“Ascending Franklin Ridge: A Greenbelt Grows above Martinez”
Back in 2004, a fight was brewing over ballot Measure M a proposal limiting development in Hercules’ Franklin Canyon to one home every 40 acres. Voters passed Measure M despite opposition from developer GreenPark, which had been interested in building 500 homes on the tract. Before the election, GreenPark had filed two lawsuits against Hercules, one accusing the city of sabotaging their housing project, the other demanding millions in compensation for constraints placed on the land. Earlier this year, the Contra Costa County Superior Court upheld Measure M and dismissed both suits.
Purchase of Franklin Canyon lands by the East Bay Regional Park District and the Muir Heritage Land Trust has been proposed, though no active plans are in the works. However, the adjacent Fernandez Property has been bought by Muir Heritage, which is planning to increase accessibility at this neighboring area. “Someday, we hope to have the same status and accessibility at Franklin Canyon,” says Muir Heritage’s Steven Kirby.
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