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The next five years in Lagoon Valley will be marked by construction as a planned development long in the making finally gets underway.
Triad Lagoon Valley, LLC — in conjunction with the city of Vacaville — held a launch ceremony Wednesday for its new Lagoon Valley community, a multi-phase development adjacent to the current Lagoon Valley Park consisting of 1,015 homes in multiple villages, a business center, fire station, 18-hole golf course and event center, a farm with gardens and open space.
As many speakers noted, the project has been in the works for decades. A portion of land near lower Lagoon Valley Park was zoned for development as far back as 1991, and Triad Communities of Seattle — which previously developed the Hiddenbrooke Parkway in Vallejo — came forth with a proposal in 2002. A reworked plan was approved by the Vacaville City Council in 2005.
The project was not without pushback. A group of residents who felt the land should be preserved formed a grassroots group called Friends of Lagoon Valley, which attempted to put the matter up for a vote and tried to stop the development in court numerous times, even petitioning the state Supreme Court. None of these efforts were successful, and the project remains contentious among residents today.
However, Wednesday’s event was one of jubilation as city officials and Triad developers gathered in a makeshift lot off Nelson Road to celebrate the start of the development and tout its features.
Curt Johansen, the project’s development director, thanked everyone who made the vision a reality after 20 years.
“We assembled, envisioned, designed, planned and ultimately are now constructing this great community,” he said.
Johansen summed it up by paraphrasing John F. Kennedy: “We did it not because it was easy but because it was hard.”
Mayor Ron Rowlett was also happy to see the project come into fruition, noting that it was planned back when he was in high school.
“It’s been a very long journey, but this project means a lot to Vacaville,” he said. “It’s gonna bring a lot of things to Vacaville.”
Among those that Rowlett highlighted were job growth, walkability, a new golf course, executive homes, affordable housing and age-qualified homes.
“All these things are things we so desperately need in Vacaville,” he said.
City Manager Aaron Busch said just about every city department has been involved in the project in some form over the last 20-plus years.
“We didn’t get here by happenstance,” he said. “It’s been a very collaborative effort where everybody was determined to get this done.”
Busch said the development would have fully on-site environmental impact mitigation measures such as downstream flood protection, bring funding for the police and fire departments as well as park maintenance and would have a new fire station to serve the western region of the city.
“It also brings with it improved emergency vehicular access to, not just here, but to Fairfield,” he said. “If you’ve been around this area for any length of time and our wildfires, that’s an amenity that doesn’t just benefit this community but benefits all of Vacaville.”