Danville Express

Newsfront - March 2, 2007

Weber homes a go

Planning Commission approves 22 new single-family homes

by Jordan M. Doronila

The Planning Commission gave its approval Tuesday evening for Davidon Homes to build 22 single-family residential homes on the 15-acre Weber estate in Danville.

The commissioners unanimously approved the developer's proposal to build the houses plus remove 26 trees to erect the homes and donate a 3.7-acre parcel to Danville to give access to Oak Hill Park.

The Weber estate is located off Diablo Road on Hill Road, between Matadera Way and Blemer Road. It is near Monte Vista High School and Los Cerros Middle School.

More than 100 people filled the Town Meeting Hall on a cold and rainy Tuesday evening to hear the commission's decision. A handful of residents - the property's neighbors - voiced their opposition.

"It should be compatible with existing neighborhoods," said neighbor James Simpson. "I don't see how this is compatible."

"There are going to be absolutely less views," he added. "If it's up to me, I would just way leave it the way it is."

Nonetheless, the commissioners said Davidon Homes followed Danville's 2010 General Plan and worked with the town in creating a project that benefits the community. Davidon owns the property and submitted the application to the town in 2004.

"We have to look at the property a little differently," said Commissioner Robert Storer. "The property does have owners, and we have to look at their rights."

"We are not going to please everybody," Storer added. "The process does work. This project meets the intent of the general plan."

"It's a pretty good project," said Commissioner Robert Combs.

At the meeting, Davidon Homes executive Jim Thayer said he will build a road between Matadera Way and Blemer Road, which would alleviate traffic congestion during school peak hours.

The basic homes would range from 3,900 to 5,100 square feet. They would be built in various styles: Spanish, French Country, Tuscan, Traditional and Cottage Elementary.

Thayer has done professional traffic studies and other consultative work with the town to make sure the development fits in well with the community, he said.

Still, some residents believed traffic congestion, loss of privacy, flood problems and removal of trees would be issues. A few said the project would negatively impact their property values.

However, town staff believes Thayer's traffic studies are most likely accurate, and his project would ease traffic around the neighborhood.

"Little things are being made as huge things," Thayer said.

"I think this is a comprehensive plan," said former Planning Commissioner Tom Moran. "The architecture is wonderful. I think the presentation clearly demonstrates sensitivity to the general plan."

The property is home to the last remaining Weber sister, Lucille Weber. Neighbor Kristen Trisko said Lucille had willed her property to the Salvation Army who in turn took her to court to take title before she died.

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