East Solano Plan

Real Estate Company

California Forever


Solano County, CA

Project Overview

The project aims to create a new walkable, sustainable community with a total size of approximately 17,500 acres. The plan includes a community with middle-class homes, bringing 15,000 well-paying jobs to Solano County, and providing $500 million in community benefits that include down-payment assistance to Solano residents. The plan also includes a commitment to invest $200 million in revitalizing downtowns in already existing cities in Solano County.  

 The plan includes a requirement that at least 4,000 acres be used for parks, trails, urban ecological habitat, community gardens, and other types of open space. The community is designed to provide a range of transportation alternatives to cars, including walking, biking, and frequent transit service.  

 The first phase of the new community would be a series of neighborhoods for about 50,000 residents (about 20,000 homes) to be built by the late 2030s. The development will showcase a mix of housing including “single family” rowhouses, rowhouses divided into “flats,” small to medium-sized apartment buildings, and accessory dwelling units. The development will feature neighborhoods centered around local shopping streets and schools, with small blocks of row houses and small apartment buildings.   

Engeo's Role

ENGEO is providing Geotechnical, Environmental (Hazmat), Hydrology, and GIS services for this new community. 

Challenges & Solutions

GIS Challenges & Solutions
With such an ambitious goal and a 65k-acre study area, there are many challenges related to data management. These include organizing the sheer quantity of data necessary to understand a site of this magnitude, tracking of the metadata and source of each component, and organizing the data into usable formats. Other challenges relate to managing the version of the data being used and distributed, compiling analyses performed, and tracking the data provenance. ENGEO developed and maintains a GIS portal to manage data collected for the site and address these challenges. Project consultants are able to easily access and view data, and have new information uploaded as the project progresses. ENGEO has created custom portals to help facilitate site access for field explorations and data collection, and custom dashboards to manage, analyze, and showcase data from weather stations, stream gauges, and other instruments installed at the site. As the client’s needs grow, so does the GIS portal. 

Geotechnical Challenges & Solutions
Relative to other Bay Area projects, the geotechnical conditions at California Forever are generally benign. The site is not in a California Seismic Hazard Zone for liquefaction or earthquake fault hazard. The main geotechnical challenges for site development include loose surficial soil from historical agricultural operations and the potential for expansive soil. To understand the subsurface conditions of such a large area, we compiled a subsurface database using GIS. The database includes historical ENGEO explorations at and near the site dating back to 1986 and explorations performed by others. To supplement previous data, we performed Cone Penetration Testing and drilled borings.  

Environmental Challenges & Solutions
Similarly, managing environmental data associated with such a large area presents unique challenges. The project includes a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) to identify potential environmental concerns and create a constraints map to guide the development process. A large GIS platform is being utilized to manage and analyze environmental data. Data sources include, but are not limited to, publicly available online resources, records requests from County and State agencies, and Environmental Data Resources (EDR) database searches. The Phase I ESA will inform future environmental sampling requirements, and it will also support the Enviromental Impact Report (EIR) to demonstrate that the development meets the state’s environmental standards. 

Hydrological Challenges & Solutions
The site’s existing drainage features consist of low-gradient ephemeral channels and agricultural ditches that generally flow to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The channel beds and banks, along with stormwater runoff quality, have been largely degraded by cows and sheep. ENGEO installed weather stations and stream gauges to monitor flow volume and water-level conditions during storm events, then used that field data to calibrate numerical hydrological models for evaluating existing and proposed condition flow regimes. Given that the site is proposed to be converted from agricultural land to commercial / industrial / recreational/ mixed-use development, stormwater runoff will need to be creatively managed to improve site runoff quality, enhance wildlife habitat and recreational amenities, mitigate flooding risks, and account for potential sea-level rise and higher-intensity storm events associated with climate change. ENGEO is working with the project’s civil engineer and landscape architect to design stormwater management features such as detention facilities, engineered wetlands, and amenity lakes to provide flood control and allow opportunities for potential reuse. 




“ENGEO was invaluable to our planning team. Their GIS team helped us organize many terabytes of data in hundreds of layers on our lands that span over 60,000 acres. Without the spatial model they created, we would not have been able to coordinate between various disciplines so quickly and accurately.”​

– Bronson Johnson, Head of Infrastructure and Sustainability at California Forever


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