Crowd gathers in Concord for base re-use vote

It’s what happens when you arrive at the last minute: You get stuck in the front row.

I’m sitting in the — you guessed it — the front row at the Concord Senior Center amidst a large crowd gathered for a meeting where the members of the City Council will choose a development pattern for the mothballed 5,000-acre Concord Naval Weapons Station.

The vote sets the stage for the direction the city move in terms of designating general plan and zoning for future use of the land.

There are many, many competing interests here in the room. Environmentalists. Advocates for the homeless. Developers. College campus. Parks. Neighbors. Density vs. single-family housing. Open space preservation.

While tonight’s vote does not represent the last word on the project — in fact, the process will continue for months, if not years — the various interest groups have learned that if they do not make themselves heard at every stage of the decision-making process, they may find themselves without a seat at the table.

This ought to be very interesting as the councilmembers mesh the loudest voices with their personal views of what their constituents want to see on this property.