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Thousand Friends of Martinez
Join us on Sunday March 20 at 9:30 AM at the plaza by Farmers’ Market for our walk of the City’s Waterfront High-Density Housing Plan.

You will be able to see what the General Plan Update proposes. Besides, a nice walk at the marina is a good way to spend a Sunday morning.
What Does “Entitlement” Mean, Anyway?
Brianne Zorn
Martinez City Councilmember

In light of #FoodTruckGate, I have a new appreciation for people’s perceptions of Council actions and processes. You might be surprised to find out I’m not going to be talking about food trucks (it is addressed during the 03/02/22 Council meeting!); instead, I would like to talk about Alhambra Highlands.

You likely received flyers a few months ago about a poll regarding input from Martinez residents about purchasing Alhambra Highlands. You may have also been frustrated that you didn’t actually get the poll (if you did, congrats! You are one of just under 500 people who did!). In general, people support the preservation of open space in Martinez. But so many folks who are new to the discussion have suggestions and ideas and alternatives that just may not be feasible at this stage in the project.

So, how exactly did we get here?...

Editor's note - The rest of this excellent article had to be put on a separate page for space considerations.  Click here to get the all of the information.
Martinez City Council will discuss a ballot measure
for Alhambra Hills
Wednesday March 9 - 7:00 pm

Click here for information on submitting public comments and meeting connection information.

City's General Plan Update Needs an Update!

The City’s draft General Plan Update is confusing, incomplete and misses the mark in many key ways. These shortcomings can actually hurt Martinez
  • It specifies hundreds of housing units on our waterfront north of the train tracks---this is both dangerous and threatens to ruin our Waterfront Park and Open Space.  Click here for more details.
  • It undermines our funding for more public parks---parks we’ll need for all the new residents the Plan proposes. Click here for more details. 
  • It increases housing densities throughout our neighborhoods with no explanation ---more traffic and crowded schools. Click here for more details.
  • The City has decided not to offer a comparison of this new General Plan Update and our current General Plan, so Martinez citizens could understand what exactly the City was proposing.  The City has ignored our requests for this comparison. 
  • The City agreed to have more public education and input sessions---but when they are stuck at the end of lengthy Council meetings they fail to serve the public..
  • The Environmental Justice principles aren’t applied to critical housing development in the Plan. 
  • The Plan authorizes replacement of some historic sites with high-density housing.  And the word ‘historic’ doesn’t even appear in the Plan’s newly-revised Vision Statement.  
We urge you to e-mail the City Council and tell them you don’t agree with this, and you want answers and an open process.  Click here for their email addresses.

This General Plan Update is the most important law the Council passes.  If they don’t hear from you, the plan will be enacted with all these shortcomings.


Save The Jail!
Demolition preparations have started for the new County Campus Project in downtown Martinez. Scaffolding has gone up on the south side of the old twelve story County administrative building, and the area around it has been surrounded by containment barriers. The building is filled with friable toxic materials such as asbestos, and all the nearby buildings will remain in operation during the demolition and construction of a second administration building that will takes its place, so the demolition must be carried out by carefully dismantling it, rather than by using explosives for an implosive demolition, which would be much cheaper and faster.

The historic 1903 Jail, sister building to the beautiful Finance Building just behind it, is also in the crosshairs for County demolition. But the battle to Save The Jail is not over. The County has claimed that its Campus Project, involving not only demolition, but another substantial administrative building, a plaza, and possible removal of the section of Pine Street between Main and Escobar, with an overall price tag around $150,000,000.00, is exempt from CEQA law, and doesn't require an Environmental Impact Report. The Save The Jail effort is transitioning to new legal counsel, and will once again be looking to the community for financial help.

Stay tuned, and check the Thousand Friends website for more details and how you can help to Save The Jail!

Every 10 years, local governments use new data from the Census to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. For the City of Martinez, the redistricting process must be complete by April 17, 2022.

There are just a few meetings left for you to get involved.  The next meeting is March 14, 2022 at 6:00 PM via Zoom.  Click here for details.
More about Thousand Friends of Martinez
The Mission of Thousand Friends of Martinez is to provide a stable organization which will work with residents to elect informed, conscientious representatives; promote open government; enhance our quality of life by creating a livable city; defend our parks and open spaces, and; conserve natural areas and historic elements in the greater Martinez region.

Our Objectives are to:

  • Endorse, support and fund responsible and environmentally supportive leaders
  • Promote transparent government
  • Promote better land use planning and the development of policies for the public benefit
  • Defend parks, creeks, wetlands, open space and historic elements
  • Support budgeting, ballot measures and funding for these purposes
  • Educate the public about these objectives and strategies


Help Martinez strive for more transparent government, enlightened land use concepts and to defend parks, creeks, wetlands, open space and historic elements
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