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General Plan moves to Town Council for consideration

Original post made on Feb 13, 2013

After weeks of lengthy meetings and public hearings, Danville's Planning Commission recommended that its draft 2030 General Plan update be forwarded to the Town Council for review and eventual adoption. Hundreds of concerned residents packed the Tuesday night meeting to express dissatisfaction with the update and request that the plan be tabled.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 2:53 PM

Comments (23)

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Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Danville
on Feb 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

If only we could get a straight answer from the Danville planners.
I was actually at a Planning Commission meeting where one of the Town planners said when low income housing was involved, with a density bonus and a zoning variation, it was possible to have a four story building.


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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Feb 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

"The piece of this that I'm missing is why there is an assumption that that policy is somehow going to change at this point in time" - Chainsaw Joe Calabrigo
Yes Mr. Calabrigo, we have no doubt that you are indeed "missing some pieces"
The synopsis here fellow Danvillians, is that they are going to do what they damn well want. Only a full recall can slow down our council. The planning commission has already made up it's mind.


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Posted by J. Avery
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:28 am

The planning commission voted to move this on to the council because they don't want to listen to the public anymore. They kept saying over and over that they had held more than 20 meetings over the past several years implying that the public should have been involved at that time and now have no right to object. If the public had engaged several years ago they would have been told to wait until the plan was further along to criticize. Now that the public is involved they chastise them for being late. The public is being railroaded. High density housing will be the future of Danville. The three High Opportunity Sites they removed will simply be added in the next RHNA cycle. This removal is just to placate the people. Do not stop fighting for Danville. We must recall these people.


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Posted by J. Avery
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:28 am

The planning commission voted to move this on to the council because they don't want to listen to the public anymore. They kept saying over and over that they had held more than 20 meetings over the past several years implying that the public should have been involved at that time and now have no right to object. If the public had engaged several years ago they would have been told to wait until the plan was further along to criticize. Now that the public is involved they chastise them for being late. The public is being railroaded. High density housing will be the future of Danville. The three High Opportunity Sites they removed will simply be added in the next RHNA cycle. This removal is just to placate the people. Do not stop fighting for Danville. We must recall these people.


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Posted by Tim W.
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:32 am

It's important to note that Karen Stepper and Lynn Overcashier are both on the CCTA (Contra Costa Transit Authority) which has been given 45 million dollars by ABAG to force cities to comply with all of this. And Newell Arnerich is on the ABAG board that is making the regional One Bay Area Plan. All of this is a conflict of interest. It's all about money and power.

By the way..... Newell Arnerich just filed papers to run against Joan Buchanan for Assembly District 16. If Newell thinks the people of Danville are going to support him he is dead wrong! Bad time to run for higher office Newell! Just shows how these people could care less about their town. They are just using this as a stepping stone for higher office.


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Posted by M Welch
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2013 at 9:17 am

3 questions.
1.Compared to what?...this is good for Danville and they way of life we have worked for compared to what? Oakland, SF. or any other community I could live in but chose here.
2.At what price?...What will be the cost to the town, traffic, low income subsidised housing? Impact to the schools, community in general?
3.Where is the "hard data" that this is GOOD for Danville, how will it benifit this community?


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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

By the way you naive folks in Danville...you deserve what you get time after time after time...

All of you were fully warned about electing those three clowns...but you did it anyway...read them and weep.

You will never learn...DO NOT RE-ELECT ANY INCUMBENTS...They all go to the power and money feeding trough to suck we the people dry.

I have said it many time in the past. If you want to blame anyone...just look in the mirror.

Thank for listening, even though you can not hear the message.

Julia Pardini, from Alamo...would never relocate to Danville and I know some of you say ho-ray stay in Alamo.


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Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm

"Newell Arnerich is on the ABAG board"

Wow! This is the first time that I've heard this. (not heard during the elections at all).
And that he is a Democrat (not heard during the elections at all).
It is just so hard to get pertenient information.

Yes, this is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

Additionally, the new Councilwoman was former Planning Comm. So isn't it a CONFLICT OF INTEREST when any project that she worked on (had responsibiity for) now comes before her for a vote.

Both of these people should recluse themselves from voting on this Gen Plan.


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Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2013 at 3:09 pm

How do we get ALL language regarding ABAG's proposals entirely REMOVED from the General Plan? I won't support it until that is done.
How do we get ALL "opportunity sites" removed from the Gen Plan?
Why (what reasons stated) were the 3 sites removed?
Why were the other 3 sites retained--and where are they located?


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Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

"....definition for affordable housing to the plan, which is less than 30 percent of the Contra Costa County median household income of $90,000 for a family of four."
Am I understanding this correctly?
Our Planners are aggressively planning for affordable housing (large enough for a family of four) which a family of four with $30,000 income (in 2013 dollars) will be able to rent out (...or is that buy?) and which a Builder will be able to build to Danville's quality of planning criteria and still make a sufficient profit for the Builder.
Is this all going to be heavily subsidized by the Taxpayers?
So the Planners are forcing (via zoning laws) the construction of "rental" units into Danville (versus "purchased" units) and forcing the introduction of low-rent units and low-income renters into Danville (irregardless of the makeup of the surrounding neighbors or of the normal property economics of supply and demand).
We're throwing free enterprise Capitalism out the window and just slipping in Government-dictated Socialism at a local level.
Am I wrong?


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Posted by Mom of 3
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Lynn Overcashier was like a steamroller and she obviously had no interest in any comments from the public.
Arnerich is a sell out.
I didn't vote for any incumbents.
I thought the most telling moment of the entire meeting was when one of the women on the commission (not Lynn, so must have been Karen?) asked for clarification. She said "I just want to make sure that the height limit will be 2 stories?" referring to the apartment buildings in the plan. The answer, from one of the paid "experts" was that "actually the height limit is 37 feet which would accomodate 3 stories, and to meet the density numbers for the high density housing, 3 stories would be required". How is it possible that someone on the Planning Commission had not processed this basic piece of information?
Time for everyone in town to become educated in the process and the proposed plan and SPEAK UP.


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Posted by diablodave
a resident of Diablo
on Feb 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm

diablodave is a registered user.

Most of the people at the planning commission were against the proposed general plan (like 300 to 2). The planning commission released the updated plan 2 business days prior to the meeting...a very long document, and we're supposed to work our way through it and all of the revisions and be prepared to debate in TWO DAYS? Many citizens got up and expressed their opposition to the plan and the various elements already discussed. There are so many things wrong with this new plan I don't know where to begin...

The planning commission sat there to fulfill their obligation and showed NO SIGN of hearing the citizens. Arnerich is on the ABAG board and pushing their agenda into our town?!? Most of the eastside of Danville was represented...the westside better wake up before it is too late because they're going to get screwed as badly as those of us who started out opposing Summerhill...but this is much bigger than that!


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Danville
on Feb 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Why the aversion to allow a vote? Measure S was passed so the town could vote on the change is zoning.
As a servant of the community why not listen? The commission's actions and words do not appear to be forthright.


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Posted by Danville Hartz
a resident of Danville
on Feb 19, 2013 at 10:21 am

To the comments about conflict of interest, I brought this issue up to the town staff and was responded to with the following:

"Your question regarding potential conflicts is regulated by the Political Reform Act. Under the law, officials could have a potential conflict if the matter under consideration could impact their income. However the law specifically exempts income from a government agency. Therefore there is no conflict."

So if there is a government agency involved there can be no conflict of interest? Really? To me, this is the BIGGEST conflict of interest.


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Posted by Tom Randall
a resident of Danville
on Feb 19, 2013 at 11:10 am

It has become clear that a select group of individuals use this publication to spew negativity and false paranoia. Danville is a great place to live, full of wonderful people, and most of these comments do not represent that majority of our town.


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Posted by Joseph
a resident of Danville
on Feb 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

Let's recall and replace this Council.


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Posted by Mom of 3
a resident of Danville
on Feb 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

To say that there is no conflict of interest because Arnerich's income comes from a government agency is ludicrous! This needs to be addressed at a Town Council meeting, and I hope you will be there Danville Hartz.
Tom Randall, Danville is a great place, but the changes the Plan as proposed suggests will change everything, and without the vote of the people as required as per Measure S. I would like to know what qualifies you to tell this forum what the majority of our town prefers? The majority of the people who show up at Town Council meetings are opposed.


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Posted by Kristen
a resident of Danville
on Feb 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Tom, You are basically correct. Danville is a great place to live. However, this general plan is flawed and residents should have the right to vote under measure s when land zoned as agriculture is slated for development. Elworthy and Summerhill for example. This group of council members have been in office too long and there is too much conflict of interest on many levels. Most planning commissioners and councilmen are in the land development, real estate, or architectural design.


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Posted by TRUE FRIEND OF DANVILLE
a resident of Danville
on Feb 20, 2013 at 9:57 am

If you want to be able to have a REAL DISCUSSION about the issues above, and not be forced into the straitjacket of hearing procedures at the Planning Commission meetings, come to these CITIZEN-SPONSORED MEETINGS:

LOCATION: DANVILLE VETERANS' HALL, HARTZ AVENUE
TIME: 7:30-8:30
DATES: THURSDAY, FEB. 21ST, AND WED., FEB. 17TH
SPEAKERS: FRIENDS OF DANVILLE; SOS-DANVILLE; SOME HOA PRESIDENTS FROM AROUND DANVILLE; BOB NEALIS AND JIM JELINCIC, RECENT TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATES

THERE WILL BE TIME FOR QUESTIONS AND REAL DISCUSSION


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Posted by Jane
a resident of Danville
on Feb 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I've been to all of the Planning Commission meetings and I agree with Tom. Measure S, Save our Space/Creek, etc., are losing track of the fact that most of Danville does not agree with (or doesn't care about)the continuously negative comments here & the development of Magee Ranch, otherwise, they would have voted the Town Council members out in previous elections. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't have plans to fix the EXISTING traffic, emergency evacuation, etc., but to continuously attack vs. coming with solutions to problems, causes those groups to lose credibility. I'm actually tired of listening to the same people pontificate at the meetings, without offering positive recommendations. Everyone should be held to the "3-minute" rule for public comments.


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Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Feb 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm

While I am personally agnostic, I cannot fathom properly why so many of Danville's most emotionally inclined do not utilize the power of their MONEY and corresponding influence as opposed to bemoaning their disdain for local government. At least from my own perspective, I would argue that more political contributions and private residence fundraisers occur within the enclaves of Danville and Alamo then any other other region of the Bay Area short of perhaps Atherton, Palo Alto and Los Altos or thereabouts. Regardless, virtually all town councils and the career bureacrats who populate them are influenced by the political pressure afforded by national parties and their Federal / State candidates. Only the good Lord knows how many RNC events a certain neighbor of mine in a very nice neighborhood has held and will likely hold in support of their politcal intentions. Focus and attention to one's expectations are rarely sustained over a significant period by the 'stick' as they are by the 'carrott'.

How could the issue as to whether or not a wealthy land development corporation who likely added wealth to an already wealthy landholder (or wealthy heirs) by purchasing their land so as, once developed, to bring greater wealth to their capitalistic, wealthy investors ever going to be influenced without greater political influence from a broader body then that afforded by a modest roomful of agitated residents? I don't know, perhaps it's just me.


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Posted by Danville Hartz
a resident of Danville
on Feb 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Jane,

I believe there have been a number of suggestions on how to make things better, but they seem to be falling on deaf ears with the planners and staff.

1. Remove the PDA distinction for downtown Danville as downtown is not to be our future housing development epicenter, but our town's character and business area. Maybe we should propose a Measure B to prevent the town from rezoning business land to residental (Measure S is agriculture land to residental).

2. Challenge the RHNA allocations as they are NOT final, are open for public comment at this time and are far reaching beyond even the states estimates for growth (and our towns).

3. Discontinue our town's membership in ABAG. By being in ABAG (the PDA makes it worse) gives non-elected regional "government" control over our town's direction.

I may be missing a few things, but I think these were at least the major suggestions (besides Measure S changes).

It would be a start in the right direction. I think the challenge is because of the various conflicts of interest as seen in prior postings.


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Posted by Christa Daniels
a resident of Danville
on Feb 24, 2013 at 12:32 am

Recall the commission. They are not listening. ms. Lynn can't even hide her distaste for the public. if this goes through, maybe we can print maps to their homes for new arrivals little Jamal and Latesha to make a late night visit. Watch your schools deteriorate!!!!!


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