Faria Preserve project set to return to San Ramon council

Public hearing on proposed residential development to continue Monday

The San Ramon City Council is set to continue its public hearing on the Faria Preserve development project this Monday (Aug. 4).

The new residential development proposed for Faria Preserve would include single-family homes, town houses, condominiums, apartments and senior housing totaling 740 dwelling units. A community park, church and educational facility are also in the plans.

The project property occupies approximately 286.5 acres near Deerwood and Bollinger Canyon roads in northwestern San Ramon.

The San Ramon Planning Commission unanimously approved the project in May, which would have been the final decision if Councilman Harry Sachs had not filed a call for council review of the project.

Sachs expressed concern about the environmental impacts the project would have by being built in a high landslide area. He also questioned whether the development would receive state regulatory agency approval because a previous version of the project was denied due to environmental effects on creeks, wetlands and natural habitats.

The project was discussed most recently during the city council's packed July 8 meeting.

Representatives from the development company, Lafferty Communities, gave a presentation outlining the project's history and recent updates to the plans, which they argue reduce the project's environmental impacts to "less-than-significant" level.

In addition to the issues Sachs raised, community members brought up matters regarding traffic mitigation, effects on schools, water service and how the development would change the quality of life for San Ramon residents.

At the end of the July 8 discussion, the council asked the city planning staff to revisit five issues: impacts to Interstate 680 on- and off-ramps at Bollinger Canyon Road, a proposed off-site walkway, senior housing, traffic study estimates for the area during commute hours and ways to reduce negative creek impacts.

The council is set to continue its public hearing on the project on Monday (Aug. 4) at 7 p.m. in the council chambers located at 2222 Camino Ramon in San Ramon.


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Posted by Ms. bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 31, 2014 at 6:20 am

This unfortunately sized project returns "to the table". For what at this juncture, I cannot imagine as all is pretty much cast in "stone" to date. One would think however? In light of the tremendous and growing water shortage around here and the warning that El Nino will be most mild in No. California? That they would put an emergency hold on this project, as I mentioned before, for another year before allowing it to move forward UNTIL water resources are well established again (sigh)

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Posted by Very concerned resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 31, 2014 at 6:49 am

Of course, we find out about this meeting on Thursday in the middle of summer and vacation season! Is this a way for the council to sneak something by the residents of San Ramon?

Good for you Harry Sachs for questioning this whole ill-planned project. Please represent all of the residents of the city who have only a few weeks of summer vacation before their kids return to school and cannot attend! Go get 'em!!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 31, 2014 at 7:48 am

The business of the city should stop because you go on vacation and can't attend a meeting?

Ms Bunny - EBMUD has already weighed in on this project. The say they have enough resources to support this project. In the 1990's their customers were using 190+ Million gallons per day (MGD). In 2010-2012 the customers of EBMUD were using less than 170 MGD. And that is with all of the new customers included. EBMUD has also added the Freeport - American River access to their water sources. This year they are getting 13 MGD from there.

Yes, we all need to help conserve water but water resources for this project are NOT going to cause a crisis for EBMUD or its customers.

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Posted by JT
a resident of Danville
on Jul 31, 2014 at 8:07 am

To the Lafferty Community developers: This project would be better as a cemetery. You could get far more people in your planned acreage and not as many dead people drive cars or use water, unless you include the boringly typical green lawns surrounding headstones. But you could reduce water usage by keeping it all natural by using the existing flora in place.
Also, if you build a cemetery you would negate the idiotic cemetery proposal for the Tassajara Valley that is also raging on.

However, since that is not likely I would like to encourage you to increase your housing density by making the houses far smaller. If you haven't noticed already, there is a trend to one-story small foot print single dwelling houses. By increasing capacity to say 4000 houses, you would be reducing greenhouse gasses, because more people could afford to live near where they work in San Ramon.

Oh and while we are at it, too bad we don't have sheriffs of the type during the wild west... we would form a posse and run you and your Laughing Stock "Communities" out of town.

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Posted by JT
a resident of Danville
on Jul 31, 2014 at 8:10 am

Just wondering what Laughing Communities is "preserving" in the Faria Preserve development proposal...

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Posted by Ms. bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

We'll just see Resident? If what you purportedly state IS indeed, ACCURATE when "push comes to shove" here in this water crisis that to date? Is not getting better, rather, more depletion is occurring. Methinks there is definitely something specious about your reference to EBMUD's "assurance" that our water supply is both ample as well as not being jeopardized by this project - at this time. I'm well aware of the supportive water we've bought to see us through for now...Glad you're comfortable with this 740+ unit size Faria project, it's location and amenities. I wish I could agree, but I really can't in light of size, location, traffic issues, air quality, water resources. You're a better citizen than I for your unbridled support of it.

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Posted by WeAreSR
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

Resident, what's your motivation for supporting this project? Just wondering because I have yet to meet someone in support of it whose motivation wasn't financial. Announcing Thursday that the meeting is within five days doesn't give people time to get the word out, and it is true that many are out-of-town for last chance vacations with families before school starts.

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Posted by Senior Citizen
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 4, 2014 at 6:41 am

More doesn't make more; nowadays it adds up to far less.

less quality of life, less access to driving lanes, less space at schools with more taxes to be added or less quality schooling due to over crowdedness, less water availability.

More housing means more traffic problems, more water concerns since ground water AND rain water is becoming more scarce, more medical issues, more property taxing to support more building issues coming from more housing.

Peninsula, Marin, San Jose, etc, all suffer from more housing.

They have lost the natural quality of life for more housing.

What do you want?

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Posted by Senior Citizen
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 4, 2014 at 6:45 am

Just because you were here "first", doesn't mean that others to come should not.

It means the country has learned that jamming more into less space brings BIG HEADACHES.

Moving over to allow more housing doesn't come close to address the basic housing issues which come from people and houses.

More housing brings more property taxes, more over crowding at schools, more cars on the 680 which becomes more of a parking lot each month.

More housing brings more issues for local police trying to keep up with population demands.

More housing brings less of anything and everything.

What part of that equation do you prefer?

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Posted by Jake
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 4, 2014 at 9:05 am

Last November 80% of the voters said they wanted more growth by electing Sachs and Hudson to the council. Sachs voted "yes" on Faria when on the Planning Commission, now he opposes it? Hudson is the only trustworthy council member because he will always favor the developer. Better to have a trustworthy opponent than a false friend.

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Posted by long time resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Well Jake, you certainly can twist things. The two city council candidates last Nov. that were for limited to no growth were Harry Sachs & Thomas VonThury. Mr. Hudson is very much pro growth & ignores the valid concerns of San Ramon residents.

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Posted by Bob P
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2014 at 8:27 am

Planning commissioners don't have to run for election, city council members do. So it's not a reach to assume that O'Loane and Sachs, both of whom while on the Planning Commission voted for development that they both oppose now as Council Members. Politics has a way of changing minds. Hudson, on the other hand, has not changed his views. I make no value judgement here, just stating the facts.

The Faria project will be approved, perhaps with minor adjustments based on this latest review. Will it be built? That's yet to be seen. Remember, an approval does not mean that it will be built.

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