Friday, June 15, 2007

Research, Industry Campus Plan Dominates Collinsville Growth Debate

Research, Industry Campus Plan Dominates Collinsville Growth Debate
By Ben Antonius

RIO VISTA - The agenda said the meeting was to talk about all the different ways Collinsville could grow but the audience was clearly most interested in one of them.

That was the One Vision Park plan, a sprawling, 2,700-acre research and industry campus that would develop environmentally-friendly technology - as well as dramatically transform the area.

The Thursday night meeting was the second in a series of four that will determine if and how Collinsville grows over the next few decades.

The One Vision Park plan is the latest and grandest idea to be floated, but it is only one of the possibilities for the area. "Some visionary thinking needs to happen here," said Collinsville resident Robert Hall. One Vision Park CEO David Papera talked about his company's ideas for the area and took questions from a wary audience. "We understand the idea of change and the feelings toward change," Papera said after audience members voiced concern about his plan and seemed to prefer an approach that would preserve the entire area as agricultural space.

"We're hopeful this doesn't get rezoned. It's such a special piece of property to develop alternative energies on."

The Collinsville area, in remote southern Solano County near the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, has been the target of a number of ambitious development plans over the years, none of which have materialized.

Resident Jonathon Wisnom complained that the nearby Montezuma Wetlands project had not turned out as anticipated and wondered why One Vision's plan would be different.

"It appears to me that the first project that the county approved with all their scientists . . . did not work and here you are again with another one," he said.

Collinsville's proximity to the deep water of the Sacramento River ship channel has been behind many of the plans, including a petrochemical plant proposed by Dow Chemical Co. and an atomic power plant proposed by PG&E.

Papera said the One Vision Park plan would be dramatically greener and cleaner than the chemical and power plant proposals of old, but it does still require some of the same infrastructure.

The Collinsville area has high-voltage power lines, large natural gas lines and the river access, which would be difficult to duplicate anywhere else.

"It's perfect," he said.

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or

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