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Grading begins on Elworthy property

Original post made on Jul 26, 2012

Motorists on San Ramon Valley Boulevard are advised of increased traffic near the Danville border as crews begin the process of grading for the Quail Ridge subdivision. The 459 acre KB Homes project is located on the Elworthy property near Sunset Color nursery and the Danville Congregational Church.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 2:19 PM

Comments (20)

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Posted by dot
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

"Danville is an incredibly scenic and thriving community, and we are proud to add Quail Ridge to our line-up of new home communities in the East Bay,"

It was a whole lot more scenic before you decided to put in homes in place of the natural beauty there now.

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2012 at 10:56 am

That's OK, they will slide down the hills there soon enough.

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Posted by Kate
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2012 at 11:08 am

There goes the last little bit of open space along the old highway....What a shame..

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

and it won't be long until the sound walls are extended, across the street, blocking whatever view remains today, as you drive north.

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Posted by disenfranchised voter
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm

If only we knew then what we know now. That project did not have to happen. Danville citizens had a right to vote on that project and were denied it by the Danville Town Council.

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Posted by Realist
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Oh, oh, oh! Last one into town shut the door and lock it, quick! No newcomers allowed!

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Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2012 at 9:18 am

Yes, the project has been in the works for years and now is starting. But, of course, the traffic will be another thing on San Ramon Valley Blvd after about 3pm every day. It already is heavy right now due to drivers bypassing #680. It will become bumper to bumper once all homes and townhouse planned are occupied. Sorry, westside Danville residents, some more of your small town quality of life will go away.

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Posted by disenfranchised voter
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

@Realist: Next time Danville Town Council, KB Homes, and SummerHill Homes (check out its proposed Magee ranch development) need a new lackey, I suggest you apply. After all, you think you know better than Danville voters which developments merit approval.

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Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

And just where are all the kids going to high school from this new developement? San Ramon Valley High School alread has close to 2100 students at it when the school board keeps saying it should only have 1800 students. They have built everything at the school undersized so there is nowhere other than the football field to hold an entire school assembly. The new "Main Gym" holds a whopping 1100 people so anytime we have an event like SRV Boys Basketball playing some one like MV or DLS they have to turn away parents that are there to see their own children play! The Performing Arts Center only holds 450 people. I don't see how we can possibly take any more students at SRVHS! Why would the community allow our schools to be so over enrolled? Or, is this their plan to fill up Dougherty Valley High School by making the overflow go over there?!

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Posted by parent of high school student
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Jul 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Dougherty Valley is already OVER CAPACITY! It has been since it opened, as are the elementary schools and middle schools in that Valley. Weber Ranch just added over 20 homes to the Monte Vista area, and now Danville wants to add 78 homes plus at least 20 second residences to that same area at the proposed SummerHill development. Developers rule, not the people---many of whom are "too busy" to pay attention to what is going on or to do anything about it.

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Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Dougherty Valley ISN'T even close to over capacity! The school was built for a 4000 student capacity! There are numerous class rooms in it that have never seen students in it. When all is said and done DVHS will be the largest high school in the District. Currently the school only has about 2000 students enrolled. The housing market crashed during the building of all those homes out in Bollinger Canyon stopped and has not really picked up since the bailout leaving the school under enrolled. If I were the one buying one of those new homes in Danville the first question I would ask is where are my kids going to school! SRVHS is the top school in the District and everyone is trying to get in there. Will Quail Run?

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Posted by Pedal Power
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Did anyone notice that those ugly sound walls actually INCREASED freeway noise levels away from the freeway, (at least at higher elevations up the side of the valley). Some nights the droning noise is particularly noticeable.

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Posted by Carol
a resident of Danville
on Jul 28, 2012 at 9:08 am

Sad sight seeing the fencing go up last week on the project. Even my 11 year old has been sad, saying the land should be left alone.

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Posted by JT
a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

Everbody has to stay busy to run their own lives effectively. If you truly care, donate / join one of the local non-profits that have staff that monitor land-use developments. It is the best way to leverage your time, by donating money so others can spend the time advocating on your behalf. Two such groups are
Save Mount Diablo
Tri-Valley Conservancy

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Posted by parent
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Aug 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

@John: Why is the school district planning an addition to Dougherty High School if it is not (or soon will be) over its capacity? Please see March 29th article, paragraph #8, statement below by the District's spokesperson Terry Koehne about the plan to expand DHS. Also note that there will soon be a new DV elementary school to be paid for by TAX MONEY and not by the developers. And the Valley isn't even nearly built out yet!

From the Danville Express: "The city of San Ramon, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and Shapell Homes recently announced a partnership that designates land for a future park and elementary school in the Dougherty Valley. The school would be located on an 8.6-acre site one-half mile southwest of the Dougherty Station Community Center in an undeveloped area, next to a 30-acre park.

Shapell Homes will donate the land to SRVUSD, with the understanding that play fields will also serve as a permanent park for the city like other schools. There is no set development timeline for the project, which school district officials estimate will cost $31 million.

"This is a win for everyone," said San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson. "To develop more park space is a goal of our city. We also believe that this will help ease congestion in the community by pulling traffic away from other congested neighborhoods."

Officials expect the future elementary school to help alleviate the enrollment crunch at Dougherty Valley's four existing elementary schools, three of which house over 1,000 students in buildings meant for 900. Ultimately, the district hopes to reduce the number of families being diverted away from their neighborhood schools, as families from the Live Oak and Hidden Hills school areas have been.

Slowed down construction around Quail Run Elementary has allowed the district to divert students there, said SRDVUSD Community Relations Coordinator Terry Koehne. As home construction begins to pick up in the area, the more students will need to go to school.

The district had previously discussed jointly operating a multi-use facility with the city that could be used as an auxiliary school, but ultimately decided that a new elementary campus would be a better solution.

"We think this is in the best interest of the community, particularly as the homes in that area continue to be developed. As needs change, I suppose we will have to look at the existing facilities we have, the purposes they serve and adjust as the situation calls for," Koehne said, adding that the district has already modified buildings to accommodate growth.

Koehne added that the school district recognizes a need to expand Dougherty Valley High School, but said the most immediate need was for additional elementary space.

"This is clearly a benefit for the city, the developer, and most certainly for the school district and the families of the Dougherty Valley," said Board of Education President Greg Marvel. "While we still need to pass a facilities bond to build the school, having the land and some of the infrastructure provided will save the school district and taxpayers millions of dollars."

The cost of the new elementary school has already been figured into the facilities bond currently being discussed by the Board of Education. Although the board is still looking over recommendations from a citizen's oversight committee, Marvel estimates that the school could be built in a minimum of three years should the bond pass.

"It would come on board just when we need it, the projection is that we're going to continue to see growth out there," Marvel said. " The voters that we talked to out there in the Dougherty Valley indicated that they would be supportive of a bond if it meant that their elementary schools could be reduced in size. Some of those schools are projected to go as high as 1,400 (students)."

While the three parties have been meeting for nearly a year to discuss and review options and alternatives related to a joint use school and park site, only recently has this specific proposal for a new site in the Dougherty Valley taken shape. The various stakeholders will continue to work together on finalizing the terms of this partnership and spell out the details related to planning, implementation, funding and joint use of the park and school site."

Once again, developers win, taxpayers lose.

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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

Greg Marvel's comment is laughable. The school district clearly was hoodwinked during the negotiations over the Dougherty development and didn't force the developers to agree to build enough schools. Now Marvel is touting the great benefit obtained from Shapell in getting them to "donate" land "with the understanding that the play fields will be a park" that Shapell was probably required to provide anyhow! And the primary expense is building the school, which now we taxpayers will have to pay for.

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Posted by Kate
a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Pedal Power is correct about the noise from the freeway being sent up the side of the valley. Ever since those walls went in the westside hills have been listening to a terrible roar from the freeway. I'm hoping the new paving will tone it down a bit.

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Why are all of you complaining so much? I mean, KB builds stellar quality homes we should all be proud of. Unless of course you are fond of architecturally-challenged designers who think children's building blocks are a good modeling tool. Or homes that have problems before people even move in. Or scenic views obscured by lovely mass produced high rise fences. Or you don't enjoy being able to shake hands with your neighbors through second story windows. Or unless you check out this page-
Web Link
I posted about KB trashing another hillside several months ago. I missed the planning stages years back, no one's fault but my own. Not that my influence could compete with a wealthy developer.
Our council and planning departments clearly need overhauls. As in, "get rid of them all".
It's up to us folks.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on Aug 3, 2012 at 12:36 am

Danville Express May 15, 2008:

"The Planning Commission approved a residential development on the 459-acre Elworthy Ranch on Tuesday. The Commission voted 6-1 to approve the project despite resident concerns about traffic, overcrowding in schools and aesthetics."

Thanks Planning Commission!!

JT- Could "Save Mt. Diablo" or "Tri-Valley Conservancy" have done anything to stop the Elworthy Ranch development?

Realist: How about if the Newcomers buy the current homes for sale or in foreclosure? Is there a shortage? That would be a win-win! They get to live here and I get to enjoy and share with them the beautiful town I moved to 30 years ago.

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Posted by movedaway
a resident of another community
on Aug 3, 2012 at 1:30 am

Or - you can just move out of the area because Danville, once a nice quiet country community has become a congested city - I moved!

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