River Islands

River Islands is a suburban development proposed for Stewart Tract, a South Delta island that is at sea level.

Times have changed since 1996, when the same island was the proposed home of Gold Rush City. The new proposal, at present on hold because of the depressed housing market, is all about finding ways to operate as a developer in a desirable location with a highly contentious political context on a piece of land that is in a flood zone at or near sea level.

The development proposal has several interesting features, including a proposed “high ground” levee that would ring the island. Built to 200-year flood specifications, the levee would ensure that River Islands would not be the first Delta island to fail during a major flood.

Posted by John Bass on 08/26 at 02:06 PM • #

Images

River Islands development plan

River Islands development plan

River Islands is a development proposed for Stewart Tract in the southeast Delta. It would build a new community protected by a “super levee.”  This new levee is seen by adjacent landowners as a breach in the long-standing agreement to build levees to the same height, thereby ensuring that all would share equally in the risk of flooding. If realized, River Islands would set a new precedent for in-Delta suburban development.

Uncivil Engineering: The River Islands Proposal

Uncivil Engineering: The River Islands Proposal

High Ground levee

High Ground levee

This so-called “high ground” levee is proposed to be built around Stewart Tract. Construction would take place inside of the existing levee, which would remain. This diagram gives a sense of how the levee and adjacent landscape might work, and describes some of the benefits of the new inner levee.

River Islands development plan

River Islands development plan

Master plan of River Islands. A new super levee surrounds a set of more-or-less conventional suburban housing neighborhoods.

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