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The final land use plan for public access improvements and open space preservation at a planned new 2,540-acre regional park on former Concord Naval Weapon Station land on Concord’s northeast edge has been finalized, the East Bay Regional Park District said.

The final land use plan for the proposed Concord Hills Regional Park includes a joint visitor center with the National Park Service highlighting the history of the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial and the history of the Diablo Valley, as well miles of recreational trails for hiking, biking and nature viewing.

The park district’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the final land use plan at its July 7 meeting.

The ruins of a former cistern are located on the proposed Concord Hills Regional Park property. (Photo by Stephen Joseph/Courtesy of East Bay Regional Park District)

“This is the true culmination of a decades-long community effort,” said Beverly Lane, a Danville-based historian who has represented Concord on the park district board since 1994. “This important land use plan will provide public access, preserve natural habitat, and honor the unique natural and human history of the land.”

The park district took possession of 2,216 acres of this land from the U.S. Navy in July 2019. An additional 327 acres is expected to transfer to the park district in the future.

“Turning the former military base into a world-class park will take very many years and millions of dollars to restore and open,” regional park district General Manager Robert Doyle said in a statement. “However, thanks to the park district and community’s efforts, 2,500 plus acres of scenic Diablo Valley landscape is permanently protected.”

Concord Hills Regional Park is a major element of a redeveloped weapons station property. Another 2,300 acres will be transferred to the city of Concord, whose Concord Community Reuse Project has been overseeing planning for housing, businesses, a college campus and other development. This has been a years-long planning process, and buildout is expected to take many more years.

The inland portion of the weapons station, south of Highway 4, was closed in 2005. Most of the portion of the base north of Highway 4 became Military Ocean Terminal Concord, still operated by the U.S. Army.