Bay Area/ North SF Bay Area/ Real Estate & Development
AI Assisted Icon
Published on March 07, 2024
Silicon Valley Backed California Forever Unveils 'City of Yesterday' Vision for Solano County Amid Ballot Signature DriveSource: California Forever

To sway the minds of Solano County residents, California Forever, a group backed by some of Silicon Valley's richest, has released a new set of aerial renderings of their proposed 'City of Yesterday.' These images, part of a recent unveiling that includes a cable TV ad campaign, aim to shed light on the potentially utopian development planned for the eastern part of the county.

The renderings, described as "AI-generated-looking propaganda pieces," have been met with intrigue and skepticism. Picturing a "compact, walkable community" nestled amidst agriculture, the envisioned town seeks to establish itself as a model city for the future. According to a statement reviewed by SFist, California Forever suggests that the town will harmoniously coexist with its surroundings, complete with "open space, and solar and wind farms."

The strategically timed advertisements coincide with the group's push to gather 13,500 signatures to land their initiative on the November ballot. The plan faces the challenge of bypassing Solano County's Orderly Growth ordinance, designed to restrict substantial developments to certain urban boundaries. The ordinance, a relic of the 1980s, has long governed the region's expansionist aspirations.

Local officials, however, are not entirely sold on the notion. Congressman John Garamendi [D-Fairfield] has raised concerns over the lack of clear governance structures for the proposed 400,000-person community. "No city council, no local government [is planned] to be set up at all," Garamendi told the San Francisco Chronicle in a recent interview. Former county supervisor Duane Kromm also expressed distrust, labeling the affluent backers of the project as "rich autocrats."

In response to concerns about the new city's potential impact on local infrastructure, notably its proximity to Travis Air Force Base, California Forever's campaign manager, Matt Rodriguez, emphasized the importance of an informed electorate. "A knowledgeable voter is the best kind of voter, and we find that the more Solano County residents learn about our project, the more they like it,” Rodriguez said in a statement. The new images place the sprawling community 4.5 miles from the base—further away than neighboring Fairfield and Vacaville.