Article Launched: 7/21/2006 07:01 AM
Dixon, Davis get big boost for greenbelt
By Melissa Murphy/Staff Writer
With a joint effort having completed a farmland preservation project, establishment of a greenbelt is moving forward between the cities of Dixon and Davis along Interstate 80.
The two cities and the Solano Land Trust have come together and purchased a nearly $2 million agricultural conservation easement on the 146-acre Ebey-Laughtin property north of I-80, just off the
Kidwell Road exit in Solano County.
Saving acreage for greenbelt purposes represents a philosophy that Dixon has included in its general plan, said City Manager Warren Salmons.
To maintain agricultural land, while minimizing developmental growth is just one characteristic of the city's plan. For every acre of current development, one acre of agricultural land must be preserved.
The California Department of Conservation contributed toward the $2 million cost of the property with $971,500 through the California Farmland
Conservancy Program. Davis contributed $810,000, the Solano Land Trust $115,000, followed by Dixon with $20,000, according to a press release.
The money to purchase the Ebey-Laughtin property is left from the purchase of the 300-acre McConeghy Farm in December, in which Dixon played a vital financial role, according to Salmons.
Solano Land Trust, which works with farmers, environmentalists, developers and local government to preserve the "agricultural legacy and natural landscapes of Solano County," participated in the collaboration between parties.
"We're very pleased to have been a partner helping to ensure that this historic farmland, on prime soils, is permanently preserved," said Marilyn Farley, executive director for the Solano Land Trust in a press release.
Salmons has been pleased with the pivotal role Solano Land Trust has played and believes the city will be involved in other greenbelt establishments in the future.
In establishing greenbelt areas, Salmons pointed out reasons why the city is eager to participate.
"We want to preserve our agricultural land because of it's value," he said.
Salmons also said that the soil found in the city is some of the finest in the country and is environmentally one of the best places to grow.
"Not all of us are farmers," he said. "But agriculture is our economic fabric."
Dixon also benefits from the way the greenbelt land shapes growth in desired areas.
"Greenbelts help us push development in the city," Salmons said. "The city already has the infrastructure that can support the growth.
It really shapes the city and shapes the urban growth."
Another benefit greenbelts have is psychological, Salmons said.
"There is a value in distinguishing between the cities," he said. "It gives you much more of a sense of home. It's not like Los Angeles. You know when you're home and you know when you're not."
Melissa Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, July 24, 2006
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