Solano County responds to recent media reports on Flannery & Associates, LLC land acquisition and vision; committed to keeping public informed
September 6, 2023
SOLANO COUNTY – Recent news reports have shed new light on a corporation known as Flannery & Associates (Flannery) and their pattern of buying a significant amount of property in Southeastern Solano County. In total, this corporation has amassed over 50,000 acres of largely agriculturally zoned land.
As the government agency with land use authority over this region, Solano County has been tracking these purchases since 2018 and has been in regular communication with our State and Federal representatives concerning the extent of Flannery’s holdings. Communications with Flannery have been limited despite the County’s efforts to understand their intentions for the use of the land they had been acquiring. The County has been upfront with Flannery since 2018 that the properties they had acquired were limited to agricultural uses under the 2008 voter-approved General Plan and zoning regulations that currently exist.
Just last week, Flannery’s parent company, California Forever, launched a website that touched on their decision to remain quiet about their activities in Solano County and implied an eagerness to begin a conversation with the public regarding their future plans. According to their website, part of California Forever’s vision is “to build a new community that attracts new employers, creates good paying local jobs, builds homes in walkable neighborhoods, leads in environment stewardship, and fuels a growing tax base to serve the county at large.”
According to their website, this is the beginning of the conversation with Solano County residents. California Forever representatives have already begun the process of meeting with local, State and Federal elected representatives. They indicate a survey will be sent to every Solano County household.
To be clear, if the recent reports in the media are true, along with the assertions made on California Forever’s website, the concept of creating a new urban center in Solano County raises some complex issues. The voter-approved General Plan and Orderly Growth Ordinance allows only for agricultural uses on the majority of land California Forever has acquired. To change the Ag land designation and zoning of the properties to accommodate urban development, a measure would have to be placed on the ballot and approved by a majority of Solano County voters.
For decades, Solano County residents have consistently decided at the ballot box that preservation of agricultural land is priority. In addition, a cornerstone of County land use policy has centered around protection of Travis Air Force Base from any encroachment that may impact its viability. Beyond any effort to place a land use change on the ballot, there would remain substantial entitlement and permitting processes that involve County, State and Federal agencies.
It is important to note that Solano County has yet to fully confirm information presented in the media and through California Forever’s website, as company officials have not submitted any project information or proposals to county staff at this time.
We will continue to keep the community informed as new information becomes available. It is the County’s hope to have frank discussions with California Forever regarding Solano County’s long-standing land use policies and their expressed vision.