Brentwood is located in Contra Costa County in the east bay region of California – just 50 miles from the Bay Area. In 1990, Brentwood was a small farming community of 7,500. By 2000, it had grown to a suburban city of 50,000 people. Like manyCalifornia towns situated on or near prime farmland and large population centers – farmland invariably gets paved over.
To address the imbalance of growth, food production, and the character of this community the City of Brentwood adopted an agricultural mitigation policy in 2002 and created the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT) to implement it. The City’s policy requires that developers who convert farmland to urban uses pay an agricultural mitigation fee to the City that BALT uses to protect other existing farmland within or near the city.
BALT works with farmers and the community so that future generations in the Bay Area will have a local source of food. The farmers in this region produce sweet corn, peaches, cherries, apricots, apples, tomatoes, squash, green beans, asparagus, walnuts, wine, olive oil.
BALT currently holds easements on nine Brentwood farms totaling 850 acres.
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