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Another Hideous Scar on the West Hills

Original post made by Derek, Danville, on Mar 28, 2013

As I was heading back northward on 680 from a errand this morning, I saw a huge crane digging what looked like a road cut into the side of our beautiful green hills. This horrible defacement is located above and to the south of the Sunset Nursery area, not to the north where KB Homes is already defacing the hills.
Does anyone know what is going on there? Apparently our fine city council members and planners were not content with leaving even one tiny scrap of hillside un-raped; no, they had to go for broke. I would like to tell them a few things that are wholly unfit to print in a family newspaper, but I will save it for my next face to face encounter.
Where, oh where, are the recall petitions?

Comments (24)

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Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2013 at 10:10 am

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Good morning,

Thanks for the question. What's happening on that section of the Elworthy property is some grading being done to mitigate a potential landslide area that was identified during the approval phase of the development.

Under the agreement with KB Homes, the developer must grade the area and compact the soil in that section so as to reduce or eliminate any potential for a landslide. Once it's done the developer will reseed the soil to bring back the native grasses.

An article on the work was also put on the Town's Danville Today Online Newsletter Web Link to help get the word out.

Thanks for asking and hope that answers the question.

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville
(925) 314-3336

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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Thanks Derek...your question was timely given Geoff's quick response to your query. Is it just me or are those prison walls on the KB Eastern Front among the ugliest things to have despoiled the once bucolic San Ran Ramon Valley Blvd drive north from Crow Canyon? How can Newell, Renee, Robert, and the aged Mike Doyle think that is Okay? If this is Summerhill to come I am even more agitated...
WOW....Can you say Recall?

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Posted by Alamo Resident
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 3, 2013 at 6:54 am

I grew up in the San Ramon Valley and moved to San Ramon in the 1960's. It was a beautiful valley filled with orchards, cattle and horses. Every day I drive down 680 through Danville and smiled at the small patch of open hillside at the few grazing horses on the hillside. Bishop Ranch and Dougherty Valley erased much of our beautiful valley.

I truly hope that the one open hillside in the SRV returns along with grazing horses. This put a smile on face, every day as I drive down 680. The KB homes and prison walls do look horrible !

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carol
a resident of Danville
on Apr 3, 2013 at 7:50 am

Sadder still are the missing trees on both sides of the freeway. My drive to work isn't as pretty anymore.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Danville
on Apr 3, 2013 at 9:22 am

The city council needs to be recalled. Their united vote to bring in VERY low income housing was disgusting. Lets give out the home addresses of the city council members so the very LOW income ppl can personally thank them!!

 +   Like this comment
a resident of Danville
on Apr 3, 2013 at 9:27 am

We hope everyone reading this article has signed the SOS-Danville Open Space Preservation Initiative. If not, come to Lucky's in Danville or the Farmers' Market this Saturday from 10-12 and sign!

The initiative's purpose is to stop Danville's government from violating the Open Space Preservation Measure S passed by 75% of the voters in 2000. The Elworthy project legally required a Measure S public vote after the Town Council approved it, but the Council continues to claim no vote was necessary. We could have stopped that KB Homes project.

The Council is about to violate Measure S again regarding Magee Ranch in the Diablo Road corridor. SummerHill Homes wants to built 64+ homes on 200 Agricultural acres there and the next and likely final Planning Commission hearing on the project is expected to be April 23rd. The Council maintains that if it approves the project (and we fully expect it to), no public vote is required. Please attend that April 23rd hearing (check the Town of Danville website to confirm date, location, and time). Don't let the Town violate Measure S again!

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Posted by DGM
a resident of Danville
on Apr 3, 2013 at 9:33 am

My guess is that those gross, oversized homes in the KB development are not "affordable". so don't worry about that! However what in the world were the planners thinking when they allowed that abomination to be much for Danville's small town ambiance!! The south entrance into Danville is hideous..looks like L.A.

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Posted by Eric Coupey
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

I understand that the cutting down of those hundreds of beautiful old trees is to allow the demolition (of the existing) and reconstruction of a "sound wall". Doing and undoing, all work for the working man of course, however, seems there are more necessary projects to fund with taxpayer dollars than helping developers save on their profits and have the community pay for part of their business?

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I agree with pretty much every sentiment above.

As for what Chris wrote, my own opinion is that downtown Danville (not the southeast part along Tassajara/Blackhawk) is the epitome of a perfect place for senior citizens. Everything is close, and those who cannot drive may be able to walk to their shopping & dining destinations, or take a quick bus ride. The senior complex along Laurel behind the old Fed-X/Leslies/Los Panchos complex is very nice.
What prevents Danville planners from designating "affordable housing" for senior use? Or at least 50%? This of course all rides on the dubious need to be part of ABAG, a highly debatable point.

The issues to me have always been the desecration of our hills combined with the fact that San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo don't have much bedrock underneath those hills. Development provokes future erosion and landslides on a major scale, and I fail to see how KB Home's so called mitigation work is going to help that. Looks to me more like they are creating a problem rather than fixing one - and why did it even need fixing to begin with? Poor choices by city council member and planners that seem made solely to benefit developers. Ditto to all of the above for what's being schemed on the flanks of Mt. Diablo.

Saw a lady collecting signatures at Lucky's today. I signed a long time ago, and I hope she has a big pile of paper by the end of the day.

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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Danville
on Apr 4, 2013 at 6:23 am

Call it what you want. All that new "construction" is disgusting. That's not why I pay ALOT of property taxes here for.
It all looks like "fort ugly." Those town planners OR building developers would NEVER live in those boxes.
The whole damned thing is an insult to my intelligence, yes, all those meetings fighting for a good and worthy cause, the design of structures, the traffic headaches caused, the color and finishes of residences. All just gross.
Stop and think a minute. Nothing has contributed to progress here because of our town counsel, are they really representing us? Are they working with us? Why did they run for office? Why did we vote for,them? Shame on all of it.....embarrassing.
They can try and justify all they want, but THEY have to be personally responsible and accountable. And they haven't been. Shame on them.

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Posted by lori
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

Mitigation equals money; it doesn't mean anything. All of this adds up to money; the Summerhill project, KB homes and now the cemetery in Tassjara and the Farm project. The homes are taxed and produce income. we will never know what has been given on the side for these projects to pass

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Posted by J Wilcox
a resident of Danville
on Apr 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

I asked the same question of the city last week. They told me there was instability of the hillside and they are stabilizing an area that had a small landside. There is NO building going on in that area. Just repairs that the builder agreed to make.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

For all those folks complaining about their voted in city got what you all deserve. You were told many times that the council was no good. But you Danville folks think you know best. Good, I am pleased you are getting what you voted for. Stop complaining fools, you are the cause of all the problems. Recall is like closing the barn door after all the horses ran out.

I am so thrilled we the people of Alamo did not vote to become a city. We had the same bunch of self serving fools trying to get in and start their stupid agenda.

In closing...Again I am please for what you Danville folks are going me what you wish...

Thank you for listening...too bad you didn't listen back on election day. Julia Pardini from beautiful sane Alamo

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Posted by informed Danville voter
a resident of Danville
on Apr 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

You are so right, Julia. We had two excellent Council candidates last election: Jim Jelincic and Bob Nealis. Who won? The two horrible incumbents---Newell Arnerich and Mike Doyle---and their hand-picked candidate, Renee Morgan. Most voters were asleep at the switch and didn't pay attention to the newspapers to find out the issues. Shame on Danville voters! Now those of us that cared are suffering for your mistakes.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by DGM
a resident of Danville
on Apr 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Right...those houses...mega mansions above the freeway in Alamo are real things of beauty!!!!

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Another ironic aspect of the KB Ticky Tacky Boxes is that not one of the fools buying them will bother to enter "KB Homes Class Action" into a search engine. And when they start having problems they will whine and bleat "how could we have known our new house with the lovely soundwall view would start falling apart in just 18 months? Whaaaa!"

(for anyone who is curious and has several hours to spend, check it out for yourself)

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Posted by Jana Baker
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm

It wasnt a "landslide" it was a sink hole that happened years ago and got worse annually...good luck to the new home owners and the liability for putting homes there.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Apr 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Hello "Neighbor"

FORT UGLY....I Love It. I could not have said it better. Those frigging walls are heinous. Come on are an architect for God's sake, is there not a better alternative?

Against Fort Ugly-

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2013 at 6:28 am

I also agree with the vast majority of the comments. There is no one on the council that seems to care what happens to our town anymore. It's as if the developers, ABAG, the MTC and other outside groups are totally in control. For the town of Danville to survive we need a fresh start and a city council that will represent all of us. Failure to do that will necessitate a recall and one writer was so correct. We had the opportunity last election and the majority voted to keep the same ones in there that cause the problems.

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Posted by SAD
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2013 at 7:50 am

I grew up in San Ramon. Went to school with the Elworthy children as well as the Weidemans and several other early San Ramon residents.
We moved to Danville in 1964 when the freeway took our home. I have watched this valley grow and am saddened every time I drive through San Ramon.
It was such a big deal when the population reached 100!! And look at it now.
Sometimes progress is not such a good thing.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by SMD
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

Thank God for Save Mt. Diablo or we would have homes all over that beautiful mountain!

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Posted by LOH
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

Shame on you Danville Town Council for allowing the developers to proceed!!!!!
We put our confidence in people on the council to do the best for Danville and they have let us down. It's hypocritical that they ran on keeping Danville small-town. I just hope the voters have learned a lesson, I know I have. Don't let this happen again.

If this is progress, we don't want any part of it!!!
Bring back our beautiful hills.
I'm for signing the "SOS Danville Open Space Preservation Initiative" .

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2013 at 11:59 am

Yea I have to agree that KB mess they're building looks pretty bad. Almost looks like a cheap apartment complex so far. And just another stop light or two on the boulevard. I'll miss the old barn and horses grazing on that hillside. Brought a smile to my face many times over the last 40 years. Sad.

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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm

I appreciate Geoff's response above - are we missing the point that there is not a building going up on the spot in question? Rather, it is a retaining wall. They are not pretty, they are merely strong and there for structural reasons. Maybe some shrubs would pretty the area up a bit, but during the construction phase, we're just going to see the materials needed to shore it up.

I'm all for keeping space open, but I'm also all for keeping the hill from sliding.

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