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Foreclosures up! Demand Down! And Danville contemplates a major new subdividsion?!?

Original post made by Concerned on Sep 9, 2011

So we have a "strong and steady increase in foreclosures" in Danville & Alamo over the last two years, with the latest figure showing distress sales as a full third of all sales! (Web Link). We know that distress sales and foreclosures have an enormous negative impact on our local property values. That is aggravated by the high inventory. And yet Danville goes full-steam ahead on new development! The Town is currently considering a proposal for a major new subdivision of up to 127 dwelling units in the Diablo/Blackhawk area (the "SummerHill/Magee Ranch development"), which will empty it's traffic into Alamo through Stone Valley Road. Why? The arterial roads can't support the traffic. The creek can't support the runoff. And the market can't support the inventory. Our lives, lifestyles and property values shouldn't take the hit! Why would Danville Town Council members inflict this disaster on the residents they're supposed to represent? (Or do they care more about the developers, the development fees, and the revenues it will bring them?) All Danville and Alamo residents should be concerned! Call! Write! Demand that the Town do the responsible thing. Be specific. Let all the Council members know you'll remember whose interests they represent come election time!!! Urge them to reject the SummerHill development, and protect your "small town atmosphere and outstanding quality of life," as they've promised!

Comments (11)

Posted by whose town is it anyway?, a resident of Danville
on Sep 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm

You are so right, Concerned! When I heard about that Diablo Road area project being proposed by SummerHill Homes/Mr. Magee, I couldn't believe it! I am not allowed to rezone my property, so why should Mr. Magee be allowed yet another rezoning of his property (don't forget, his property was used to create the existing Magee Ranch, the Diablo Creek/Arency/Stillcreek development, and Hidden Valley!) so SummerHill Homes can flood the market----and the creek to which his property drains--- with unneeded homes!! Danville Council members: who are you representing? One property owner plus a San Ramon development company---or your thousands of constituents in the Diablo Road area and greater Danville?

Posted by Danville Money, a resident of Danville
on Sep 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm

If the primary reason the Danville town council is considering approval of this project is money (usually correct) and they're prepared to steamroll the wishes of their voters and the general plan to do so, maybe they should consider the financial impact to the town of approval...namely that adding capacity to an already overcapacity market will further depress property values. That will cause the Assessor's office to continue reducing the value of the surrounding houses which given the sheer volume of existing homes to proposed new homes will lower the property tax revenue that goes to the town of Danville (and especially to the school district). Maybe in addition to learning how to listen to their residents, the town council should undertake to learn basic math skills as well (at least the count money part...).

Posted by Diablo Dave, a resident of Diablo
on Sep 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

We moved here for the open space and lack of housing and population density. That is why many of my neighbors from Danville, Alamo, Diablo and Blackhawk moved here too. It is also one of the central pillars of the general plan. Why would the town council violate their responsibility to maintain the ambiance and openness that brought us all here in the first place?? Shame on them for even considering this development in our neighborhood...

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Sep 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Yo, council members. Anybody listening? Anyone........?
I seem to be getting a hollow echo sound in here.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Danville
on Sep 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I am so glad that I do not on, near, or around Blawkhawk Road. Traffic neads to be relieved in this area, not compounded. Has anyone from the town of Danville council actually observed the horrible traffic problem in the morning on school days? Thank goodness, I do not need to deal with that mess.

Posted by Free Marketeer, a resident of Danville
on Sep 11, 2011 at 6:20 am

Yeah -- it's probably time to finally widen that one stretch of Diablo Road, from Green Valley to Athenian. There -- I said it.

I'm guessing that's really what animates those pastoral Diablanns -- they don't want that solution on the table. "Save Our Two-Lane Road" lacks a certain cachet.

Perhaps it they agreed to be annexed by Danville, then Danville would respond more to them? "We moved here for the open space" is a silly argument, that actually means "We got our property to use as we see fit, now don't you dare use yours."

If you want to control Mr. Magee's real estate, then the solution is simple: BUY IT.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Danville
on Sep 11, 2011 at 8:33 am

Should read - I am so glad I do not LIVE, on, near or around Blackhawk Road.

@ FreeMarketeer - Unbridled greed and unbridled growth is not only stupid, look at what unbridled greed and unbridled growth did to the U.S. finanacial housing market in late 2006. We are still feeling the repercussions of the free market six years later, via our great recession, or depression, a word that Washington still refuses to use.

The term Free Market is a guise for unbridled behavior, promoted by people who already have an over abundance and do not want to be stopped or checked, sort of like, "I got my blessed lot in life, and I will do whatever I want to promote my families interest, damn the community".

Posted by Economics 100, a resident of Danville
on Sep 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

Free Marketeer: Please provide me with your address. I want to buy the property next to yours and put up a smoke-belching factory. No? Of course you wouldn't want that to happen because of a well-known concept in economics--externalities. Simply put, free markets fail when the cost to others such as air polllution, flooding, unacceptable traffic, destruction of critical habitat for animals, and so on are not borne by the person making the decision to build something. That is why the concept of zoning was created and an environmental impact report is required before the government can make a decision to grant a rezoning of agricultural land to permit dense housing on it. Mr. Magee is seeking a rezoning to do building that will cause unacceptable externalities on everyone in the Diablo Road corridor. Danville Council members should vote "No" on his rezoning request just as they would if I were to ask to build a smoke-belching factory next to you.

Posted by concerned citizen, a resident of Diablo
on Sep 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Let me get that straight, Free Marketeer. You are saying that because we are not part of Danville that it is okay for Danville to "stick it to us" by approving an ill-conceived housing development with grave consequences for our community? I hope Danville Council members will not share your same childish viewpoints as they make a decision about Mr. Magee's rezoning request. And of course, let's be clear that many more Danville residents will be negatively affected by the proposed development than will Diablo residents. There are fewer than 400 homes in Diablo, and at least 2-3 times that many in the Danville portion of the Diablo Road corridor.

Posted by Free Marketeer , a resident of Danville
on Sep 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm

So, Econ, you want to move my smokin' factory right next door? Okay -- it'll make my commute a breeze. There. All internalized. Maybe you should buy Mr. Magee's farm instead?

And what about widening Diablo Road? It's just a short stretch. Take a little from each side; shore up the hillside where necessary. If you can't raise the bridge, then widen the river.

Posted by Economics 100, a resident of Danville
on Sep 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Free Marketeer: You betray your ignorance of the Diablo Road corridor by suggesting that the solution to traffic bottlenecks there is simply "widening" Diablo Road for a "short stretch". First of all, the bottleneck goes from the Diablo Road/Green Valley Road intersection for several miles up to the Blackhawk Drive/Blackhawk Road intersection where Blackhawk Road becomes 4 lanes. Even with the four lanes there is still a back-up at the Camino Tassajara intersection. Since when is several miles a "short stretch"? Secondly, a simple widening would do nothing. There would have to be four lanes to eliminate bottlenecks, and even then there would be the problem of Green Valley Road being only 2 lanes. To create four lanes, there would have to be a covering of the East Branch of Green Valley Creek for at least 1 mile; digging for at least a mile and one/half for 20 feet into a slide-ridden hillside on Magee property on the southern side of Diablo Road and installing a very high and expensive retaining wall, or condemning expensive Diablo properties and cantilevering the road to the north, which would require great expense considering the precipitous drop the land takes immediately to the north of the road as it passes Diablo.Of course there would be a loss of walking paths on Blackhawk Road and Diablo Road, which would add more to traffic. Also, there would be a loss of heritage trees and scenic vistas, but you obviously do not value such things. And the big question is, who would pay for the road work? The good taxpayers of Danville and Contra Costa County? That hardly seems fair to make them pay to alleviate the externalities caused by rezoning Mr. Magee's land. I would be extremely shocked to see Mr. Magee and SummerHill offer to make the roads 4 lanes in exchange for their rezoning. That expense would eat up all their profits, and would probably exceed them.
Speaking of paying for things, your simple chant of "buy it" begs the question of "at what price"? Should it be the price without the rezoning? Therein lies the rub, oh Free Marketeer. You see, Mr. Magee wants to sell his land to SummerHill Homes at the inflated price he will get with the rezoning entitlement. When his family bought that land generations ago, it was bought as agricultural land. Through manipulation of government entitlements he is seeking to enhance its value way beyond what it's worth under its present zoning. And there's nothing "free market" about using the government to reap a speculative sales price.

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