Construction Updates and Closures

City Heralds Start of Lagoon Valley Development Construction

Article originally published on The Vacaville Reporter. To view the full article click here.

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.”

Hope Kingma, a senior regulatory permitting specialist who has been working on the project for more than 10 years, went over the community’s conservation approach.

“The Lagoon Valley development project was carefully designed over many, many years to avoid and minimize impacts to biological resources to the greatest extent possible,” she said. “In the end, there’s a well-planned and thoughtful development that preserves a very significant portion of this overall project area.”

Kingma said 900 acres of undeveloped land would be dedicated as permanent open space, 122 acres would go toward 12 conservation easement areas and 13 acres of wetlands and drainage areas would be created, restored or enhanced. Additionally, more than 13,000 linear feet of channels would be restored or created and native trees and shrubs would be planted in the environmental easement areas.

“The Lower Lagoon Valley project is a legacy project that I’m very proud to be a part of,” she said.
Triad Lagoon Valley co-founder Fred Grimm outlined a hypothetical scenario of what life in the Lagoon Valley community would be like years after being developed, highlighting it as a family community, and then raised a glass to “all the incredible people that are gonna live here, work here, play here, be good citizens of Vacaville while here and their very normal but extraordinary lives they’re gonna live.”

Johansen said the approximately 2,400 acres of the Specific Plan would include the existing 400 acres of Lagoon Valley Park, 900 acres of open space and 200 acres of homes, which will include mixed-use, residential and age-qualifying homes in different villages. The business village would be approximately 50 acres, although which types of businesses would be included is not set in stone.

As far back as 15 years ago, Johansen said Triad staff imagined “a very robust office market” to go into the space. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more people working from home, he said Triad is still tying to determine if the office market is still viable.

“The technology has improved so significantly that the typical, straight office may not be as strong a market as we thought at one time it would be,” he said.

However, with the city’s push to attract more biotechnology businesses, Johansen said there is a potential market there.

“So much money is being poured into those jobs to create a very, very strong segment of the commercial market,” he said. “We are actively pursuing bio manufacturing technology companies that relate completely to Silicon Valley and what happens.”

Moreover, Johansen said the past year and a half has emphasized the importance of such a sector.
“We need to have science be at the forefront of keeping our lives so that we can continue to function,” he said. “Vacaville is at the forefront of that, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that become a part of our business village.”

Johansen said the project would be developed over five phases and anticipates the overall development being completed in five to six years.

“That may sound like a long time for a project that doesn’t have that many homes in it, but we also don’t want to go too fast with the building process,” he said. “The amenities in the project are so extensive that we want to make sure the amenities are timed nicely when we have enough residents to actually enjoy them.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join the Lagoon Valley Interest List to Receive the Latest Information.