http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/09/11/lafco-examines-danville-boundaries


Danville Express

Newsfront - September 11, 2009

LAFCO examines Danville boundaries

Draft report suggests limiting western edge

by Geoff Gillette

Discussions began this week as to just how far Danville's sphere of influence (SOI) extends.

Members of the Contra Costa County Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) were set to meet Wednesday and examine a draft report outlining the current status of the Danville's SOI and whether or not a change needs to occur.

According to town reports, the draft Municipal Services Review was finished in late July and contained analysis of 10 of the 19 cities in Contra Costa County with an eye toward adjusting the SOI for those municipalities.

Danville officials examined the report, available online at LAFCO's Web site, www.contracostalafco.org/, and learned that it is recommending a contraction of the town's SOI by 335 acres on the western boundary. The recommendation reflects the current layout of the county's urban limit line and brings the SOI line into accordance with the limit line.

At their Sept. 1 meeting, members of the Danville Town Council discussed the draft report and the recommendation to reduce the SOI. Town Chief of Planning Kevin Gailey presented the report to the council in order to get its input prior to a Sept. 9 LAFCO meeting.

"That is the thrust of why this has been agendized tonight," Gailey said. "Tonight is the council's chance to comment on this and respond to LAFCO and its staff."

Council members expressed concerns about the recommendation on the western edge, but showed more trepidation in regards to the eastern border and what the future may hold for the Tassajara Valley.

"I know the council is aware that the city of San Ramon has shown interest in adjusting their sphere in that area," he said. "It's important to note that the consultant does not make a recommendation for adjusting the eastern boundary of San Ramon, only suggests a contraction of the sphere on the west."

Developers are currently examining proposals for the New Farm development, a large scale mixed agricultural/residential development aimed at a 700-acre parcel of land near the eastern edge of Danville.

Currently the area in question resides outside both Danville and San Ramon's sphere of influence as well as the county's urban limit line. Any change to either the town or city's SOI in that regard could have an effect on how that land is developed and the traffic flow through the area.

Staff's recommendation to the Town Council was to approve accepting the draft report and direct the town to respond to LAFCO at its meeting. The message being delivered by the Town being that any adjustments on the east should not be undertaken without more analysis.

Gailey said that an update of the Town's general plan is in the works and that update could directly effect how LAFCO views that eastern edge. Both Danville and San Ramon will be updating their general plans in 2010.

Council members agreed that the issue needs further review.

"I think it's something we need to examine, given the level of activity in the Tassajara Valley," said Councilwoman Candace Andersen. "We need to keep our options open."

Mayor Newell Arnerich said that if the resolution were approved that he would be willing to attend the LAFCO meeting.

"The inbound traffic that cuts through on Camino Tassajara is something we want to have a say in," he stated.

Arnerich added, "I think we still do not know what their (San Ramon's) plan is or ultimately the county's. Our best destiny that I can see is one we can control ourselves."

Council members unanimously approved the resolution. Arnerich, Town Manager Joe Calabrigo and a member of the Town staff will attend the Wednesday meeting.

After the meeting, Calabrigo said that in addition to discussing the eastern boundary of the SOI, they would be addressing the report's recommendation regarding the west side as well.

The town has granted an entitlement to the developers of the Elworthy property, a 459-acre parcel on the west side. Current plans call for development near San Ramon Valley Boulevard, with the western portion being left as open space as part of the East Bay Regional Park Trail system.

Since the Town has the entitlement, and it has allowed a density transfer to allow the homes to be built near the roadway, Calabrigo said he has concerns about leaving some of the land outside Danville's SOI.

"The concern there would be is at some point in the future if the county or San Ramon would look at the possibility of throwing in on the part of the property not in our sphere they would get credit for those acres twice," he explained. "We didn't necessarily want to see that happen."

Calabrigo said he did not expect any action out of the LAFCO meeting Wednesday, as this will be its first formal meeting to discuss the Municipal Service Review.

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