http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/12/26/letters-to-the-editor


Danville Express

Perspective - December 26, 2008

Letters to the editor

Being a town would prevent change

Dear Editor:

I don't want Alamo to change - I want Alamo to keep its semi-rural character. Looking around our community today, although I see change by degree, I think we Alamo citizens have done a pretty good job of advocating with Contra Costa County to keep Alamo free of dramatic change.

But we can't keep the county from changing, and we haven't been able to stop the larger economy from shrinking. Looking forward from the county's newly disclosed $1.7 billion unfunded liability for employee benefits, its past three-year history of cutting Sheriff's Department services, its need for further service cuts and new revenue-generating development in the unincorporated areas, and its burden (and burden rate) of thousands of employees, I believe Alamo must become its own town to survive fiscally.

The Town of Alamo would contract for most workers and eliminate crippling employee benefit costs, realize all revenues from property tax increases on Alamo's older homes protected by Proposition 13, and write its own General Plan to prevent the freeway-accommodating widening of Alamo roads and intersections and the potential for rezoning to higher housing densities.

To prevent dramatic change to Alamo, we need to incorporate.

Bruce Campbell (Alamo homeowner for 25 years)

Turning on red

Dear Editor:

Re the "No Turn on Red" Alamo traffic restriction: Alamo residents who live on the west side of Danville Boulevard with access from Stone Valley Road West are happy to have the new "No Turn on Red" restriction on Danville Boulevard. Cars coming from the south on Danville Boulevard planning to turn right/east onto Stone Valley Road often would cruise through the intersection against the red light, directly in front of us who had waited for our green light to get through the intersection. Because of how the intersection was re-configured some years ago, the two cars often were trying to be in the same lane at once, one to move right to access I-680 south and the other to move left to continue on Stone Valley Road.

When Alamo Plaza was expanded years ago and that intersection was formed, there was a traffic sign at that southeast corner of Danville Boulevard for those cars (northbound on Danville Boulevard, turning right onto Stone Valley Road) to "Yield to Traffic when Signal is Red." It was effective in smoothing traffic flow. When the "porkchop" configuration was formed at the intersection, that sign was removed. It caused a confrontational situation having two cars claiming the same position at the same time: one through a red light and one through a green light.

Since the "No Turn on Red" sign has been installed, the situation is good. However, there is no need for the traffic on Danville Boulevard (northbound, turning right) to wait during the time traffic moves east on Stone Valley Road. Pedestrians are barred from crossing then. Pedestrians may only cross with the westbound Stone Valley Road traffic. Limiting the sign to a "Yield to Traffic when Signal is Red" may be a preferable option to the "No Turn on Red."

The other restriction sign is helpful, at the northeast corner of Danville Boulevard. In the past I have had cars which cruised through the red signal refuse to let me move into the right lane to turn into the veterinary/dental office building lot next to the Shell station.

By the way, residents of a City of Alamo would have solved this situation a long time ago - right here in Alamo.

Margaret Elliott, Alamo

NO on incorporation

Dear Editor:

Would any intelligent, successful business person purchase a business based on 2-year-old financials? Financials accumulated at the height of a business boom? And financials not compiled by a reputable accounting firm with years of experience but compiled by an engineering firm? Please, give us a break, incorporation advocates; we're grown-ups, not fools.

Don't try to sell us a glowing future based on your Rosy Scenarios, especially in the face of a world wide recession and huge funding cutbacks by the State of California to the cities and counties. You constantly tell us that the County Government neglects us and ignores our wishes but you even use their superlative maintenance of our roads as a reason why we, as a town, won't need to worry about their condition. So, the county neglects us but gives us great roads? Make up your minds, either they do their jobs or they don't. Don't try to scam us. We're adults.

Oh, and no area can be simply annexed by another, such as you constantly try to scare us with the notion that Walnut Creek or Danville could just take us over. It requires a petition of 25 percent of registered voters, a LAFCO hearing and then a majority vote of the people in the area to be annexed. Would you vote to be part of Danville or Walnut Creek? I thought not.

Tell us the truth. That's what we want to hear. Vote NO on Incorporation.

Denise M. Padovani, Alamo

Comments

Posted by Steve from Alamo Oaks, a resident of Alamo
on Dec 26, 2008 at 1:14 pm

The incorporation advocates do not have an understanding as to the meaning of State Mandated Growth and it's short and long term impact and they do a disservice to those who wrote ballot arguements revealing such a mandate by stating that they're untrue. Housing Element has been a LAW in California since 1969. It mandates that every county and incorporated city have a General Plan which incorporates seven elements, including a Housing Element, which is required to be updated every five years and subject to detailed statutory requirements. The State of California works with the regional Councils of Government (in our case, ABAG) to determine the amount of housing needed within a region based on existing need and estimated population and job growth, and includes all income categories, from very very low to low, moderate and above moderate income. ABAG then allocates the required housing need to every county and incorporated city within that county. This is known as RHNA, or Regional Housing Needs Assessment/Allocation. Local governments are REQUIRED to plan for where and how the allocated housing units (apts,condo's,single family)will be developed. They MUST inventory every single piece of property in the city, catagorizing it by type and zone and sending that information to the state. In order to accomodate their "Fair Share" they can rezone, allow second dwellings, increase density; whatever it takes. "A community may not restrict growth to less than the number of units necessary to meet it's share of the regional need for housing for all income levels during the five-year period covered by the housing element." (ABAG website; Growth Management Systems) Sounds like a housing mandate to grow. If you review the ABAG website, you will see what the yearly requirements for the county as a whole and cities in particular. Out of 35,000 housing units assigned to CCC and it's nineteen cities, the cities had to provide 30,000 of those units; the county the remaining 5,000. If you include Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore, which are in Alameda county, you'll have an additional 15,000 housing units, as each city is responsible for 5,000. As this is for a seven year period,(1999-2006) Danville had to provide 150 housing units per year, San Ramon 600 per year, and Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore about 700 each per year. This is why you see massive apartment complexes and oceans of development everywhere, as once a city incorporates, it becomes a single entity that has to accomodate all rules within it's small boundaries. The county on the other hand, is vast and size and contains a number of unincorporated cities, so the disparity of incomes within the county makes it easier to accomodate the highs and lows of "affordable housing". Become aware of the absolute change that will take place in this unincorporated area if it become a city. Your life will not, repeat, not be the same. We will become like the Town of Danville, which, when it was thinking of incorporating, used the same arguements for incorporation as are being used now to favor Alamo's incorporation. Once the growth engine of the Housing Element is placed at the center of the General Plan, all activities revolve around it. To keep Alamo the way it is, Leave Alamo the way it is. There is a good reason why our town doesn't look like the other cities in the area: it's NOT incorporated.


Posted by Alamo Ron, a resident of Alamo
on Dec 28, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Maybe it's just me, but I look askance at folks who don't know what a paragraph is...


Posted by Alamo Dave, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 7, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I have lived in Alamo my whole life and never once have I had a problem turning right onto Stone Valley Rd, from Danville Blvd. I have never even seen an accident that would cause the change for a "no turn on red"

Are people just sitting around thinking of stupid things to do to change Alamo? If it's not broken don't fix it.

If you're coming from Danville to Alamo, I suggest you take the freeway to Alamo. Traffic will back up to San Ramon Valley High because of this "NO TURN ON RED IN ALAMO".