hills instead of protecting them.

Now is our chance to protect the hills by advocating for stronger language instead of the current weak version.

To learn about the current weaknesses in the Hillside Development Ordinance, go to our "What is Wrong" page.

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