Modesto: Spare Wood Colony
  • Petitioned Garrad Marsh
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Mayor of Modesto
Garrad Marsh
Supervisor for Distrcit 3
Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors-Terry Withrow
See response
Councilman for District 1
John Gunderson
Councilman for District 2
Tony Madrigal
Councilman for District 3
Dave Lopez
Councilman for District 4
Bill Zoslocki
Councilwoman for District 5
Jenny Kenoyer
Councilman for District 6
Dave Cogdill, Jr.
Supervisor for District 5
Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors-Jim DeMartini
Supervisor for District 1
Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors-William O'Brien
Suervisor for District 2
Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors-Vito Chiesa
Supervisor for District 4
Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors-Dick Monteith
The Modesto Bee, Opinions Editor
Mike Dunbar
The Modesto Bee
Kevin Valine
California Governor
California State Senate
California State House
State Rep. Adam Gray
Rep. Jeff Denham

Modesto: Spare Wood Colony

    1. Athens Abell
    2. Petition by

      Athens Abell

      Modesto, CA

January 2014


Athens Abell: Our goal was 1000 signatures in 30 days-we made that goal in less than two weeks! We opened the petition on December 29, 2013, and it will close today on January 12, 2014 with a count of 1111 signatures at this print time. We could continue to keep the petition open, but our point has been made. Our voices have been heard, and moreover, they will continue to be heard. It's now time to take our voices to city hall in person. Thank you for your support, and to the support of local media, social media, websites, and blogs, that have brought attention to this important issue.

With the annexation of Salida off the table of Modesto's General Plan, the spying and prying eyes of the city are now looking down upon our vibrant and fully employed community as easy chum for their pathways to oblivion.

Wood Colony already has jobs and the land is owned by county tax paying families. Those jobs include farming and teaching, just to name two of the most important socio-economic pieces of our backbone here in the Valley.

Some things are more important than money, elusive jobs, and a greedy fist full of quick dollars: FAMILY. I hope we can have the foresight to see the future and predict what Wood Colony will look like if our farmland is paved over, our schools taken away, and our families uprooted.

Wood Colony will become the most hellish place in all of Stanislaus County. And, if allowed, it will be the elected officials that we put into office, who will have done it to us.

Recent signatures


    1. It's our way, or the highway!

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      The time has come to say thank you, and farewell to this online petition.

      You've spoken up and made your voice be heard to many people. You've brought farmland preservation to the forefront of the public's mind.

      You've let the community know who, and what, Wood Colony is, and most of all, you're talking with your friends, family, and neighbors, about what the city has planned for us.

      Please keep your eye on Wood Colony, and the transportation that will be brought through this area if the California State Route 132 Freeway/Expressway goes through. The widening will affect *this* generation who currently live in Wood Colony.

      As parting words, we'd like to say: Continue to keep vigilant, and if you see a "road work ahead" sign, there may be a truck coming down the make a highway, possibly through your front yard.

      Please stay in touch, and stay connected.

    2. Reached 1,000 signatures
    3. Our destiny is in sight!

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      Good afternoon,

      This may be one of the last news post because we're very close to reaching our goal of 1000 signatures to let our elected officials know how we feel about preserving Wood Colony.

      Your willingness to be speak up has been overwhelming.

      Sharing the ‘Sparing of our Wood Colony’ has grown by leaps and bounds since we started this petition on the 29th of December, less than 2 weeks ago!

      Your voices *are* being heard by the decision makers in the City of Modesto and Stanislaus County, but we have a long road ahead of us. Please continue to talk to our elected officials about the need to preserve these 1800 acres of prime farmland for future generations.

      Thank you again for your support, it’s appreciated more than you know. Keep up the good work, and please continue to share your passion for preserving our farmland long after this petition is gone…....our farmland is forever.

      You may write to us directly at:

    4. 750 Supporters! How did this happen?

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      It's often said that government just happens to people, and, at times it does. However sometimes we're deceived into thinking that all is going our way, only to find out later that, in fact, we weren't even on the same road as those who were telling us which direction to choose.

      It's time we tell them what we want, and how they can help us achieve a greater quality of life.

      What we do is a reflection on our community, our city, even our state. Below is a link to the California News and Views website with their perspective as to what's going on here in Wood Colony.

      Thank you for your support! And thank you to the 250+ concerned citizens who turned out at the Modesto City Council meeting on the 7th of January. We appreciate your time, and concern for this pristine farmland.

      City of Modesto to STEAL Farm Land for Developers-Corruption?

      There is nothing worse than government using its powers to steal, steal private property and then give it to developers. If the developers cannot buy the property, why should they be able to go to government a steal the land?

    5. Reached 750 signatures
    6. 500 Supporters! We can breathe!

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      In today’s Modesto Bee, there were several articles that highlighted yesterday’s Wood Colony Community Meeting held at Hart-Ransom School. There were some 350 folks in attendance, thank you!

      What's going on here in Wood Colony will impact the entire state at some level. Air pollution, due to an increased amount of traffic and smog coming into the Central Valley, is just one of our concerns.

      With each signature, this petition goes to all the Supervisors in Stanislaus County. Notice in this article dated just a few weeks ago, one of our Supervisors is mentioned, William O’Brien.

      Do we really want to be slapped with another $29,000,000 dirty air penalty? Please write to Supervisor O’Brien and thank him for his part to get clean air back to the valley….....and that we want it kept that way!

    7. Reached 500 signatures
    8. 1800 acres! It's nuts!

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      The city used to be less intrusive, but with stricter environmental regulations, lack of clean and accessible water, and higher taxes, developers are looking at shovel ready land, rather than infill.

      Just because we own it and developers want it, doesn't mean they can have it. And, it doesn’t mean that someone with a red pen who can draw a straight line around a box, should be able to take it away from us.

      The time has come to say, no! 

No more sprawl.

      This may only be Wood Colony to some, but if we lose this land, our prime farmland, it will impact the entire nation.

      Each time someone signs this petition, it goes straight to State of California officials, as well as our local elected officials here in Stanislaus County.

      Please continue to share this important issue with your friends and family. Tweet. Facebook. Pin it!

      We thank you for your support!

      Click on the link below for a radio interview with local farmer:
      Jake Wenger

    9. Citizens Unite

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      There have been numerous articles written for what is called "alternate media."

      Below is a short excerpt from one of those articles about urban sprawl in Stanislaus County and the land greed of Modesto.

      "It doesn’t matter that Modesto is so heavily in debt and with tax revenue so low that the city cannot hire even half the number of officers as other communities of comparable size. It doesn’t matter that Modesto can’t afford to sweep its streets more than once a month or trim trees as needed. Modesto wants to add growth that it won’t be able to serve."
      Bruce Frohman-former City Councilman for Modesto

      Read the entire article here:

      As a participant to this cause, we thank you. Your service is appreciated more than you know.

      The Valley Citizen

      Posted on January 2, 2014 | No Comments Until recently, a sixty mile span of the San Joaquin River ran dry every year, no matter how wet or dry the year. Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout populations [...] Continue Reading...

    10. 250 Supporters in 48 hours! - Thank you!

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      Although this is a petition about Wood Colony, the ripple effect of any lost farmland is felt nationwide. As many of you have posted here, once that farmland is lost, it’s gone, forever.

      Thank you for making your voice be heard to keep our farmers hard at work, our children healthy and happy, and our environment clean and safe.

      Here is a quote from Alan Cover, a descendant of Wood Colony pioneers:

      “For a farmer, soil is arguably the main factor. The alluvial deposits of the Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers are some of the best anywhere in the world. Wood Colony grows a variety of crops that feed man and animals.”

      To read the entire post by Mr. Cover to the Modesto Bee please click on this link:

      Read more here:

      Alan Cover: Why would anyone want to pave over my home?

      My grandfather and his siblings settled in Wood Colony in 1903. They were part of a group of pioneers who came to west Modesto to farm and raise their families. Their values and strong character were such that many had leadership roles and were prominent in the development of early Modesto.

    11. Community Meeting at Hart-Ransom School

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      January 4th at 10:00 am there will be a Wood Colony Community Meeting at Hart-Ransom School in the gymnasium. That is this coming Saturday!

      Please attend this meeting, if at all possible, and let your voice be heard. If you can’t make it, please contact local media outlets for other ways to voice your opinion on preserving farmland.

      We’ll post a list of media contacts over the next few days. Or, click on the Facebook link below for a complete list in the comment thread.

      Thank you for your support to keep our farmland producing crops upon which we all rely.

    12. Reached 250 signatures
    13. We are promised one thing, and given another.

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      It’s time to hold our elected officials to their pre-election campaign promises to us.

      In the State of the City speech, well after the election, the Mayor of Modesto once again pledged his 'Build Up and Not Out' promise.

      Here is a direct quote from that speech from February 6, 2013:

      “Toward that end and my “not out” commitment, I believe it is paramount to also protect and secure our largest strategic advantage, agriculture.” Garrad Marsh -Mayor of Modesto

      We are the ones who pay for our elected officials' jobs! The time has come, now, for us to do ours!

      If you’d like to hear the speech, click on this link:

      Thank you again for your support, and please continue to email your friends and family about this important issue.

      Modesto City Council - Council Documents - 2012 State of the City Speech

      Welcome to the Official City of Modesto Website! It is our mission to provide you with the resources and information you need to become better acquainted with the services, programs and initiatives available through your city government - from conducting your e-business transactions to browsing for the latest news and events in the City of Modesto.

    14. 100 Supporters-thank you!

      Athens Abell
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you for signing this petition to save our farmland from Modesto's General Plan on January 28, 2014.

      Please see the attached photo for more details of exactly where, and what the plan includes. (You may have to click on the link below)

      Thank you again for signing-We'll keep you updated with news here in this box as things progress.

    15. Reached 100 signatures
    16. Decision-maker Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors-Terry Withrow responds:

      Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors-Terry Withrow

      I agree with you. I have in the past and will continue to do everything I can to preserve Wood Colony farmland and prevent annexation by Modesto.

    17. Reached 10 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Joan Thornton OAKDALE, CA
      • 9 months ago

      The Central Valley is the most fertile farmland in CA and it makes me sick to see it covered with buildings rather than produce food for our nation. One day it will be a huge regret when it's realized how stupid this was to do. Why not revitalize or clear out some of the areas that look trashy?

    • Margaret Middleton MODESTO, CA
      • 9 months ago

      Keep our agricultural area for food. Use existing empty buildings first before creating more.

      • 9 months ago

      I am a native of Modesto who lived on the west side. The environment is important to me.

      • 9 months ago

      Sprawl is unnecessary within the Wood Colony area.

    • renata belash PETALUMA, CA
      • 9 months ago

      I lived on an almond farm in Modesto and the land is truly a remarkable resource - one that is being supplanted by building development. But that land is necessary to grow food for the whole country! It is a resource that once covered can't be reclaimed


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