With the increase of jobs and lure to tech in the Bay Area, where to lay one’s hat is still a main problem in today’s housing crisis. Maybe you are a carefree environmentalist who can work at the office by day and rent a sleeping pod by night but if you are over the age of 27 living in teeny tiny houses and sharing “pods” and vans with friends, being green is probably no longer a fun experiment. Covid has taught us the importance of a stable home and WiFi, the need for a good kitchen and healthy food –– and also about community and space where we can wander or retreat with our bubble of friends or family.
So what are the options for Bay dwellers? A new planned community called Lagoon Valley is being built between the Bay Area and Sacramento, and the project developers believe they are doing their part for planet earth. They are raising the green flag for all the people around the planet who may love Burning Man and glamping but ultimately want to settle into a place that helps define values and community and which may include aging parents.
Using green building codes that will go above Californian standards, Lagoon Valley says they will also protect, improve, and preserve more than 1,300 acres of land and resources. Eighty-five percent of the community’s specific plan is dedicated to open space and parks and recreation — creating an environment where wildlife and people can thrive.
With the Bay Area as the largest tech market in the United States, San Francisco has a cost-of-living index of 269.3, almost twice as high as Vacaville, California. Lagoon Valley, on the outskirts of Vacaville, which broke ground in June, anticipates its first residents will move in summer of 2023. It is just 53 miles from San Francisco and will provide fourteen neighborhoods with 1,015 homes varying in size and price ranges, including neighborhoods offering affordable housing, as well as age-qualified residences, and estate homes designed to encourage multi-generational living.
“We know that creating a conservation community is the right way. However, it is not the easy way, and Lagoon Valley has taken decades to plan,” says Curt Johansen, Development Director, Triad Lagoon Valley, LLC “Investing in the planet means living on it as lightly as possible. We’ve done that with this dynamic community.”
5 ways Lagoon Valley protects the earth and improves “human” well-being
Gardens in the center: The community’s organic, community-supported farming teaches children and adults to respect, protect, and care for the land in ways that inspire stewardship, social connection, and wellness, not to mention delicious dishes.
Wetlands preservation in situ: Communities that combine wetlands preservation and expansive wildlife habitat in their neighborhood planning create positive change. In addition to encouraging the ecological literacy of community residents, they help maintain a balanced ecosystem.
Solar Powered Homes: Solar energy, both active (for electricity) and passive (for winter heat retention and summer cooling), is no longer optional – it is essential to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce impacts to the biosphere, and mitigate climate change.
Car-optional community: like big cities where people can walk to work or walk to their local shops and community centers, Lagoon Valley is an intentional community that will make it easy for people to navigate and shop by foot or by bike.
Using reclaimed water: California’s drought problems are a liability if you are buying a home. Will you have water for the bath tomorrow? Lagoon homeowners have the option to reduce potable water consumption by up to 50% through reclamation of greywater built into their home.
Some 72% of Lagoon Valley’s 2,400-acre specific plan is dedicated open space and 13% for parks and recreation. The neighborhoods are interconnected with trails that offer easy access to adjoining villages, the Town Center, the Community Farm, neighborhood parks, recreational facilities, an 18-hole golf course seeking Audubon certification, and a Community Event Center with a full complement of amenities. It will be the first conservation community of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area.