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Open space preservation initiative falls short of 2014 ballot

Original post made on May 11, 2013

A grassroots ballot initiative aimed at strengthening voter rights on future development may have garnered enough support, but will no longer be under consideration as a ballot measure due to a technical error.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 10, 2013, 4:07 PM

Comments (31)

Posted by Rick Pshaw, a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2013 at 8:04 am

When are you idiots going to realize that a recall is the only answer?


Posted by Jeanne Frank, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 6:55 am

Joe Calabrigo is a slime ball. This is how our govt treats citizens who question them. Joe is NOT an elected official and receives over $325,000 a year in compensation! This guy is the second highest paid City Mgr in California for a city this size!

I agree with Rick. Recall is the answer!


Posted by Arlene, a resident of Diablo
on May 13, 2013 at 7:07 am

I am extremely disappointed by the Town of Danville's decision to negate the will of the people as indicated by the overwhelming support of our petition. I am disillusioned that money and power have cancelled such grassroots public support.


Posted by Danville Hartz, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 8:20 am

It is unacceptable for the town staff not to have provided clear instructions about the paperwork for the initiative. To not do so is intentionally undermining the rights and desires of the citizens. This decision should be overturned and the town staff should be reminded they are there to serve the people of Danville.

The Town Council should overturn this decision.


Posted by Duffy, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 8:44 am

The Danville Town Council has fallen into the political trap that happens to all governments whose leaders remain in power to long. "THey know what is right for the [people!" If they were a truly representative body they would move heaven and earth to insure the opposition received a fair hearing and not play games!


Posted by BellaSF, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 9:27 am

What a surprise. The Town of Danville has decided come hell or high water that they alone should decide where stack and pack housing should be built in Danville. They claim that all these projects are revenue neutral and that there is no benefit to the Town to approve projects, but this obviously is not the case. These projects justify their salaries and existence in many instances. The entire process is a joke. Well meaning citizens from all different political positions, geographic locations, etc. have come to stand together against SummerHill and other ill conceived projects, and the Town has pretended to listen while going forward with their own agenda. They have scheduled dozens and dozens of meetings in a not so veiled attempt to wait out the opposition. They have pretended to play by the rules ("Sure, get a petition together.") while looking for loopholes to deny it. They have begrudgingly sat through testimony that doesn't support their position, promised to respond to all concerns, and then fired back virtually meaningless cut and paste, canned responses. It's insulting, and they should be ashamed.


Posted by Obviously, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

This is the same non-sensical ranting that occurs in response to all of these articles. The California code section that governs this is not decided by the Town of Danville; it is decided by your State legislators. Arguing that the the Town should be blamed for California-wide laws is tantamount to arguing that the Town should be blamed for immigration policy. You may find it cathartic to focus your blame on a local politician or Town staff member, but it is entirely worthless to do so.


Posted by Disgrunteled Resident, a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on May 13, 2013 at 10:43 am

This recent sham reminds me of the 1982 critically acclaimed movie whereby the plaintiffs attorney last minute witness factual testimony is stricken from the records because of legal technicalities.

The defendants attorney's objected and the judge agreed instructing the jury to disregard the facts.

Fortunately, the jury had heard the truth and ruled for justice in favor of the plaintiff.

Hopefully the Town Council recognizes what the people really want and don't force unnecessary recalls or lawsuits.


Posted by Diablo Tony, a resident of Diablo
on May 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

This is clearly a case of "Gotcha." Why is the Town of Danville working so hard against the obvious wishes of its constituents and the adjacent neighborhoods?


Posted by Fed Up!, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

The Town could choose to put the initiative on the ballot just like it did Measure S---which was a Council ballot measure, not one put forth by the citizens (the Council was expressly trying to defeat the citizens' Ballot Measure R). But of the course the chances of the Council doing that are nil.


Posted by SOS-Danville, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

Thank you for your continuing coverage of our initiative and the SummerHill Homes proposal for Magee Ranch, Jessica. Without your efforts, many local residents would not be aware of how Danville's government is making a mockery of Measure S and its promise to the voters.

We hope everyone will attend the NEXT AND LIKELY FINAL PLANNING COMMISSION HEARING ON THE SUMMERHILL HOMES MAGEE RANCH PROPOSAL TUESDAY, MAY 14TH 7:30 P.M., DANVILLE COMMUNITY CENTER (IN FRONT OF THE LIBRARY). Your Measure S right to decide is at stake!


Posted by diablodave, a resident of Diablo
on May 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm

diablodave is a registered user.

If SOS-Danville didn't follow the state laws regarding solicitation of signatures, fine. Everyone should follow the rules. Everyone, including the Town Council.

What can't be argued is the will of the residents to avoid the Summerhill development (as in hundreds coming to each planning and council meeting where the subject is on the agenda to express their disapproval) and their will that Measure S be followed with respect to ALL developments (as the purpose of the petition).

What will be of interest is whether the Planning Commission and/or the Town Council will heed the voice of the people in their upcoming deliberations. Given that the town council has LIED to us on a number of occasions (e.g., how can the development be revenue neutral as they have claimed when agricultural land is being converted to residential development with their resulting much higher property valuations?!? Really, they think we're that stupid?!?), I will be very surprised if either the Planning Commission or the Town Council do the right thing and kill this development proposal.

SOS-Danville got more than enough signatures the first time. If the town politicians insist on pushing this along, the SOS folks can do another petition even more easily. Maybe this time there can be two petitions - one for the preservation of our Measure S rights and one for recalling the town councilors who are supporting the developer and their money. Last time I checked, corporations still don't vote...


Posted by concerned petition signer, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Reminds me of how clearly guilty criminals go free because the police officer incorrectly read the Miranda rights.


Posted by disturbed, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm

What Calibrigo did not tell everyone was that the Summerhill group got a copy of the petition and forwarded it to their attorney who went over every word with a "fine tooth comb" until they found the "gotcha." ....then reported back to the Town. Politics as usual. Does anyone in our city government know the meaning of the word integrity?


Posted by Oh geez, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm

How come no one is upset at the "expert" attorney for not filing the petition correctly? Seems like this should have, could have, would have been avoided if the process was followed.


Posted by Leslie, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Mr. Calibrigo is the definition of integrity. The attorney screwed up the petition and it did not get certified. End of story.


Posted by Derek, a resident of Diablo
on May 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I smell rotten fish, and it's coming from La Gonda Way.

@Leslie, may I suggest you attempt to find a new dealer? Whatever drugs you're buying from the current one are distorting reality. All the same, thanks for the knee-slapper.


Posted by realist, a resident of Danville
on May 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Remember how Calabrigo tried in the 2030 General Plan to designate downtown Danville as a "Priority Development Area" for high density housing saying that it wouldn't change anything? Sure, Leslie, he has lots of integrity.


Posted by sad signature gatherer, a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on May 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm

@ohgeez: the plain fact is that no matter what the public did, the Town would have found a way around the petition. In fact, some people refused to sign because they felt it was a futile effort. Very sad.

And they probably waited until the last minute to disqualify the petition so the public couldn't do anything about it. Shame on Danville government.


Posted by Proper T Rights, a resident of Danville
on May 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

We need to get down to the core of the issue. It comes down to property rights. We need to support the owners right to develop their Magee Ranch property. As citizens of wealthy Republican oriented town of Danville, we need to recognize that properties rights for owners of properties are a key platform for our citizenry. We don't need excessive liberal government policies dictating everything we do on and with our land!!! People have a constitutional right to own and do with property what they like. Is it fair for the town of Danville to say to the owner that they can't put houses on their property? If that is the case, then nothing would get developed anywhere! That's nuts. So this is a call to arms for Republicans to stand up for the Magee Ranch proposal, and start trusting your town council!! In fact, you know it as well as I do, the fact that the wealthy developers are donating money to the town council politicians is a GOOD thing... The supreme court in Citizens United just affirmed the right of corporations to be treated as people, and based on the last election cycle, it did help the Republicans... as they still have the house majority, thanks to Republican drawn districts and Republican donated funds to political races.
So TRUST big business and trust Republicans and trust your town council to do what is right for all of you NIMBY's. It is the Republican way!


Posted by Repubs for Open Space, a resident of Danville
on May 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

Feel free to build what ever you want. Being a Republican has nothing to do with the Summer Hill debacle. Just don't ask to hook into our water supply, sewers, further congest our roads or impact our schools.


Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm

@ Proper T Rights-

Darn right. Why, Nevada's running out of space for nuclear waste storage, and Diablo's a mighty big hill. We oughta' be able to hollow that sucker out for storage, then we can still build those nice trophy houses on top. And they won't even need heat in the Winter!


Posted by You asked for it, a resident of Danville
on May 17, 2013 at 8:24 am

Let's face it. Danville voters are getting what they deserve (except for those of us that voted for Jim Jelincic and Bob Nealis for Town Council). You elected the shills Newell Arnerich and Mike Doyle and their hand-picked lackey Renee Morgan. Now suffer the consequence that Measure S is going to be ignored and SummerHill Homes the developer of Magee Ranch wins without having to go to the public for a vote.

The next election is 2014. Will Storer and Stepper win reelection despite all they have done to ruin our quality of life (think Elworthy Ranch and SummerHill; high density housing; ABAG membership---just for starters)? Time will tell. Oh, and let's not forget, Newell A. now wants us to elect him to State Assembly. You have got to be kidding, Newell!


Posted by Speakin the Truth, a resident of Danville
on May 17, 2013 at 8:48 am

Proper t rights, YOUR AN IDIOT. You show your stupidity with that comment and you give republicans a very poor image. They have enough problems trying to screw the little guy and make it look like they are true americans who know whats right for all Americans. You who sides with dishonest developers, corrupt city managers and council members and you know who you are, should then allow your next door neighbor build a high rise building next to your house if he wants to. Right genius?


Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on May 18, 2013 at 11:39 am

I hate to state the obvious Speakin the Truth, but I am pretty sure "Propert T Rights" was just being sarcastic. Read the last few sentences carefully. You may have been trolled.


Posted by Disgusted, a resident of Danville
on May 19, 2013 at 10:06 am

Let's face it. Danville's Town Council rules like a collective monarchy. What the people want has absolutely nothing to do with their decisions. All they listen to is developer money, then pretend they are trying to preserve the "small-town" atmosphere. And most of the voters are too busy trying to earn a living to notice.

The failure of the initiative is just one more example of the monarchy that is Danville's government. The people dared to try to force a public vote on critical land use decisions, and the government shut them down using technicalities. SHAME ON DANVILLE'S GOVERNMENT. Next election, let's hope the people are finally paying attention!


Posted by Proper T Rights, a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

If you are Republican and you don't want the Magee development and are mad at the town council for not siding with the "Voters," Well then you get what you deserve, because this is how the typical Republican machine operates at all levels of the government juggernaut. This type of voter/government injustice is happening EVERYWHERE. So look at yourself in the mirror and get mad at supporting the dirty money, insider deals that are the hallmark of crony politics.


Posted by Face the facts, a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2013 at 10:20 am

@Proper T Rights: Why blame Republicans? Democrats are squarely in control of the entire state, including Contra Costa County (even though County office of Supervisor is technically non-partisan). Local Danville Council is non-partisan. I believe in as little government as possible so as to limit the harm the government can do to you. Magee Ranch/SummerHill is a case of government changing the existing zoning to help the developer and avoid the public input of a public vote. Don't blame what is going on in Danville on REPUBLICANS!Blame it on cronyism favoring special interests and ignoring THE PEOPLE. Blame it on Newell Arnerich, Karen Stepper, Renee Morgan, Mike Doyle, and Robert Storer. Keep party affiliations out of it.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

@ Face the facts:

Well, if you are in favor of as little government as possible, why even have zoning laws? Isn't that a matter of government intrusion into property rights? You should be against zoning laws entirely, and for land owners having the freedom to do as they please, without government intrusion, right?

Or is it that you only want government to get involved when it suits YOUR interests?

Seems a bit hypocritical to me.


Posted by PJ, a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2013 at 11:25 am

Let's be honest. A lot of the folks making commentary here are probably more upset about traffic delays and longer lines at Starbucks...than voters rights and town council "corruption". You know who you are. I'm not saying its wrong to feel this way...just be honest about it. You are entitled to your own taxpaying opinions...but just be straight.

This is one of the greatest places to live and being able to afford to live here is a joy. Concentrate on what you do have and enjoy it. I've lived in many areas of this country and can first hand can tell you that what we have in Danville is incredible. Parks, trails, bike lanes, good schools, weather, access to oceans, skiing, wineries...you don't get that anywhere. People come HERE to vacation.

If you are THAT against these developments, then do more than sign a petition or air your thoughts at town council meeting (which according to most, goes ignored anyhow...)....keep going...blog, post videos, go protest at the job site...anything...just PLEASE stop playing the "i'm a victim" card. I'd bet anything that these people concerned about ruining "rolling majestic hills" by building houses, would be the same ones to complain about our fire protection district if a brush fire broke out in those undeveloped grassy hills and it got too close or even damaged their proprties.

Its tiring and incredibly depressing to hear all the non-stop complaining. There's nothing worse than hearing wealthy people (anywhere, just not Danville) complain that they have it rough...all the time. We know you worked hard to get where you are and where you live. Also please drop all the Republican/Democrat nonsense...it has nothing to do with this issue and you know it. If its that bad here...move on...sounds like you don't want to be here. But if these new homes are really just going to inconvenience you...then be real and get a grip.


Posted by Melinda, a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Ha! Where has PJ been all this time?


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