Debunking Myths about the New Community

Is the New Community encroaching on Travis Air Force Base? Actually, Travis AFB released a statement on February 15th that, "California Forever made significant changes to its plans in order to protect Travis’ global mission and local flight operations. With this revised proposal, Travis AFB will be able to continue flying its full mission." Myth: debunked. 

Read more about debunked myths and the New Community below. 

Myth #1: California Forever is led by foreign investors including from China.

California Forever is an American company through and through. 97% of our capital comes from well known American investors (balance is from British/Irish investors). All members of our senior management team are U.S. citizens. 

Myth #2: The new community will be bad for Travis Air Force Base.

In reality, the project makes Travis stronger, with a new much larger security zone, homes that airmen can afford and new job opportunities for military spouses. We have worked hard to adjust the project to support Travis’ vital mission, as Travis shared in a statement published on their website: “California Forever made significant changes to its plans in order to protect Travis’ global mission and local flight operations. With this revised proposal, Travis AFB will be able to continue flying its full mission. […] Travis AFB recognizes California Forever’s efforts to minimize impacts to operations and mission capabilities, as well as their project’s potential to improve the wellbeing of our Airmen and families into the future.”

Myth #3: The initiative violates the Orderly Growth Measure.

The Orderly Growth Measure does not prohibit development in this area – it simply requires that projects in unincorporated Solano County are first approved by the voters. That’s exactly what the East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative is! This measure lives up to both the letter and spirit of the law of the Orderly Growth Measure, by bringing this decision to the voters of Solano County. 

Myth #4: The Voter Guarantees are not binding.

This is simply untrue. The guarantees are binding, and must be contained in the Development Agreement, a legal contract between Solano County government and California Forever. Any violation in that agreement can be prosecuted by Solano County under California law, and Solano County can freeze all buildings permits if California Forever isn’t meeting the Voter Guarantees. For the full legal answer, see this FAQ on our website. 

Myth #5: California Forever could flip the land to another developer, who could build whatever they want, or ignore the 10 Voter Guarantees.

We are here to build an amazing community over the next half a century. We have no plans to sell to another developer and no other developer will support the patient, long term commitment to Solano County that our investors share. The initiative’s design standards (on what can be built) and the 10 Voter Guarantees are both binding on the land, regardless of who owns it. They are locked in. 

Myth #6: The project would create problems for tax revenues of Solano County and its existing cities.

This project would bring billions of dollars of new investments to Solano County, both in the new community and in existing cities. These investments would increase tax revenues for both Solano County and for existing cities, and help pay for law enforcement, schools, and other public services across Solano County. 

Myth #7: The new community would take water away from existing Solano cities.

The Water Guarantee in the initiative requires that before we build a single home, we have to prove that we secured our own water supply for every home and business for many decades, including drought periods. This is done through a heavily regulated state process. 

Myth #8: There is no plan for traffic impacts to highways in Solano County.

This project is by far the best chance to ever improve Highway 12 and Highway 113, two of the most dangerous and congested roads in the county, which existing solutions have failed to address for the last 30 years. During the last twenty years, hundreds of people have died on these highways. 

It’s time to do something about it. California Forever has committed to provide right of way for upgrades, and more than its proportional share of funding. This can be combined with state and federal funding to get the highways fixed. 

Myth #9: California Forever said that they would pay more than proportional share of the cost for improving Highways 12 and 113. That means the rest would be paid by Solano County voters.

New infrastructure such as roads will be funded by a combination of contributions by the project, state grants, and federal grants.

Any funding for highways over the project’s contribution will come from state and federal grants, not from Solano taxpayers. The Solano Taxpayer Guarantee makes sure of this – it’s a legally binding requirement that California Forever not impose any added costs on taxpayers of Solano County. 

Myth #10: This new community will take investments away from downtowns of existing cities.

California Forever is investing $200 million in revitalizing existing downtowns in Solano County, along with its long term investment in the new community. With meaningful investments in Solano downtowns and the New Community, California Forever is following a balanced approach to build a new economic engine for all of Solano County. 

Myth #11: The new community would be gated and only people who live in it could access it.

The new community will be just like every other city in Solano County. Open, and welcome to everyone. 

Myth #12: Residents of the new community won’t be able to own or drive cars.

Homes have garages at the back of them and people who want to drive cars can. All we are trying to do is to provide alternative options for trips when walking, biking, or taking transit may be easier or more fun. 

Myth #13: Residents won’t be able to buy homes, or the homes will be for sale on leased land only.

The new community will offer a good mix of homes for sale and homes for rent. The homes for sale in the new community will be just like other homes sold in Solano County. They'll be sold outright, not on leases. Some of the homes will be part of an homeowners' association (HOA), and some will not, so residents will be able to choose how they want their neighborhoods to be cared for. 

Myth #14: California Forever is a sprawl development.

Urban sprawl is defined as development that is low density, with segregated land uses, and not planned.

California Forever is the opposite – we’re building a thoughtfully planned, compact, mixed use, compact community. 

The average densities are higher than the rest of the Bay Area, and rates of driving are lower than the rest of the Bay Area. The plan is the opposite of sprawl. 

Myth #15: The new community is a remote location.

The new community is half-way between two existing cities of Fairfield and Rio Vista, a few miles away from each. 

Myth #16: The new community would be built on productive farmland.

The project is located entirely on non-prime farmland. Due to low quality soils, the entire area of 17,500 acres produces only $6 million in agricultural production - less than 2% of Solano’s total $380 million of agricultural production. In contrast, our Solano Jobs Guarantee would create 15,000 good jobs paying at least $88,000/year each, or a total annual payroll of over $1.3 billion – 217x (two hundred and seventeen times) more than $6 million created on the land today. 

Myth #17: The new community would be built on sensitive ecological habitat.

The new community is proposed largely on lands that the draft Solano County Habitat Conservation Plan declared as having zero or limited conservation value. See our FAQs for detailed answer and the official map. 

Myth #18: There are no standards or oversight for what gets built.

The voter initiative includes many design standards, including zoning, densities, setbacks, use types, walkability standards, etc. In addition, it requires completion of a full Environmental Impact Report and Development Agreement, each of which would include additional detailed requirements. Everything about this process follows California planning law. 

Myth #19: There is no plan for government and oversight of the project after it’s approved.

The new community would remain an unincorporated community of Solano County, like many others in California (e.g., Arden Arcade, Fair Oaks, or Valencia). The Board of Supervisors would retain power to govern the new community. 

Myth #20: California Forever sued small farmers who did not want to sell.

California Forever purchased properties from approximately 500 landowners, and made them multimillionaires. 

In a small number of cases involving four landowner groups, California Forever alleged that groups of wealthy landowners worth tens or hundreds of million of dollars got together to form a price-fixing ring, and filed an antitrust complaint against them. The case is ongoing, but in a recent ruling in this case, the federal judge wrote that "these statements do reveal there was some sort of agreement among defendants to fix the price of land in Solano County.”

Despite the defendants’ wrongdoing, California Forever has already settled with majority of the defendants, and remains open to doing so with the remaining defendants.