In July 1999, a joint committee of councilmembers and staff from Davis and Dixon presented a draft resolution to form an agricultural buffer (open space) between the two cities, similar to the Vacaville-Dixon Greenbelt established in 1996.1 The cities would purchase development rights on the privately-owned farmland, preventing current and future owners from developing on it, through what is known as a conservation easement. Davis would use funds raised through Measure O to fund these purchases.
Although talks between local and state organizations continued, no action was taken until 2004 when efforts to acquire the 300-acre McConeghy Ranch began in ernest. UC Davis held an option to purchase the land since 2000 but decided that it no longer needed it. In September 2004, the California Department of Conservation and US Department of Agriculture contributed $2.9 million towards the purchase. Davis, Dixon, and UCD contributed a total of approximately $800,000. The Solano Land Trust, who would be managing the greenbelt, was loaned an additional $1 million from Davis and Dixon. The purchase was finalized on December 7, 2005.2
The 146-acre Ebey-Laughtin Ranch was the next acquisition. Davis, Dixon, and the Solano Land Trust purchased the property on July 20, 2006 for $2 million, using about $1 million in funds from the Department of Conservation, bringing the greenbelt to 446 acres. Davis contributed $810,000.3
There is no set acreage goal, but there has been talk of purchasing about 1,000 acres. Possible additions include the 292-acre Miles Ranch and a 593-acre plot owned by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento.4
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2009-03-02 16:58:23 Although it's true that I don't bike nearly as much as some Davisites (I don't even own a single piece of spandex!), the biking trip between Davis and Dixon is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever biked through. Just be careful if the sun is shining...it's easy to get sunburned! —hokusman
- 1Harness, Don. Dixon and Davis draft proposal for greenbelt. The Reporter. 1999-07-11.
- 2Golden, Cory. First piece set in greenbelt. The Davis Enterprise. 2005-12-08.
- 3Murphy, Melissa. Dixon, Davis get big boost for greenbelt. The Reporter. 2006-07-21.
- 4Eberling, Barry. Davis/Dixon greenbelt expands. The Davis Enterprise. 2006-07-30.