Heated town hall in Vallejo over California Forever's proposed new city in Solano Co.

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Heated town hall in Vallejo over proposed new city in Solano Co.
The CEO of California Forever, the company behind the proposal to build a new city in Solano County, took questions at a town hall in Vallejo.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- There were heated moments during a town hall in Vallejo on Wednesday. The CEO of California Forever, the company behind the proposal to build a new city in Solano County, took questions from the audience.

The project has drawn heavy skepticism from many in Solano County, as well as at the state and federal levels.

It first started several years ago after Silicon Valley billionaires secretly bought $800 million of land to develop near Travis Air Force Base.

VIDEO: Sierra Club calls California Forever's plan for new Solano Co. city a 'hostile takeover'

A California chapter of the Sierra Club publicly opposed California Forever's plan to build a new city in Solano County.

The company's CEO, Jan Sramek, says the county stands to benefit from the project.

"This is by far the best site that we have in Solano County, in the Bay Area, and probably the entire state for a project that can really make a difference," Sramek said.

During a presentation, Sramek talked about the long-term economic boost it could provide.

He mentioned everything from the creation of white-collar jobs to new infrastructure and a safe city to raise a family.

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The investment firm that's quietly acquired more than 55,000 acres of Solano County farmland is revealing new details about its vision for a new city.

It was a tough sell to many in the audience.

"I may be more skeptical now than I was walking into it. With the job guarantees, the lack of talk about affordable housing," said Phillip Balbuena.

Despite the heavy pushback that the project received during Wednesday's town hall, the developers say they believe the majority of Solano County is actually behind them.

"The people who are creating this panic about it are the same people who on another project would be talking about some tree, on another project they'd talk about noise, on another project they're talking about views. Some people just hate development," Sramek said.

MORE: Firm that purchased nearly $1B of land near Travis AFB admits waiting 5 years to inform military

The Vallejo town hall was the first of eight that California Forever plans on hosting around Solano County in the coming weeks.

Many locals though say if the company really wants to help, it would be better off investing in communities that are already there.

"Work with what you have and make it better. But the idea of saying, I'm going to take my little marbles and play my game over here is unfair," said Paula Conley.

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