FAIRFIELD — Solano County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to send a letter to Fairfield indicating they believe the proposed 288-unit Georgetown Village affordable housing project is not in the best interest of Travis Air Force Base – and therefore not in the best interest of the county or the city.
The vote came after the board heard more than a dozen speakers urging the county to take steps to work with Fairfield and property owner Hunt Communities to make the project viable.
Those speakers described the project as a “no-brainer,” a redevelopment of existing housing that would provide two-, three- and four-bedroom affordable homes to veterans and residents in great need.
Some of those speakers were veterans who told their stories of being on the streets or in subpar housing.
Others talked about how housing is the first step in getting many of these residents back on their feet and making them contributing members of their community.
They argued that instead of just opposing the concept from the start, that the county and city look for solutions to overcome whatever problems there are with the project.
But the arguments did not sway the board.
Taking the lead from Supervisor Jim Spering, all five supervisors agreed that Georgetown was originally designed as military housing, which fit the location but cannot be repurposed into affordable housing because it is remote and isolated from basic needs.
The supervisors also noted there is only a single road in and out of the area, and that crosses a railroad track. They said that could slow emergency response to the area.
Moreover, Travis Air Force Base had to evacuate during the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, and a single road out would make evacuating the families in the development difficult as well.
But the driving force of the opposition is that the project would not fit well with the mission of the base, and given the importance of Travis to the county, it was not the kind of project the county could support.
Hunt Development Group built the project for the Air Force, which used it to house base personnel under a 20-year lease that expired 10 years ago. The Air Force did not renew the lease but instead had more modern housing built for airmen stationed at Travis. The base perimeter fence was moved shortly thereafter and the Hunt housing site was annexed into the city.
The site currently has no water or sewer service.