Billionaire-Backed Plan To Build Futuristic City in California Qualifies for Ballot

The proposal emphasizes preserving open spaces, developing walkable neighborhoods, and enhancing traffic flow on nearby roads.

Sitelab Urban Studio/CMG
California Forever Sitelab Urban Studio/CMG

Billionaire proponents of a new city at Solano County, northeast of San Francisco Bay, achieved a significant milestone Tuesday.

The Solano County Registrar of Voters certified that the group, known as California Forever, had collected enough signatures to present their proposal to local voters in November.

California Forever aims to develop a walkable, environmentally friendly community featuring tens of thousands of homes, a sports center, parks, bike lanes, open spaces, and a large solar farm. The plan is spearheaded by entrepreneur and former Goldman Sachs trader, Jan Sramek, and is supported by notable tech figures, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, and Stripe founders Patrick and John Collison.

Mr. Sramek emphasized the importance of this proposal for Solano County voters, framing it as a critical decision about California’s future. He noted that the state once excelled in building impressive infrastructure but now faces challenges such as a significant lack of affordable housing.

Yet the proposal has encountered opposition from local leaders and environmental groups concerned about the potential loss of natural habitat. A recent poll conducted by project opponents indicated that 70 percent of respondents were skeptical about the plan, Los Angeles Times reports.

In January, Mr. Sramek’s group disclosed plans for the new community, announcing the initiation of a signature-gathering campaign to present a measure to county voters aimed at amending zoning regulations. Between January and March, the group invested $2 million into these efforts.

Key promises include the creation of at least 15,000 jobs and an investment of $500 million to support down payments for housing, scholarships, and other resident benefits. The proposals also emphasize preserving open spaces, developing walkable neighborhoods, and enhancing traffic flow on nearby roads.

The New York Sun

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