The Pittsburg City Council is considering approval Monday of a controversial 1,500-home project proposed for the city’s southern hills.
The Faria/Southwest Hills project, approved by the city’s Planning Commission last July, has long been hotly debated and is strongly opposed by environmental groups, citizen activists and a variety of adjacent government agencies, especially the city of Concord and the East Bay Regional Park District.
The project proposes 341 acres for single-family homes and 265 acres set aside as open space.
The subject of a 2005 city ballot measure that passed by less than 400 votes, the project is being proposed by the Seeno Construction group under its Altec Homes subsidiary. The company CEO Albert Seeno III spoke in support of the project at length in July.
Seeno Construction and Discovery Homes and their founder Albert Seeno Sr. have a long history of construction and political influence in Pittsburg. The company and some of its employees have also been the target of federal prosecutions in recent years in bank fraud and tax cases. Albert Seeno III entered a guilty plea to bank fraud on behalf of his company in December 2016 and agreed that it would pay a $11 million fine.
Neighboring Concord is also planning up to 13,000 homes at the site of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, which lies just south of the Faria project. The park district is also developing a new 2,700-acre regional park at the Concord site.
Juan Pablo Galvan of the group Save Mount Diablo has called the project’s approval “unfortunate but not surprising.”
He added Monday:
“We have about 500 pages of objections ready to submit showing the project’s complete disregard of environmental protections and citizens’ opposition.”
“(Save Mount Diablo) believes the project demonstrates a complete disregard for the environment and the wishes of the Pittsburg community.”
Monday’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. and people can follow it virtually on the city’s website.