News

Summerhill Homes to hold meeting about Magee Ranch

85 homes planned for undeveloped area off Diablo Road

People who live on the south side of Diablo and Blackhawk roads across from Diablo will have a chance to listen and talk to developers Wednesday night about their plans for the area.

Summerhill Homes is planning to build on 410 acres east of McCauley/Green Valley Road on the remainder of Magee Ranch that is now used for grazing.

"In total there are 75 home sites that are a minimum of 10,000-square-foot lots," said Wendy Baker, Summerhill's development manager. "There are an additional 10 custom lots proposed, for a total of 85 home sites."

Baker said the homes would be 3,000 to 4,000 square feet, although some would likely have cabanas -- small cottages -- that would increase the total square footage. Homes on the custom lots would differ in size.

Summerhill has been meeting with community groups about the development. Wednesday's meeting, at 6:30 p.m. at Los Cerros Middle School, will be the fourth in the series, and Baker said the company will also be meeting with local homeowner associations.

Summerhill C.E.O. Robert Freed said his company has been building homes in the Bay Area for more than 30 years and knows he needs to get people behind the plan.

"Community outreach is one of the keys," Freed said.

Meanwhile, Danville officials are ensuring that the project will be handled fairly, with both environmental and development reviews.

Summerhill will have to prepare an environmental report, which will include a work scope to identify the areas that need to be evaluated, and the Town of Danville will be seeking community input, said Public Information Coordinator Geoff Gillette.

The draft report is expected to take six to nine months, and will be followed by a 45-day comment period.

Residents will also receive a "request for comment" from the town. That notice will go to surrounding property owners, interested parties and agencies, and will solicit comments on the project plans.

Neither the work scope nor the comments would be enough to scuttle the project, according to Gillette, but each will be taken into consideration by the Danville Planning Commission and ultimately the Town Council, which will also hold public hearings on the development plan.

Freed said he thinks the biggest concern will be the traffic impact.

"There are (also) some environmental issues based on the acreage," he said. "There are some local residents more impacted than others based on their proximity to the site."

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by daveday
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

Wait a minute! This project isn't MAGEE RANCH - the REAL Magee Ranch is next door. The two are not related and only share a common boundary and the fact that both were ranches owned by people named Magee. So at a bare minimum, the newbie should stop using the name Magee Ranch which has been in in place for 20 years at an existing development next door. Any time someone interjects confusion or obfuscation into their planning and sales pitch, you have to ask why. And as for the traffic: Look at the traffic jam on Diablo Road every school day morning now. Put another 60 to 120 cars on the road every morning now and you will have a gigantic mess instead of the bad mess that now exists. The proposed traffic light will not increase traffic flow; it will delay that flow and turn a slow 2 mile commute into a disaster.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Magee Ranch owner
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

The additional traffic is enough to immediately stop these plans. But also keep in mind adding several hundred children to (the already pushed to maximum density) Green Valley, Los Cerros, and Monte Vista schools!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fed up with traffic
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 2, 2010 at 10:47 am

The Summerhill project is estimated (by whom I am not sure) to create an additional 700 car trips (that is ROUNDTRIPS) per day. Diablo Road, especially the winding portion contiguous to Diablo, cannot handle ANY additional traffic, let alone that amount. There have been too many accidents on Diablo Road between Green Valley Road and Camino Tassajara already. Danville should consider its liability for the accidents that undoubtedly will happen should this ill-considered project be approved. Moreover, Summerhill is speciously arguing that its plan does not violate Danville's General Plan, which states that the country atmosphere in the Diablo Road area should be preserved. Who ever heard of a country lane where traffic is rountinely backed up for a mile!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

Flooding Hazards: 22.03 New development shall not exceed the Town's primary flood control channel's ability to carry 100 year flood flows.

Fire Hazard: 21.04 Maintain a response time of less than five minutes for emergency fir calls to be met a minimum of 90 part of the time calls and/or a fire station within 1.5 miles of all residential nonresidential development. Where this standard cannot be met, and/or where sever wildland fire hazards exist, require special mitigation measures for fire prevention as necessary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kristen Trisko
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

We have learned from experience that if the Town of Danville wants a development, no public comments will change their minds. These 85 homes and the traffic they will bring should not be allowed on Diablo Rd if Danville truly wants to keep their small town feel. I just don't think they do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John x
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Danville must outlaw bikers on Diablo rd where it's 2 lanes,or divert them thru Diablo.John x a local resident.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Exline
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

At a minimum we must stop bike traffic on Diablo Rd in 2 lane areas


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm

I am a developer. Where you lowly citizens see open space, I see opportunity. Where you gaze at beautiful green lands, I envision a different kind of green. When you complain about the hideous traffic my project will bring about, I just smile since I'll be living far away in my hilltop mansion. Trees? Hey, you folks can pick up the pieces to stoke your fireplaces. Now which Danville public servant do I have to bribe to get things rolling?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

There are many issues to consider with the proposed development. The local schools are impacted, the traffic on Diablo is still quite bad even with the buses that have no guarantee of funding into the future, the water pressure at many existing homes barely meets minimum standards even without 100 new homes, and lastly, the new development proposes 3000-4000 sq. foot homes on 1/4 acre lots (they call it clustering...I call it a zoning violation). If Danville wants to follow Bollinger Canyon's lead, this development is ideal, if not, the project must be scaled way back.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rufous
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm

what is the current zoning of the property? is a rezone required for the project? What is the minimum lot size currently? Can't anyone provide a map of the project? a picture is worth 1,000 words. Is clustering proposed due to topography? What will the school do with the school mitigation fees?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Yes, Summerhill has a right to develop this area, but needs to build the project to current standards. They should not be allowed to build more than 2 homes per acre, and they should be required to mitigate the traffic impact by financing the busing for at least the next 20 years.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alex
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Country atmosphere on Diablo Rd? In the Country, land owners can do whatever they want with their own property. Don't talk about preserving Country roads, if you have no Country values.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned resident
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I attended a meeting regarding this - I am very surprised that Summerhill thinks they can get this approved - the commute on Diablo Road/Blackhawk Rd is just horrible in the morning - ARE THEY CRAZY to think the additional traffic would not affect the commute? One question I asked was what street in Alamo they had already developed - they could not even tell me the street name! Also, our local schools will be impacted - they are already at cap0acity - my neighbors kids are separated one at Vista Grande, the other at Green Valley. I definitely will vote against any monies going to the schools if this thing gets approved. Let's see if Summerhill puts some money towards our schools.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tony
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:45 am

There is absolutely no way this project should be approved. It is unfathomable that the morning commute traffic on Blackhawk/Diablo Road could get any worse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Resident
a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:14 am

I attended a "town" meeting regarding the SummerHill development along Blackhawk and Diablo Roads. They provided a map of the development and you'll be shocked to see what's planned.

Responding to an above question regarding zoning:
The land in question is currently zoned for Agriculture or low density use; small lot cluster housing severely violate this.

Feel free to email Principal Planner - David Crompton DCrompton@danville.ca.gov and voice your objection.

We must stop this development.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tina
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:35 am

How can the city official say they are taking steps to get input (requests for comments, envir impacts) but then say it's already a done deal. Something fishy is going on!!! "Neither the work scope nor the comments would be enough to scuttle the project, according to Gillette, ...Meanwhile, Danville officials are ensuring that the project will be handled fairly, with both environmental and development reviews."

This development cannot proceed -- I've never seen traffic as bad as it is on Blackhawk/Diablo. My kids couldn't even get into the local school when we moved here. Where are these kids going to go?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michelle Erickson
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:46 am

The "cluster" proposal of cramming in 70 large homes on lot sizes of 0.2 acres is alarming...as is the traffic this will create...and the impact on our local schools.

For those against this development, a petition has been created. If you want to add your support, go to:
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Good afternoon!

Just a couple points of clarification:

1. The Town hasn't held any meetings on the Magee Ranch project. Any meetings we hold as part of our review process have to be posted and those involved have to be notified so that you can be a part of the proceedings. We will be holding public hearings as the process continues and we're working to make a project page on our website so that you can register and put comments in there.

2. By no means is this project a 'done deal'. When I posted on the other thread regarding this what I said was, "The environmental review process in and of itself does not result in either approval or denial of an application, but provides information necessary to assist the Planning Commission and/or the Town Council in making that decision." The ultimate arbiter in the matter will always be the Planning Commission and Town Council. Those bodies review the EIR and scoping documents, as well as any other relevant information before making their decision. The entirety of what I posted describing the review process can be found at Web Link.

Thanks again for all the discussion and conversation on this issue. As we go through the process, we look forward to getting the input of our residents.

For questions about the project, contact Principal Planner David Crompton at dcrompton@danville.ca.gov and for any general questions feel free to contact me at ggillette@danville.ca.gov.

Have a great day.

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Casitas = Low income housing.
This project is riddled with surprising nuances such as the aforementioned casitas. The proposal is that the casitas are a workaround for the low income housing requirement, i.e., if they are rented by the owner they need to be rented to a "qualified" "low-income" family. I believe the estimate is that at least 25% of the units will be built with casitas - adding the potential for even more cars and families. Citizens of Danville WAKE UP before it is too late.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm

At one stage, Danville and Diablo were rated among the best towns of America. These titles will surely have to be revoked as we sell out our natural beauty and wildlife, country roads, rural living, excellent schools, and small time feel for capitalism. What we will then have to look forward to is erosion problems that will eventually drain and pollute the stream, increased water shortage, impacted schools, congested roads, fire hazards, densely populated housing to include low income housing, an increase in pedestrian, motor vehicle, and wildlife casualties. This road is already is impacted with elementary, middle and high school traffic, as well as commuters and bikers. This land isn't zoned for densely populated housing. I can't comprehend the viability of this plan. Our lovely developer Derek must be right, who bribed a public servant?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Danville
on Nov 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm

The City ought to focus on the long term environmental impact such a project would have on the creek and flood/fault planes that lie right in the middle of the proposed project.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Good afternoon,

I just wanted to take a moment and let you know that the Town has put a web page on our site dealing with the Magee Ranch proposal. It details much of the process and allows comment on the project. The page can be found at Web Link

Our hope is to make this as transparent as possible and give residents every opportunity to provide input into the process.

Any questions about Magee Ranch can be addressed to Principal Planner David Crompton at (925)314-3349 or dcrompton@danville.ca.gov.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville


 +   Like this comment
Posted by not the same as it used to be
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 6, 2010 at 7:14 am

A word of caution to all of you. I don't know what a "casitas" really is but I can tell you that I live in San Ramon where Section 8 housing has been built. (Our homes were over $1 million) We were told it was to make this area more affordable for teachers, firefighters and the elderly. Maybe those nice folks have moved in, but it has also brought individuals who normally would not be in this area. They are sending kids to the schools who cause fights, do not participate in class and who generally disrespect each other, the teachers and our area. If this project includes Section 8 housing wording, be wary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marnie
a resident of Danville
on Nov 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I've been a resident of Danville for 22 years. This is horrible. What we do not need more of in Danville are new homes. I am a resident of Hidden Valley and greatly affected by the traffic going to work every morning. McCauley Road gets greatly congested as does Diablo Road. Diablo Road can get backed up for a couple of miles when parents are dropping their children off or picking them up at Green Valley School let alone the other schools in the area. It is NOT SAFE to add ANY more traffic to these areas! And to top it off, we've got such a small amount of natural beauty left. There is so much wildlife in this area! Leave it alone!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2010 at 8:11 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Marnie really sums up the controversy in a nutshell.....she lives in Hidden Valley, the Hidden Valley kids greatly impacted the situation to make it how bad it is now, and so let her have her open space and no one else can build here anymore. Hidden Valley is a developer's oxymoron hon....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michelle
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

For those interested, a group of concerned residents have created their own website: www.save-our-creek.com with more information about this project.
There is also an online petition that folks can sign. More than 270 folks have signed since its creation on November 3, 2010. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Max
a resident of Danville
on Dec 4, 2010 at 6:31 am

Many of you may have lived in Danville for a long time, therefore may not know how bad this project is.

We moved here 3 years ago because of the problem created by new residences in Dublin (where we moved from). Dublin built a lot of homes and condos, which in turn required Section 8 residences. The value of my home plunged because of the density of the surrounding areas.

I hope it doesn't happen here because we will move again, and the value of my home and yours will plunge. I want Danville to keep its charm and small town atmosphere. We need to be more proactive and fight this hard. From my experiences, you have to drive this hard for the Mayor and City Council to get the message. Trust me, the Dublin Mayor and City council knew my name when I lived there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michelle
a resident of Danville
on Dec 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

The Town of Danville issued a press release at 5:00 pm on Monday, December 13 as an alert to inform residents that it will hold a public meeting on December 15 to discuss updates to the Town of Danville's General Plan. Not sure why residents are only being given 2 days notice...but, if you are concerned about the SummerHill Homes Magee Ranch project please try to make this meeting. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Dec 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Good afternoon!

While we certainly encourage our residents to come out to tonight's Joint Session of the Town Council and Planning Commission, I just want to clarify that this is a meeting to talk about the process of updating the Town's General Plan. There won't be any direct discussion of the Magee Ranch property as that is not part of the scope of this evening's meeting.

It will be strictly informational, with no public hearing, no decisions made or actions taken.

To get a more in-depth look at what is on tonight's agenda, there is a short article posted on the Town's website at Web Link.

If you are interested in the long range future of the Town and how the General Plan will be adjusted to take us to that future, then this is the meeting for you!

For further clarification, this is a special meeting of the two bodies which was announced two weeks ago and has been on the Town's calendar. Additionally, the agenda was sent out to those who subscribe to the Town's E-News alert service on December 10, 2010. The press release Monday was to remind the press and the E-News subscribers that the meeting was taking place this week.

For those interested in E-News, go to the Town's website www.danville.ca.gov and at the bottom click on E-News.

Hope this helps. Have a great night!

Geoff


Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville
(925) 314-3336
ggillette@danville.ca.gov.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MZ
a resident of Danville
on Apr 8, 2011 at 9:41 am

Danville doesn't need any more new homes. Look at how many are for sale in your neighborhoods. If someone wants to move to Danville, they already have lots of choices. These new houses are fairly large. I thought people are tending towards smaller more efficient homes. Besides the traffic impacts,what about water? Look how far these homes are from public transportation. After reading all the comments, I think there needs to be a lot more planning done. Think about the big picture and the future!!!!


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