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San Ramon City Council candidate vows to oppose all new high-density development

Original post made on Aug 6, 2013

One of the three confirmed candidates running for election in San Ramon this year want to block future high-density developments in the city. San Ramon resident Thomas von Thury is a Pleasanton-based attorney with more than 30 years experience in business law.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, August 4, 2013, 12:00 PM

Comments (23)

Posted by frankly, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 6, 2013 at 6:41 am

If this attorney finds a way to block, overturn State Law on required density living accommodations, fantastic!!!!!

Can he?

Or might be but an appeal to the citizens in order to be elected?

If this attorney has the plan to block State Law, or the more power to him and may be truly be elected on this bases.


Posted by Danville Resident, a resident of Danville
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

Would be nice if Danville could get a candidate who feels, "The proper role of our city government is to serve and protect residents and their property, not to promote growth and commercial interests."

Can you say Measure S? Elsworthy? SummerHill? Enough is enough.


Posted by FanDanville, a resident of Danville
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thomas von Thury sounds good at first, but I wonder what his actual criteria/values/policies are for decision-making on property issues.

He states: "(I).....oppose all further high-density developments, whether residential or commercial. I will oppose any warehouse store within San Ramon and I will oppose any new 680 interchange."

So NO high-density development can ever be good or done reasonably and well, including commercial property?

So NO warehouse store is good or desirable? (Especially now that SR is already well-serviced by existing warehouse stores--Target on Bollinger, Costco near Crow Canyon.) Are warehouse stores really the problem for most SR citizens?
Are the surrounding cities supposed to supply the needs and desires of SR citizens, while SR doesn't meet its own needs? (That's pretty selfish and abusing.)

So NO new 680 interchange? What's he talking about here--the HOV ramps to Bishop Ranch?

I hope he states he policies and positions more clearly.
Right now, he just sounds like he'll be against ANY upgrades or improvements to anything. Keep the status quo and do nothing more. That's overly extreme!

Is he going to get SR out of ABAG?

He'll have a tough time running against the Pro-Building Politicians, including former Planning Commissioner.
(Why do Planning Commissioners seem to get voted into Council positions? They have relevant experience, but a such an ingrained, strong bias for Developers that is contrary to independence and independent thinking.)


Posted by Registered Danville voter, a resident of Danville
on Aug 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

ATTENTION TOWN OF DANVILLE RESIDENTS: Robert Storer, developer, and Karen Stepper, pro-developer, will be up for Town Council re-election in November 2014. Please come forward now if you can promise to enforce Measure S, oppose any more high-density development in Danville, and in general resist ABAG's efforts to enforce Plan Bay Area high-density development on Danville.

You must start to run soon, or you will have little chance to defeat 2 incumbents, as we saw from the last Danville election.


Posted by Common Sense, a resident of Danville
on Aug 6, 2013 at 10:53 am

Too late. The gigantic Section 8 housing project next to Dougherty Valley HS has already doomed San Ramon. Just a matter of time before drug dealing and violence ruins the area and spreads into the surrounding community. Who in their right mind decided to place the large Section 8 project next to a high school? The location of the Section 8 housing will only serve to shorten San Ramon's reputation of a premier city turning it into another Brentwood/Antioch. Section 8 housing attracts the worst of the undersirables. San Ramon is screwed! Too bad!

Thank goodness I live in Danville, but the degradation of San Ramon will eventually impact Danville through higher crime rates.


Posted by Lily, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

You can tell he has no experience. A 15-year resident? I've been going to the planning meetings for years; can't recall seeing him. Let's see - he's against everything (except the environment), but wants to protect residents and their property. Does that include Mr. Mehan - who owns Bishop Ranch? As to scaling back the APPROVED downtown, that seems foolish. We've all been looking at the vacant lot for decades. I'm sure there's a business plan that identifies the amount of revenue/space needed to support the build-out. He has no chance to have any input on that, or changes to the approved plan, so, while it might "sound good," it's bogus. I'd rather see the downtown built. It's about time.


Posted by Uncommon sense, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm

"gigantic Section 8 housing project next to Dougherty Valley HS"

No such thing is on the books or in the planning stages in San Ramon. Do you have some secret knowledge or are you making things up?


Posted by Danville Res, a resident of Los Cerros Middle School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 7:42 am

Robert Storer, Danville City Council member owns stack and pack senior housing near Diablo Road. He has benefited personally and wants more stack and pack section 8 housing everywhere in our town! We need to get rid of this jerk!


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

To the last post, if your definition of "stack and pack senior housing near Diablo Road" points to the two-story, Victorian-styled Sunrise of Danville community, you will find many who could only wish they had privileged access to such gilded and desired living quarters.


Posted by Get the point, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

@Conservator: The point is that Storer is a high-density developer and if you don't want more high density in Danville, it is wise to elect someone without a business interest in that field.

Did you know that Storer has a seat on ABAG now? Bet he is not making any waves with that group....


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 10:55 am

@Getapoint: My point, albeit admittingly light-hearted by intent, is that the 2-story Victorian characterized as a 'stack-n-pack' actually looks pretty good to those of us that have started to think about such things.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 10:57 am

Wow. Just.... wow. A private developer manages to build attractive, affordable housing in Danville -- without a government subsidy -- which makes it possible for disabled folks and seniors who aren't filthy rich to continue to live in their own community, and the screechers posting here froth on about "stack and pack" housing and call him a "jerk."

Wow. How do you build up that much sickening contempt for your fellow human beings? Do you really just hate everyone?


Posted by Jill, a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

@Get the point: I think you've identified the wrong 'jerk.' Point that finger at yourself. Those are great senior units - & we're going to need more of them! The people who contributed to building Danville into the Town it has become, would like to stay here when they're older, and downsize from their larger homes on larger lots to something they can handle. Shame on you for equating Storer's buildings to "stack & pack." What a stretch - & a joke! If you don't won't him on the Town Council, then vote him out (he's not the worst member) - or run yourself!! It's always easier to complain, than to step up & make a difference. As to Storer now being on ABAG ... GREAT! I'd rather have someone sitting on the inside, trying to influence the outcome in our favor, than doing nothing but complaining from the "outside."


Posted by Get the Point, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 11:54 am

@Jill: Were you at the General Plan hearing during the last months? I was. The stack and pack density (up to 35 units/acre) being proposed by the Council's plan would have required 3-story housing units. And don't forget that density bonuses can be obtained to up those numbers (up to 30% more units/acre). Public outcry forced them to scale those densities back a bit and take a few sites (example:Darby Plaza)off the stack and pack list for redesignation from office/commercial.

The two-story buildings being cited as great examples of multi-family housing are not "stack and pack". Look at the CA housing dept. website for its flyer showing examples of housing with varying densities to see what I am talking about.

What neighborhood do you reside in, Jill? If you lived near the downtown Danville area, I think you would have more concern about continual conversion of low-rise office/commercial space to stack and pack, and self-interested developers and architects being on the Town Council.


Posted by Downtown resident, a resident of Montair Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm

@Jill: You obviously know nothing about how ABAG works. Corte Madera left ABAG because it is dominated by those that hate suburbia and want to replace it with Stack and Pack. Do you know the latest Senate attack on suburbia (SB 1, I think) will allow suburban areas to be declared "blight"? Storer's presence on ABAG's board merely serves to legitimize it. He is a get-along type, not a defender of small-town, low-rise Danville.


Posted by Alan, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Thomas you will not represent me!


Posted by Lisa, a resident of Danville
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm

@ Danville Res, You sound like a Fox news commentator. Lots of spin!
Danville is required by law to offer a percent of "Affordable housing". This concept is unheard of in Danville, but it is "required" by state law. Mr. Storer and the town counsel came up with a wise and beneficial solution. The affordable housing units are available for low income seniors and high functioning disabled adults. I doubt any of those residents are going to tarnish Danville with drug selling or criminal acts. This winning solution is good for Danville. Mr. Storer is highly passionate about preserving the beauty and charm of Danville and helping seniors and disabled adults. That doesn't sound like a "jerk" to me. The only jerk is one who assumes then spins the rest of the story. Get your head out of your @#!*% and take a fresh breath. Maybe the hate will go away.


Posted by Jill, a resident of Danville
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm

@GetThePoint: As a matter of fact, I've been to ALL of the meetings - to the wee hours/bitter end, when a handful of people were left. I emailed my comments directly to the Commissioners - which included removing the Darby parcel from consideration (they do listen). There are a few appropriate areas in Danville for development, others, not so much. At the end of the day, it's up to the property owners as to whether they'd like to develop (or re-develop) at all. I heard way too many people reacting to half-truths spouted by others, rather than sticking to facts. If I took their attitudes, half of the population of Danville would not have a place to live - since most of that development (i.e., the homes in which they are now living) happened after 1980. People equating stack & pack 'low income housing' to Section 8 just show their ignorance. Any right-minded property owner/developer would not accept Section 8 rent in Danville (unless it was from a senior, relative, etc), as it is far under market rates. Who would spend the money to develop a property, only to then accept a smaller profit? No one that I know. As to @Montair Elementary: obviously you are much smarter than I am. I'm surprised you haven't commented on the fact that Obama's next target is housing equality in zip codes!


Posted by Uncommon sense, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm

@Common Sense,

Are you talking about Highland Point apartments?

Three units high, $1,500+ a month for a one bedroom, workout room, community area?

THAT'S section 8 housing???


Posted by Danville Mom, a resident of Danville
on Aug 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I will be cheering for Mr. Thomas von Thury to win his election!

Thank you for representing all of us who want to keep our towns small and who chose not to live in high density cities with traffic and all that comes with it.

Can we get a few more people like this to run in Danville?


Posted by homeowner, a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2013 at 10:59 am

There were some good candidates in the November 2012 Danville Council election that lost to the 2 incumbents Arnerich and Doyle and their running mate Renee Morgan. Let's hope a couple of them choose to run in 2014. First we need to be sure they are on our side and not ABAG's.


Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Aug 12, 2013 at 9:20 am

How about a requirement to start requiring each community to provide local jobs for a certain percentage of the population. Yes, a typical solution of the granny state, however the assertion made to illustrate that all you "low density advocates" foist upon countless others your cars driving to work locations and jamming up arterial roads in their communities. Your low density ideal is an audio and nasal stench on others lives.

Not everyone wants to own a home or rent a home. Many people, including our children as they grow older, would like options to live in the communities that they may aspire to live in later in life. So condo's, town homes, apartments, flats, assisted living centers etc, etc, are all highly valuable to the communities we live in. It adds dimension and depth and vibrancy that the aging populations can't provide.


Posted by local control, a resident of Danville
on Aug 12, 2013 at 12:40 pm

@JT: you are missing the point, JT. Shouldn't we Danville residents get to decide land use issues in OUR TOWN, and not unaccountable government bureaucrats hired by unaccountable ABAG? Do you want to be governed solely by Sacramento, and a regional unelected bureaucracy? Why incorporate as a town--just to have the fourth of July parade?


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