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Preliminary results from resident surveys

By California Forever · Tue Dec 19 2023

As part of the California Forever listening tour, we sent surveys to every resident in Solano County asking questions about what they would like to see built in a new community, what their concerns would be about the construction of a new community and many others. 

While we continue to receive back hundreds of surveys every week and are having countless conversations with Solano County residents every day at their doors, in businesses, at our town halls and anywhere else, we’re happy to release some initial results of what we’ve heard Solano County residents say. 

“Good-paying local jobs” and “Safe, walkable neighborhoods with homes, offices, shopping, and dinning” ranked neck to neck as key features that are important to more than 80% of online respondents.

Walkable communities

One Fairfield resident said they look forward to having, “A nice downtown area with shops and restaurants for locals.” They explained that they “usually drive to other cities like San Jose for this.”

A Vallejo resident similarly responded that they want the California Forever project to create “a space where the community can spend time in day and night together, like shopping and restaurants and night life. Most of the time you need to head across the bridge to find things to do.”

Good-paying local jobs

One Suisun City resident wrote they were excited for “Great jobs with decent pay to prevent residents from commuting to San Francisco and the East Bay.” A Fairfield resident similarly commented they hoped the California Forever project would create “good paying jobs to attract and retain local talents, cut commute/more time with family and less cars on the road/good for the environment.” 

There is also excitement about California Forever’s plans to enable local builders to construct many of the homes. One Rio Vista resident wrote: “Make sure the community doesn’t have all tract homes built by national builders but create the opportunity for small scale builders to develop lots with custom or spec houses. Make the American dream come true for young entrepreneurs.”

Nearly 73% of online respondents wish to see funding of trade schools to train residents in vocational skills. 

For example, one Suisun City resident said they hope to see “Local trade schools to help give an opportunity for people in the community to learn a skillful trade. While creating and building this new community they should highly consider hiring local members of this community while offering competitive wages.”

Middle class homes for Solano County residents

More than 76% of online respondents want to see the creation of “New homes that middle-class families can afford.”

One Fairfield resident echoed one of California Forever’s key principles, that people who work in the community, like teachers, should be able to afford to live in the community. They wrote they hope to see, “Affordable houses and apartments for the middle class, especially for teachers. They should be able to live near where they work.”

One Benicia resident said they hope to see, “More affordable options for buyers and renters so that people who have been in the area a long time can afford to stay.”

Build a place that’s great for kids

Nearly 76% of online respondents listed the creation of “family friendly parks and recreation areas” as being important to them.

A Fairfield resident wrote they hoped “To have safe places to take our kids and family. Somewhere to take our kids to have fun. Right now we’re barely got nothing local outside of thousands of restaurants. It would be nice not to have to drive far away to give our money to other companies just to have some fun. It would be nice to have many things to do for all age groups from babies to the elderly.”

These comments were echoed by another Suisun City resident, who wrote, “Growing up I wished to go to the park a lot, but there were no nearby ones that were in walking distance for a child. My dad was at work and my elderly grandparents were either not fit to drive, or had to stay home to watch the other kids. I feel as though making small parks near or within neighborhoods is a great addition to the community, and a reasonable thing to ask with small land plots that are not being used.”

Supporting Travis Air Force Base and improving infrastructure

More than 78% of online respondents would like to see “major infrastructure improvements made to Highway 12, the local water supply and other improvements used by both the county and Travis Air Force Base.”

A major recurring theme that Solano County residents wrote about is the need to improve highway infrastructure. One Vacaville resident referred to Highway 12 as “blood alley” writing, “Nothing built on the Route 12 corridor will flourish without massive upgrades to the road system and traffic flow, which will likely need to be routed around the city of Rio Vista…The corridor between Suisun and Lodi is something that I and many people I know already avoid due to the danger it presents, and I definitely would not want to make that my daily drive By purchasing home anywhere in that area. We call it ‘blood alley’.”

“Leave enough space so you don’t encroach on Travis airport base,” wrote a Benicia resident.

“Most community members are worried about Travis AFB - The community needs to know that Travis will be protected and I am hopeful that this will bring more opportunities to our service members and their families,” said one Fairfield resident. 

A Vacaville resident wrote that they hope to see California Forever create an “enduring buffer to protect against encroachment of Travis AFB and any unintended impact on the AF ability to conduct its current and any future mission capabilities.”

We recognize these concerns – that’s why our new community will be much farther away from Travis AFB than the current developments in Suisun City and Fairfield on Travis AFB’s West side.

Protecting the environment

About 60% of online respondents would like to see a greenbelt that separates the California Forever project from surrounding cities.

One Vacaville resident hopes to see “Continuous greenbelts with hiking and completely separated bicycle lanes, similar to Irvine, California. Lots of wide open spaces with public access. Neighborhoods that have car-free paths where you can walk and bike to parks, local shopping plazas, and schools.” This resident also said, “Ideally, you can walk out of your house and never have to cross a street designed for a car/be at risk of getting hit by a car.”

Almost 80% of online respondents recognize the importance of protecting the Suisun Marsh and keeping the Delta healthy.

When talking about what’s important to them one Vacaville resident said “Protecting the delta, ground water reserves, open space and marsh land. The most important aspect for me is to mitigate urban sprawl and save natural open space.”

One Vallejo resident wrote, their biggest fear in creating a new community would be “wrecking open space.” They wrote that they, “like the idea of planning for better infrastructure while being mindful of open space and impact on the Delta."

Nearly 73% of online respondents value the importance of creating clean energy to supply the new community and the broader region. One Vallejo resident wrote, “Sharing land with farmers and solar is a great idea as long as it safe and leaves the land open for the animals to use. It needs to make sense. It needs to work as a symbiotic relationship like when they bring all the goats to eat the weeds on the hillside.” 

A Dixon resident was excited by the notion of an entire community of energy efficient homes. This Dixon resident said they “recently built our custom energy efficient home and have not had a PG&E bill in over a year.”