A company backed by Silicon Valley tech titans unveiled details of an ambitious plan to turn thousands of acres of rural land between San Francisco and Sacramento into a walkable new city of at least 50,000 residents. The proposal has support from LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs.
The company, California Forever, purchased 60,000 acres of land in Solano County for roughly $800M over the last five years. It plans to convert 18,600 acres into a city between Travis Air Force Base (the largest employer in the county) and the small city of Rio Vista (see map). California Forever promises to offer $400M to help county residents buy an initial 20,000 homes in the new city and create 15,000 jobs that pay above-average wages. The proposal also includes creating a buffer from the Air Force base to alleviate concerns about interfering with military operations.
However, decades-old county protections prevent farmland from turning into urban space. To bypass those protections, organizers will need to collect at least 13,000 signatures for the issue to appear on the November ballot and win voter approval.