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Our partnership with Travis Air Force Base

By California Forever · Wed Feb 07 2024

California Forever is committed to protecting and supporting Travis Air Force Base. That’s why we carefully chose a location for the new community that fully complies with all regulations that address the impact of air flight operations on land use around the base: namely, the Air Installation Compatible Use Study (AICUZ), published by Travis AFB, and the Land Use Compatibility Plan (LUCP), published by Solano County, as illustrated on the maps below.

Over the last six months, we have supplemented the careful review of these planning documents with conversations with the Department of Defense, the United States Air Force, members of Congress and their staff, Solano County officials and staff, Travis AFB personnel, members of the Travis Community Consortium, and other local stakeholders to inform the development of our East Solano Homes, Jobs and Clean Energy Initiative, including the proposed location of the new community. 

Last week, we learned that even though we have fully complied with the AICUZ and LUCP, some concerns still exist regarding impact of the new community on flight operations in the area. We have asked for additional clarification about these concerns. We prioritize our supportive and collaborative relationship with Travis AFB, and we will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to address and resolve this matter.

We designed our project to protect our national security, while also bringing the economic benefits that Solano County residents have asked us to deliver during our engagement process over the last six months. These include tens of thousands of new middle-class homes in safe, walkable neighborhoods, at least 15,000 good paying local jobs that pay at least 125% of the Solano County average wage, up to two gigawatts of new clean power available for the region, $500 million in community benefits including down payment assistance and scholarships, $200 million in investments to revitalize and improve downtowns of all cities in Solano County, and a binding guarantee that these $500 million and $200 million commitments will scale up further if the new community grows beyond 50,000 residents. 

We also drafted our initiative to help achieve many goals that strengthen Travis AFB, including creating at least 15,000 good paying jobs near the base to help provide spousal employment, building more affordable and higher quality homes and neighborhoods for Travis families, specifying that our $500 million community benefits program including down payment assistance and scholarships will be accessible to all Travis personnel and their children, and providing that the two gigawatts of clean energy will be available to Travis AFB to help meet the Department of Defense’s 100% renewable energy goals.

We look forward to working with Travis AFB and all stakeholders to ensure we achieve all of these goals. 

The following maps illustrate the compliance of the New Community with the Air Installation Compatible Use Study (AICUZ), published by Travis AFB, and the Land Use Compatibility Plan (LUCP), published by Solano County.

Accident Potential Zones

The New Community is located entirely outside of Accident Potential Zones, as identified by this 2023 Travis AFB AICUZ map, to which we added the location of the New Community in blue.

Noise

The New Community is located entirely outside of 60 dB CNEL noise contours as identified by the 2009 Travis AFB AICUZ, and outside of 50 dB CNEL noise contours as identified by 2023 AICUZ (planes have gotten quieter between 2009 and 2023).

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) determines 65 dB CNEL as the level above which residential uses are not compatible. The New Community is entirely outside of 50 dB CNEL - a full 15 dB below that threshold. In addition, we intentionally zoned the northwest side of our New Community for Industry & Technology, where residential uses are not permitted, so our residential neighborhoods are even further away – another one mile southeast at the closest point.

Flight Paths

There are fewer flights going over the New Community than over the cities of Suisun City, Fairfield, and Vacaville. This is shown on the diagram below, which places the New Community in blue on the flight path maps provided in the 2023 AICUZ.

Compliance with Travis Land Use Compatibility Plan

The Travis Land Use Compatibility Plan (LUCP) published by Solano County in 2015 places the area of our New Community partially in Compatibility Zone C and partially in Compatibility Zone D. These zones both permit development, including residential development. Suisun City, Fairfield, and Vacaville are also located in these zones.

The LUCP stipulates certain limitations on development within these zones. For example, Zone C permits no building taller than 100 feet, and limits residential density to 11 dwelling units per acre. Zone D permits no buildings taller than 200 feet. The East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative expressly requires the New Community to comply with the Land Use Compatibility Plan, including these height and density limits. For example, on page 51, the Initiative states:

Doubling the security buffer around Travis AFB

Finally, the Initiative nearly doubles the security buffer around Travis AFB where no residential or commercial community development is permitted, from the 7,971 acres designated as such in the 2008 General Plan, to almost 15,000 acres that would form the Travis Security Zone after the Initiative is adopted.

The current security buffer is shown in green and the additional acreage is shown in orange below. The purple hatched areas between the green and the orange, and between the orange and Highway 113, are not being added to the Travis Security Zone through the Initiative because these parcels are not owned by California Forever. However, it is land that is predominantly owned by government agencies (e.g., City of Fairfield) or conservation groups, and generally subject to conservation easements that already prohibit development. 

If these “de facto” protected areas (in purple) are counted as part of the security buffer, after the Initiative, Travis AFB would be protected by a security buffer of approximately 20,000 acres.