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Independent planning initiative clashes with new General Plan

Original post made on Oct 28, 2012

The [Web Link Save Open Space Danville] grassroots ballot initiative is beginning to circle through Danville as a citizens group gathers signatures to strengthen voter rights on future development.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 26, 2012, 3:35 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

If you want the town to follow the law and have us residents vote on this new huge development that will greatly increase traffic around three schools, a fire station and two retirement homes, you must vote the incumbents out, and vote for Nealis, Sullivan, and Jelincic.


Posted by protect your right to decide, a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

For more information, please see the Save Open Space-Danville website at www.SOS-Danville.com. Please sign the Open Space/Voters' Rights initiative petition and help get signatures for it! The website will tell you how.


Posted by diablodave, a resident of Diablo
on Oct 29, 2012 at 10:08 am

diablodave is a registered user.

Whether you are pro development or anti development, or somewhere in between (like me). I am not opposed to development but it must be done in a manner that is thoughtful of the surrounding residents and respectful of the character of the community.

My issue is that the incumbent town council would rather make their deal with the developers (don't forget, money is involved here - development fees and future tax revenue) and not honor their obligation to honor the requirements of Measure S (which we voted in a number of years ago). If the town council thinks this is such a good thing for Danville and that it honors the character of the community, then why would they spend so much effort and money to fend off the request of their own citizens to put it to a vote and work so hard to circumvent the legal process we all voted for?

Politicians who fail in their obligation to listen to their constituency should hear from the citizens, and you have a perfect opportunity to give power to the voice of the community by exercising your right to vote next week.


Posted by Arlene, a resident of Diablo
on Oct 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Danville Voters - Please speak for all of us in surrounding communities who can't vote for Danville Town Council members but who value our open space, pay for our schools, parks, roads, etc., and are seriously affected by traffic congestion and all the other adverse affects brought about by such developments like Elworthy and SummerHill. Vote the incumbents out!! Vote for Nealis, Jelincic, and Sullivan


Posted by DougR, a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Arlene,

I appreciate the way you addressed the issue as a Diablo resident and I understand your concerns.

However, the issue you raise is traffic, so I'd like to discuss that for a minute. As someone who has driven the Blackhawk Rd./Diablo Rd. corridor for years during peak times, I feel I have some more specific knowledge on the issue, and the problem may surprise some.

But I'll get to that in a minute.

In the morning, Diablo residents have it pretty easy - only a right turn is necessary for most of them, and the backup to the Green Valley/Diablo Rd. traffic light is nothing like it was years ago due to the Town of Danville's continued tweaking of the light timing (and please don't think I have anything to do with town - I used to complain myself and I thought they were very helpful and responsive).

In the afternoon, Diablo residents may face a short backlog in turning left onto any of their streets.

However, I think most people agree that the biggest problem in the area is the stop sign at the Athenian School. And that is not under the jurisdiction of the town of Danville, it is the County's jurisdiction. And there are just as many County vehicles contributing to it as Town vehicles.

I feel the solution to this intersection is a round-a-bout, and wish the county would study its implementation. There's sufficient physical space for one, and it would go a long ways to alleviate the backups.

All our homes were built on land that was once open space, and I just don't think it's right that we automatically say no more development now that ours are built.

I have no interest in debating Measure S, but I will ask this question? Do the proponents of Measure S really think a vote is the right course of action? In a municipal election, you'll get many voters who will vote according to signs or a letter to the editor. They won't understand it. You will get voters on the other sides of town who will say "it doesn't affect me" and when told that increased taxes or developer fees will make the schools better, may vote for the development. I'd rather have big decisions made by knowledgeable, paid staff or elected officials who are accountable rather than the average Joe in town.

I don't work for the town, the developer, and don't know anyone who works at either place. I just have opinions.


Posted by Average Danville Joe, a resident of Danville
on Oct 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

@DougR: I appreciate your thoughtful discussion of the issues at hand. I have the following comments:

1. First and foremost, the issue is not SHOULD Danville voters get to vote on whether Magee ranch is converted from Agricultural land use (as it is in the 2010 Danville General Plan) to Residential land use to allow the SummerHill project to proceed. The voters gave themselves that right when they passed Measure S in 2000. Neither the Town Council, nor citizens such as yourselves that apparently voted "no" on Measure S, can legally deprive them of that right.

If you believe Council/Town planners know better then you, then follow their advice when you exercise your Measure S right to decide.I have noticed, however, that when controversial developments arise, the developers/large landowners always seem to win; somehow the omniscient Council and planners in their wisdom seem to believe a course of action that is good for developers/landowners is good for the Town's residents, even if they vociferously oppose that course.

2. The reasons traffic is not as bad at Green Valley/Diablo Road as three years ago is strictly due to the buses, and the fact of the Athenian stop sign, which has a metering effect. The back-up of 75-100 cars now seen at Athenian used to be at Green Valley/Diablo Road, and it would be again if a roundabout or a light is added at the Athenian intersection.

Furthermore, we all know that buses are great, but are never permanent. The funding simply dries up eventually. Just last spring, for example, the TRAFFIX board did a study comparing traffic in the Diablo corridor with the traffic around Coyote Creek in the Dougherty Valley to see which was worse and then allocated bus money accordingly. Diablo corridor was worse so the money will still flow our way for now, but it could be reallocated any year. Dougherty Valley is not even built out yet, so it could "win" the buses next time a study is done.

So when looking at traffic issues to decide whether a development should proceed, you must recall several years ago, when the traffic was routinely backed up to and past the Diablo entrance at Alameda Diablo, 1/2 mile from the Green/Valley Diablo Road intersection. To get a sobering reality check, ask the TRAFFIX staff for the traffic studies that justified allocating Measures C and J sales tax money to pay for buses for this corridor. You will be appalled that more discretionary development is even allowed at this point when you examine those studies.

3. Residents in other areas of Danville belong to SOS-Danville and are vital supporters of the initiative effort. They were denied their Measure S right to vote on the Elworthy Ranch development being built by KB Homes. Indeed, two of the three proponents listed on the SOS-Danville initiative petition are residents of other areas of Danville. Residents in the El Capitan Drive area have an Agricultural parcel in their midst that should be subject to a Measure S vote if residential develpment is proposed for it. Yes, residents in other areas of Danville understand what development means to an area of Town whose roads are already over capacity at peak times. When given the facts, the people will render an informed decision with their Measure S votes; isn't that what democracy is all about?


Posted by Happy in Danville, a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2012 at 7:29 am

The voters have spoken. They wanted a balanced approach to development. Congradulations to Mike, Newell and Renee.


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