City of Rancho Bonito
Population: 252,341 (2005 Census)
Incorporated on Oct 31st, 1957
Rancho Bonito is the second largest and fastest growing city in the Alameda Country, Ca. The city is known for its large pool of hi tech corporations that feed the city’s economy and its history of local supers and supernatural activity.
Like Oakland, the city is pushing towards using renewable resources for the majority of the city’s electricity. In fact, as of May of 2005 37% of its electricity comes from the new Hawke Industries solar farm north of the city. The remaining power needs of the city are met by the aging Vibratech nuclear power plant, also located north of the city. Future plans include a wind turbine farm as well as looking into some of the more modern means of power generation to replace the nuclear power plant when its contract ending in 2010.
Before it was reborn as the city it is today another town once occupied the area that is currently Rancho Bonito and it had the distinguished name of Maytown. Founded in the late 1860s within the old Washington Township by wealthy European aristocrats seeking an escape from the decline of European aristocracy and new opportunities, the city was a haven for artists, free thinkers, philosophers, as well as political radicals. The true wealth of the region, though, was its natural resources, vast vineyards and many outlaying farms. Within a few decades the place would become known as being one of the first places the mythical Fey would appear from time to time and even mingle with the locals. The town also held a reputation for mysticism with many cults and occultists moving to the area almost as if drawn there. It is even said that Aleister Crowly visited as a guest of the Hawthorn estate in the late 1890s; which was itself rumored to be part of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
The town was destroyed in a fiery quake during the 1906 big one that hit the region and while most of the sprawling town was burnt to the ground it would later be found that the majority of it had simply been swallowed by the earth and the ruins would later be discovered relatively intact. Of the original town only the church survived and still stands today in the center of the modern city, Rancho Bonito. Several of the estates and manors, including the Sion’nodel and Hawthorn estates survived untouched. The old cemetery, though long since abandoned, also survived.
The area that is now the city lay empty and untouched for over half a century until a group known as the Coalition of Future Auspices funded the incorporation of the region for development in 1957. All transactions were handled by third party brokers with very specific layouts for the city and its projected growth over the next fifty years.
Initially, Rancho Bonito was just a happy cozy town, but as more and more people moved into the area it slowly grew in population as a place to live away from the hustle and bustle of the larger cities, such as Livermore and Pleasanton, which was the predominant source of jobs in the area at the time. In 1964, the first school in the city was opened, the Rancho Bonito High School. The elementary and middle schools wouldn’t be built for a few more years to come.
During the early 1970s the town experienced a growth of occult and mysticism following the summer of 1971. While no documented reason exists the town did enjoy a sort of spiritual awakening during the 70s which seems to have died off near the end of the decade. Rumors of supernatural occurrences and reports of witches and demons were frequent during these years giving a rise in return to tourism.
The 1990s saw the introduction of the first supers in the city. Initially the group would be named the Sentinels, but later they would change their name, along with their leadership, to that of the Rancho Bonito Alliance (RBA). Their roster has changed over the years along with their leadership. Recently, after the events of the Fey War, 2003, the RBA pretty much disbanded and the city experienced a time of relative peace with only two local heroes, Falcon and Rebound, managed to reign in any chaos. That changed in 2005 with the revival of the RBA under new leadership as a new generation of supers popped up in the city.
Rancho Bonito is built on and surrounded by rich fertile lands developed over many generations. The San Antonio Reservoir supplies the city with fresh clean water with the region is also filled with small lakes and streams fed from fresh water springs located deep within the earth. The city is surrounded by the Sunoi and Ohlone Regional Wildernesses, to the south west and through the south east. The Del Valle Regional park boarders the east, while Sycamore Grove Park boarders the North east. Several vineyards also boarder the city. Beneath the city is an intricate tunnel system that is off limits with caverns that contain some of the former town, Maytown, preserved after the towns collapse during the 1906 quake. Also of note is that the city of Rancho Bonito is home to a unique type of Oak tree nick named ‘Fey Oak’ for its golden luster. It is noted that it is illegal to cut down fey oak except with a permit as the species is considered a heritage tree.
Rancho Bonito has 11 distinct neighborhoods.
Central Business District
Maytown Historical District
The greater divisions include its Central Business District, East Rancho Bonito, Downtown, North Rancho Bonito, West Rancho Bonito, South Bonito, Greenville, and Royal Heights. Royal Heights has become known for being the home of the cities upper class population while West Rancho Bonito has been the traditional home of the cities middle class and many small to medium businesses. North Rancho Bonito is home to a lot of the corporate businesses as well as limited housing in the form of condos and apartment buildings, some small businesses, as well as many food businesses, all to support transient business employees.
South Bonito has been under construction for the last four years as most of it was originally an industrial plan for the processing of chemicals before the Fey war. In the aftermath, it’s been converted into a new multi-million-dollar community with artificial lakes and boat ways connected by concrete water ways. The East Rancho Bonito neighborhoods are known as for containing several parks, middle to upper class housing, as well as being the gate way to the Greenville, home of the counties vineyards, farms, and old estates.
Climate and Vegetation
Rancho Bonito has a Mediterranean climate with an average of 260 sunny days per year. Rancho Bonito’s climate is typified by the temperate and seasonal Mediterranean climate. Summers are usually dry and warm and winters are mild and damp.
The wettest year was 1973 with 52.65 inches and the driest year was 1999 with 16.02. The most rainfall in one month was 17.41 in January 1973. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 8.52 inches on February 16, 1973.
The higher rainfall in the hills supports woods of oak, madrona, pine, fir and a few redwood groves in the wetter areas. Before being logged in the 19th century, some of the tallest redwood trees in California may have also stood in Rancho Bonito, but have all since been logged before the 1950’s. Unique to the city region is a species of Oak named Fey Oak. Attempts to transplant saplings has always failed and baffled scientists. Australian eucalyptus trees have been extensively planted in many areas, as they come from a similar climate. Vast vineyards of grapes and other similar crops along with fields of wheat can be seen growing extensively from the surrounding farms as well.
The National Weather Service today has one official weather stations in Rancho Bonito: The Rancho Bonito Museum (established 1974). In 1973, A firestorm destroyed nearly, 22,000 acres of forest, 800 homes, and killed twenty-two; it is considered to be the worst natural disaster the city experienced before the advent of supers.
Educational Attainment and Income
Rancho Bonito is in the top ten clusters of "elite zip codes" ranked by the number of households with the highest combination of income and education. 67.9% of residents over 25 years of age have bachelor's degree or higher. Rancho Bonito ranked among the top cities with residents with bachelor's degrees and graduate degrees per square mile.
Rancho Bonito ranks in the top 20 of American cities in median household income, with a 2005 value of US $51,863. In 2005, the median income for a household in the city was US $56,863 and the median income for a family was US $61,959. The mean income for a household was US $77,888 and the mean income for a family was US $90,948. Males had a median income of US $75,140 versus US $76,304 for females. The unemployment rate as of December 2005 was 2.3%.
In 2005 approximately 5.3 percent of families and 7.0 percent of the general population were below the poverty line, including 23.7 percent of those under age 18 and 11.2 percent of those age 65 or over. 0.5% of the population is homeless. Home ownership is 31% and 34% of rental units are subsidized. The unemployment rate as of August 2005 is 5.2%.
The cities fortune and success is tied to the many prominent corporations that have made it their base of operations. This in turn having brought more and more wealthy families to the rich area have made it one of the richest cities in the state.
The city is also home to several major corporations including Long, Whitmer, and Clemmings. Tech companies such as Larks, and offices of Hawkes Industries are in Rancho Bonito and in recent years many start-up high tech and green energy companies have found a home in the downtown neighborhoods of Central Business District, East Rancho Bonito, Downtown, North Rancho Bonito, West Rancho Bonito, South Bonito, and Royal Heights. In 2005, Rancho Bonito was the third ranked city for tech entrepreneurs by total venture capital investment.
As of 2015, the top employers in the city were:
Local Businesses of Interest
A series of shops on two sides of the same street, one side French, the other British. The two sides are owned and operated by some of the most bizarre business owners in the city and they do put on a show of playing off against the other.
Black Pines Sanctuary
The Pizza Tower, opened in 1958, one year after the city was incorporated, by the original owner who had the foresight to see that people would be hungry and pay for good fresh fast food. It is modeled in the old 1950’s style of drive in diners with skaters bringing out the food. When the high school was built across the street from it the Pizza Tower experienced a resurgence in popularity and had a modeling after a mysterious fire broke out in 1974. The Pizza Tower continues to serve the people of the city now almost a half century later and probably will for decades to come.
Land and Government
Rancho Bonito has a mayor-council government. The mayor is elected at-large for a four-year term. The Rancho Bonito City Council has eleven council members representing all eleven districts in Rancho Bonito with one member elected at-large and others from single-member districts; council members serve staggered four-year terms. The mayor appoints a city administrator, subject to the confirmation by the City Council, who is the chief administrative officer of the city. Other city officers include: city attorney (elected), city auditor (elected), and city clerk (appointed by city administrator) Rancho Bonito 's mayor is limited to two terms. There are no term limits for the city council.
Rancho Bonito is also part of Alameda County, for which the Government of Alameda County is defined and authorized under the California Constitution, California law, and the Charter of the County of Alameda. The County government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, law enforcement, jails, vital records, property records, tax collection, public health, and social services. The County government is primarily composed of the elected five-member Board of Supervisors, other elected offices including the Sheriff/Coroner, the District Attorney,
Assessor, Auditor-Controller/County Clerk/Recorder, and Treasurer/Tax Collector, and numerous county departments and entities under the supervision of the County Administrator. In the California State Legislature, Rancho Bonito is in the 9th Senate District.
Arts and Culture
The city opened its own art center in 2004 to celebrate and support its own natural community of artists. Since then it has grown considerably with grants from wealthy patrons. The city is a renowned culinary hotbed, offering both a wide variety and innovative approaches cuisine in restaurants and markets, often featuring locally grown produce and international foods such as French, Italian, German, and English. Several of the local farming communities provide fresh local produce for the city’s principle restaurants, especially the Halo, and the Grotto, as well as local vineyards providing local wines. Trafalgar lane is a new local in the city located in the Downtown area where one side of the street consists of French stores, and the other of British businesses.
Downtown Rancho Bonito has the usual assortment of bars and nightclubs mostly consisting of lounges and a few dive bars.
The RB Cineplex, opening in late 2003, is a three story eighteen theater complex featuring state of the art features as well as private booths.
Spectrum: A modern retro-disco club that cater to the city’s youth and serves no alcoholic beverages. It was a favorite spot for Diamond Girl when she was in the city before her death.
One More Time: A lavish club that caters to the over 21 crowd and tends to draw in the numbers.
Old Ben’s: A classic jazz and blues club.
Halo: The tallest structure in the city towering at 110 stories. The stop ten stories of the building is a large spinning halo, hence where it gets its name. Dining in the Halo can vary from an inexpensive $50 a plate to the more lavish private suites costing tens of thousands a plate. With over two hundred lavish suits of various size and cost, not to mention the private offices and suites, all supported by a variety of shops and such it is considered by many to be a first amongst archologies in the world and one of the crowning achievements of the Blackmore Foundation. The top floors of the Halo were purely administrative in nature containing control rooms and environments for its vast data center to support the various communications systems supported on the roof that various companies paid out the yin yang for the right to have as the Halo's height allowed it line of site to virtually all the surrounding cities in the county.
The city of Rancho Bonito at currently has no professional sports teams.
Parks and Recreation
Places of Worship
As the city is one of the few in the area that has its own resident group of super crime is pretty low in the city, though occasionally things do get exciting.
The city has three schools, an elementary school, Linda Johnson Elementary. A middle school named Frank K. Genus, and the RB High School, which oddly bares no specific name. The Elementary school can handle 800 students at capacity, the middle school 1200 students, and the high school 2200 students. The school system was designed to handle the expected influx of new students as the city grew and people moved into the area. Plans to start construction on the new local college have been repeatedly placed on hold due to several incidents that city has faced recently.
The city has a single newspaper, founded the same year the city was, the Rancho Bonito Star, which has evolved beyond its humble newspaper origins into a full multimedia company serving the local populace through video and internet as well as print. The Bonito Star sponsors the local high school paper, the Busy Bee, and regularly recruits from their talent pool. There is a third media outlet, the city’s own official City Channel. It’s not currently active as it is still being tied into the communications network on top of the Halo, but is expected to soon be implemented.
Air * Rail
Currently there are no airports that service the city, though there are plans to break ground south of the city on a new project that would handle Helo and VTOL craft. The project is still seeking funding. Rancho Bonito residents still have access to the three major airports of the San Francisco Bay Area: Oakland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and San Jose International Airport.
Mass Transit and Bicycling
The Rancho Bonito City Council adopted a Bicycle Master Plan in 1995 as a part of the Land Use and Transportation (LUTE) element of city’s 1994 General Plan. The creation of the plan was to promote alternatives to the private automobile. Bus transit service in the city is provided by Alameda and the Contra Costa Transit District.
The city has no rail systems at this time, though back before it was incorporated there was a rail station that connected parts of Alameda country run by Western Pacific. The tracks are mostly gone now, but the station still exists, though long neglected, on the outskirts of the city.
Water and sewage treatment are provided by Alameda Municipal Utility District (AMUD). Pacific Gas and VibraTech (PG & VT) provides natural gas and electricity service. Municipal garbage collection is franchised to Waste Management, Inc. Rancho Bonito tops the list of the 50 largest US cities using electricity from renewable sources.
The city has a primary hospital, RBH, which is privately funded by several of the major tech giants in the area and lacks for nothing when it comes to state of the art medical technologies. It has one of the country’s largest Pediatric departments and due to its history with the local Supers one of the most detailed departments for treating supers. The size of the hospital exceeds that of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. Additionally, there is a county funded medical center that provides services to country residents, including the medically indigent who lack basic medical insurance.