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Town Square

Activist group sues Danville, developers over Magee Ranch project

Original post made on Jul 31, 2013

Local citizens group SOS-Danville filed a lawsuit July 25 challenging the town of Danville's approval of the [Web Link SummerHill Homes development]. The suit challenges the town's assertion that the development does not invoke Measure S and claims that the project's environmental impact report is insufficient.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 5:31 PM

Comments

Posted by Rick Pshaw, a resident of Danville
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:19 pm

So you win the lawsuit. You'll still have the same town council...


Posted by diablodave, a resident of Diablo
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:25 am

diablodave is a registered user.

Rick, you're right but that problem must wait until the next election to fix...


Posted by Rookie Move, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

Thanks Diablo folks for creating chaos for us Danville residents that actually like this project.


Posted by Old Danvillian, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

Magee Ranch was specifically addressed in the discussions about Measure S back in the day. A major purpose of Measure S was to keep Danville from becoming another Los Angeles-like suburb, and to keep Diablo Rd from being buried with more automobiles. (Oh, let's just add a lane or two more!) Planners and politicians of that year said that Magee Ranch would always be ranch land. The Magees said they had no interest nor plans to develop that land. Plans change, and promises are forgotten. Perhaps the letter of Measure S can be interpreted by the current Town Council to allow development there, but the Spirit of Measure S was to NOT. Either dump Measure S or keep it, but please play it straight and don't weasel-word around it.


Posted by Ann Winters, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

When are,members of the council up for re-election so we can start their removal? Love to see Renee surrounded by some intelligent town conservatives who don't drool over the show.


Posted by PSMacintosh, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

Ann,
Not to pick on you, but could you please tell us, why you think that Renee is NOT part of the problem?
She is formerly from the Planning Commission.
Why are you excluding her from removal?


Posted by PSMacintosh, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:46 am

SOS, I hope you win your lawsuit. I think it is abhorrent of the Council to have denied and side-stepped the Measure S vote.

As to the traffic problem at the intersection at Diablo, McCauley and Green Valley roads, something needs to be done about that problem--and more lanes, bigger and better roads, and smarter signals are probably a necessary part of that solution.
This is true even if SummerHill's plan is stopped. Even if no new homes are built in the area, or if 1 house per 10 acre zoning is maintained, there still needs to be work done on the traffic problem in the area as is. Danville, what are you doing about that problem!?!


Posted by Danville resident, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:52 am

@Rookie Move: I am a Danville resident that lives in the Diablo Road corridor and HATES the project and the traffic congestion it will exacerbate, and the flooding and erosion it will worsen. About 95% of the local residents that showed up to the several Planning Commission hearings on it were also voceriferously against it. Furthermore, every voter in Danville should have had a vote on this project, and didn't get it.

If by "chaos" you mean the orderly determination by a judge that we voters were denied our legal Measure S right to vote on it, and that the requirements of the CA Environmental Quality Act were not followed, then bring on the "chaos". Perhaps you should move to a totalitarian state; I understand North Korea is looking for recruits.


Posted by Ghost of Jarvis, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

Hmmmm .... I wonder how many tax dollars this lawsuit will cost to defend? Enough to make a dent in the cost of that extra lane Danvillain doesn't want, but we need nevertheless.


Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

Dear Lawsuiters and project HATERS: If you didn't live on the Diablo corridor you would probably think this is a very reasonable project, given the number of acres, the number of planned houses and amount to be kept open space.

However, what you really want from what I can tell is NO development. Well that is a lofty goal to which I support, however even if you win the "lawsuit" or force another EIR, you still have land that is privately owned and hence a candidate for development. Can you name for me one legal precedent that establishes the governments right to PREVENT all future development?............ Thought so, can't be done.

Now if you do want this property to never be developed, than you will need to buy the land yourselves and donate it to a public agency or private group that maintains open space. And I am sure Magee would be willing to sit down with SOS and have SOS match the developers offer.

Every one of the issues that the opposition brings up is easy to make accommodations for. So if you want to win the war and not just the latest legal skirmish, you know what you have to do... and it is not just sue under the arguable interpretations of Measure S.

Good luck, your efforts, which many in Danville may construe as blatant NIMBYism, may make you feel good in the short term, however be careful for what you ask for. While the developer and town government have tried to avoid a Measure S vote, they may want to consider taking this to the voter, because to many of the non-Diablo Rd Danville'rs, it looks like a pretty good development! And don't forget how many "downstream" non-Diablo Rd Danville'rs resent you upstreamers who clog up their roads everyday, and resented the very developments whose residents are now SOS'ers.


Posted by Danville voter, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm

@ JT: Magee Ranch is another Elworthy-like development (Elworthy is the hideous KB Homes "Quail Ridge" eyesore along southern San Ramon Valley Blvd. and easily seen from 680) on Ag. land. No one likes Elworthy and resents that the Town denied the public vote on that, too. No matter how great the Council members in their infinite wisdom think the Magee and Elworthy projects are, that does not give them the right to deny the public vote on them. They need to convince the public that the project is great, and so does the developer. Otherwise, let it be voted down.

Let the land be developed under its existing zoning--- one home per twenty acres on the Ag. parcel. The rest can be developed as one home per five acres, except for a very small parcel, but is so hilly and slide-covered, it likely never will be. Why do you think they want to "cluster" the houses? Because it is the cheapest way to develop the land, not the best for anyone else.


Posted by disgusted in Danville, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Save Mt. Diablo really threw the public under the bus on this development. SMD reps. showed up at the last hearing to extoll the project, and they don't even want the land! I will never give them money again.

Apparently, SMD doesn't give a hoot about bicylists either, even though many bikers are big supporters of the park and probably SMD because they love to ride to the summit.


Posted by Debbie A, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I have been a Danville resident since 1996, I've attended every planning committee meeting, some design review meetings, and all of the town council meetings that have covered this topic. I've spoken in public, and I've sent multiple emails to planning commission and town council members, as well as the mayor. My emails have never been answered, because I asked the question - "Who benefits from this development?" I wrote in the emails, that if they would answer me, I would vote for them when they come up for re-election. I didn't get one response.

Something smells bad here. Follow the money.

I firmly believe that the rezoning this agricultural land to p-1 without putting it to a vote of the residents of Danville is circumventing the law and our right to vote on whether this land should be developed.

The Diablo Road corridor is already a problem. Two weeks ago, it was shut down for 2 hours because of a traffic accident. If someone had a medical emergency in Diablo or Hidden Oaks, or Magee Ranch, going around from Sycamore to Blackhawk could have made the difference in life or death. Summerhill is the straw, and quite frankly, I don't want to be the camel.

The town of Danville and the voters need to fund a real fix for Diablo (more lanes, and real bike lanes), and then we can discuss whether we want to plow down our hills and put up houses.


Posted by long time resident, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm

To JT

Actually there is something that can be done. Under CEQA, the traffic impact has to be found to be "less than significant." If the traffic impact is found to be significant, it must either be mitigated or the project cancelled. Our Mayor and Town Council found the traffic impact to be "less than significant." Somehow the rest of us did not need a contrived traffic study to know that 950 additional cars would be significant in the current Diablo Rd mess.


Posted by Juley Hull, a resident of Danville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Yet another resident of Danville, but it seems that I don't count for anything, even though I showed up for at least 5 of the Hearings & Meetings and stayed for hours. I spoke twice at meetings, even though public speaking is not a comfortable thing for me to do.

But Town Council insists that these activist groups, Save Open Space & Save the Creek, consist of non-Danville residents. While this is not true, it is irrelevant, because the unincorporated residents of Danville have the right to an opinion, as well as Diablo residents and Alamo residents & Blackhawk residents. This is OUR community, regardless of who is allowed to vote and who is not.

I promise you that I will be out there encouraging people not to vote for any of these council members, some of whom are out in 2014 & some in 2016. Apparently at least one of them has higher aspirations, but I think his record in this matter will follow him, and not in a good way.

I say we go for a recall of each & every one of them! It is absolutely disgusting that they should ignore what hundreds and thousands of Danville voters told them at the meetings and by signing the petition.

As for Nimby-ism, just you wait, others in Danville who think it doesn't affect them ... they will bringing more housing projects to Danville, and without Measure S, we have no voice.

This affects every one of us. The traffic will be affected all over the area, not just on Diablo/Blackhawk Rd. Has anyone had trouble finding parking downtown? Does anyone feel that the classrooms at our schools are over-crowded? The argument is always that it's "just" a hundred more, but the increments have added up.

Those of you who complain about the housing projects that have come in, maybe you should have gathered an activist group & done something about it. Don't grumble & moan about it now.

Listen up, people, this is all leading to multiple-story housing, and not just downtown. The Town is greedy for more tax revenues, but ignores the additional costs this brings us.

Ultimately, whether you agree or disagree with the Summerhill project, you cannot disagree that we have the right to vote on it, per Measure S. After all, didn't we vote in Measure S for this very purpose?

Even the Planning Commission recommended the removal of the 3 homes whose driveways would feed into the already over-congested Mc Cauley Road, exactly where the school, Sunrise Senior Home, and Fire Station parking lots all pool in!

What did the Town Council do with their recommendation? They added those homes back in, sometime after 1 am, so that most people had gone home & couldn't object.


Posted by Annabelle Brown, a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 1, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I do not consider myself an activist. I am a Danville resident for the past 17 years. My daughter went to Danville schools. I do not appreciate the Danvile Town Council going behind our backs in such an obvious way. I care about the town I live in and would like an honest group representing us. The beauty in Danville is in its hills and greenbelt and it deserves to stay that way and not become another town with a mass of tract housing like Brentwood.


Posted by LH, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 3:28 am

Another resident of Danville here - I say bring it to a vote, and let residents decide. I'm with all those that say we should have the right to vote on this under Measure S.


Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 5:33 am

IF Danville citizens are denied their right to vote on measure S, THIS WILL SET A PRECEDENT for more housing / commercial projects to to be pushed through with the help of builder friendly folks on the town Council, like Rene. In the long run, Danville risks losing the quality of life and natural surroundings its so well known for, to an urban sprawl.

What surprises me is, so many people wrote emails, spoke into the early morning hours against this project, at the multiple & lengthy Town Hall meetings, and the Town Council still decided to back the Project and actually re-added more homes to it. Who is on the take here, that risked being outed if the project did not get approved ?

Its not clear how this project benefits the town of Danville. Whose benefits are being promoted here ? The Town or the Town Council ? If its the Town, then why not just put it up for vote, let the Town decide. ??

By denying the rights of Danville citizens for a simple Vote under measure S, the Town Council has lost the trust of Danville citizens.
It is embarrassing that the people we elected are not putting our best interests first and are actually denying us the ability to even simply Vote on it. (the same votes that got them elected in the first place). They need to be recalled.....


Posted by PS, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 8:02 am

Rookie move please explain to me what it is about this project you like. I suspect you are a summerhill or Danville town rep plant. Nothing I have seen heard or read is positive for the residents of Danville. Even if you or others do have something that is positive about the project don't you believe in the right of law especially when it spells out our right to vote. The town reps trying to take this away should be ashamed of themselves for trying to take away the right to vote that measure s gives. I say just let the town vote on it. If there are more people like rookie move who want this I will accept it but I don't suspect that to be the case. Town reps be on notice that I and many like me will stop at nothing to ensure all of Danville know you were in favor of taking away the rights of the residents of the town of Danville. Hopefully your days in office are numbered.


Posted by Sheila, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 8:48 am

I have lived in Danville for over 30 years and am appalled at the decisions this council has made for our town.To flatten our hills, put up "stacked" housing, and add hundreds of new homes is terrible. One new lane on the freeway is not enough to accommodate the traffic that we will have. Yes, we can show our objection by voting them out in November, but action is necessaary before then. Please support SOS Danville and all its endeavors, the most recent to take the Town of Danville as well as the Council members to court to force them to adhere to Measure S requirements..............namely that the people have A VOTE ON LAND ISSUES.


Posted by Disgusted with Danville Town Council, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 10:31 am

@Ghost of Jarvis: The DEVELOPER SummerHill Homes will be paying for the defense of the lawsuit, not your tax dollars. The approval was for the developer and the investors in the land, NOT FOR THE PEOPLE OF DANVILLE. So Danville Town Council really does not give a care about the suit, and in fact challenged the public to dare to raise the money to bring the suit. The Town Council in Danville masquerades as being concerned about overdevelopment, but in fact are pushing it at every opportunity. They are wolves in sheep's clothing!


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 10:50 am

I'm just curious about how many of the folks who insist that the government should prohibit this landowner from building the number of homes on this property which are currently allowed by law (but arranging them differently on the parcel) are against "Big government" the rest of the time?

Right wing NIMBYs - gotta love the irony. I guess where you stand depends on where you live, right?


Posted by Old Danvillian, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 10:55 am

In answer to JT's question regarding a government's "right" to assign or deny property development...Yes, we call it a Police Power and it is specified under what is known as The 1913 Act. Governments are supposedly representative of the voters, so we the people can control what happens to land use via our elected officials, theoretically.

That said, people run for office for personal reasons often having to do with the need for attention and power. There is no prize for second place in an election and the candidate with the most money wins %99 percent of the time. Candidates "tell" prospective voters what they want to hear, and then they "do" what their money sources say they should do, if they want to get reelected that is. Anything to obtain the resources necessary to get or stay elected. We live in a pay-to-play democracy.....this is not news.


Posted by Long time Danville resident, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 11:11 am

Years ago when we went for cityhood, which I was against, they wanted to maintain the small town feeling by calling us the Town of Danville. Have the city council members never driven on Diablo Road, especially when before and after school hours. It is so dangerous and backed up.

There is still an arrogance by City staff and council members concerning the uproar over further development of our community. My husband and I attended all of the community meetings. We listened to what was presented. Unfortunately, the council did not present much. They were always going to take what was presented and respond to it later. When questions are asked, answers should come forth immediately. Otherwise the moment is lost. This is why we all feel that the council does not listen. Well it is time to make them listen at the poll. Of course our mayor is seeking other political horizons to blind. I hope the voters remember this and educate others in how much he responds to the voters wishes.


Posted by 35+ years in Danville, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 11:17 am

The guy up a few comments who was talking about the people and Big Brother government must not have been at meetings discussing this proposal. The law should take each case separately and apply appropriately to it. The law was not followed by the Town Council. They are reinterpreted it to suit themselves and their agenda. I keep wondering what was in it for them either collectively or individually?


Posted by Clelen Tanner, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

Mayor Arnerich and crew are doing what they do best: Spin and deflect. This is a local issue and I don't believe Arnerich can give examples of, "outsiders". This is about people living in the area objecting to further development that significantly contributes to a roadway that has exceeded its safety capacity. The roadway in question is Diablo Road. It's a wagon-wheel road from the days when we had more horses than people. Over the years it has had a lot of lip-stick thrown at it to mitigate its inadequacy, but it's still a wagon wheel road! I call it the Khyber Pass of Danville; it's windy and it's narrow, and more than one wagon has bit the dust traversing Danville's Khyber Pass. Yes, Arnerich and crew like the 'bucolic views" from this road, but that does not mitigate the safety issues. The road as it exists today is a tragedy waiting to happen. It's like permitting gasoline trucks through the Caldecott tunnel. Do we really have to wait till something terrible happens to address this issue?


Posted by Bella SF, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Longtime Danville resident and SOS/lawsuit supporter. (Just so my bias is clear.) The Town of Danville's attempt to negate Measure S is despicable, and ALL Danville residents need to pay attention to this lawsuit. This isn't just about this one project on Diablo Road. It is about ALL remaining agricultural land and the character of our town. Measure S triggers a vote. Period. Also, for the record, I'm not totally opposed to the project. Fewer houses on 1/3-1/2 acre lots would be fine. SummerHill was able to develop off Stone Valley with the bigger lot sizes in the past. There should be no reason they can't do it again on Diablo.


Posted by Chuck Waitman, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

My wife and I are Danville residents, we have lived in Danville for 30 years. We are among a large number of Danville residents that support SOS Danville in the organization's opposition to the proposed Summerhill project and believe the suit filed by SOS Danville is well founded. The Environmental Impact Statement for the project contained many words but was short on content. Many concerns were raised during the public hearings. I am among the large group of people who attended some or all of the hearing, raised concerns, and was dissatisfied by the outcome.
A simple reading of Measure S and the existing zoning of portions of the Magee property indicates that the project should go to the voters for approval. I have heard, but don't understand, town staff's analysis that this isn't the case. The Measure S issue is one of the important issues in the SOS lawsuit. The fundamental question is "Does the town government need to follow a reasonable interpretation of the law?" I support the SOS viewpoint on this issue because I don't understand or agree with the town's interpretation of the law as it relates to the Summerhill Project. It is disappointing to me that the lawsuit is needed. It is even more disappointing to me that Mayor Arnerich has said that the suit is without merit. His statement shows disrespect for my point of view, a citizen's point of view. In America, different viewpoints on the law are decided by courts, not ordained by elected officials. Issues that must be settled by a vote of the people are decided at the ballot box and not by staff and elected officials.


Posted by Danville Lifer, a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Must we wait till the next election? Can't we have a recall election now and get people in who care about keeping Danville small with less traffic?

They just don't listen to the people - Debbie A is right - follow the money - wonder why they let the Danville Hotel become an eyesore to replace it with a 3 story monstrosity that doesn't belong in our small town!! We need new leadership in Planning and Town Council.


Posted by Hayden, a resident of Danville
on Aug 3, 2013 at 5:45 am

The council's greatest mistake was to insufficiently address the widespread concern of the residents of Danville. No matter how many town hall meetings are held, or how long those meeting last, such gatherings cannot fully capture the people's voice. This project should have been brought to a vote from the beginning, if only to save the council months of conflict that inevitably led nowhere.

One of the beautiful assets of our small community is that government can be highly responsive to the people. Hopefully the council recognizes this attribute and lets the will of the community decide this issue.


Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Aug 3, 2013 at 8:47 am

It is my hope, in regards to the comments above by Debbie and Danville Lifer, that attorney Flashman will find some clues during the discovery process indicating why the council members behave as they do. It is hard to believe there was no monetary influence by the developer beyond the increased tax base. Morgan in particular seems to flaunt what I can only term as "conspicuous wealth" despite being a single mother who lives in a very pricey house. Even HOA members are easily corrupted by companies providing services. Why not out fine council members and planners?
As for regular troll "Huh?", I can only assume you are a fake left winger, because no lefty I know would ever be in favor of trashing our hillsides. Most of these homes will be purchased by wealthy egomaniac golf club shmoozers. We have enough development on the flanks of Diablo already. By your continued lack of logic Huh?, I should be able to convert our property into commercial zoning and build a strip club & adult book store. I bet if a project like that went in next to Huh?, we would hear all sorts of bleating and whining.


Posted by MyTwoCents, a resident of Danville
on Aug 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Derek: a troll is somebody who posts incendiary stuff and then stands back and watches the fire -- I don't think brother Huh? does that. He is consistent in his expressions -- the fact that you do not agree with him does not make him a "troll."

My own view is that people in CA have too much say over how other people use their property. If it's basically true that you could have the same number of houses spread across the same territory in larger plots, then this plan is clearly better than that. The key to conciliation is give-and-take, and I haven't seen much 'give' on the part of the opponents.

And while I respect some of the prime movers among the opposition, I do not favor their tactics (save our CREEK?? Yeah, right) nor trust their motivations (several would have individual property impacts from needed capital improvements along Diablo Road). I also think they'd be better-off settling -- be careful what you wish for in pursuing a vote, as my guess is that you'll lose, anyway. The Town WILL be spending unproductive money defending its part of this lawsuit, and I do not appreciate the dilution of my tax dollars.


Posted by Arlene, a resident of Diablo
on Aug 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm

We completely agree with the above statements insisting that there should have been a vote regarding Measure S. The Town Council's disregard of this measure approved overwhelmingly by the voters threatens all future open space. Also, the traffic and safety problems along the Diablo Road Corridor will be horrific with the additional daily 900 plus automobiles. Bicyclists will be even more endangered. If there were ever a real emergency, we simply would be trapped!! However, the Council seems not to even consider this monumental safety problem as it approves more and more development along the corridor. It seems it capitulates to money and power but fortunately the people have organized and are standing firm. In addition, it's important to remember that this lawsuit is critical as a precedent against future open-space development without a vote by the people.


Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

MyTwoCents, on one hand you say, people in CA have too much power to VOTE and DECIDE (its called democracy by the way). Then you say, some sort of compromise is needed. Then you say, anyway even if it goes for a vote, the people will loose and the builder will win.

Which is it ? Please make up your mind.

The Town does NOT have to spend a dime of tax dollars. The builder will have to pay for defending the lawsuit.

The only Town Council members that need to be worried are the one's who are on the take. The others will just back away from this.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Aug 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

SD, the part you're conveniently overlooking is that this piece of property is owned by someone, and that person has the right to develop it in accord with existing laws governing that development. "The people" can vote to take that away (maybe) but if they do, they have to pay the owner of the property for what he's lost when they do that. There may be some grey area as to exactly what the owner's development rights are (that's not unusual) and that's where the compromise comes in. If you refuse to compromise and you lose - well, Half Moon Bay. Mammoth Lakes and Desert Hot Springs all tried that and lost, and two out of three went bankrupt.

I've got no dog in this fight - this development isn't in my backyard. I'm entirely sympathetic to people who stand up for enforcement of legitimate limitations on development that affects their neighborhoods - that's their right. But I do get a kick out of Danville's smug right wingers who complain about "big government" but then whine when that same government fails to restrict somebody else's exercise of their rights in a way the SRW's don't like. Then apparently government isn't big enough.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville
on Aug 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

IMHO, what would happen if this development went to before the voters of Danville is that it would be overwhelmingly approved, for two reasons: (1) the ranch will be developed eventually anyway; and (2) this development proposal creates about as minimal an impact to the land and leaves more land undeveloped than almost any other one that would be economically viable -- unless the Town or a non-profit is ready to buy and preserve the land.


Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 4, 2013 at 7:42 am

Huh? On your first point, the land owners rights are NOT sovereign, but bound by government laws which include local laws about zoning. Measure S, which was approved overwhelmingly by Danville voters, calls for a Citizen Vote when land designated as agricultural is being re-zoned to allow dense, clustered housing. The Town Council approved the project without calling a Citizen Vote as required.

The second argument you are making is, Danville needs this development (presumably for its Tax base) otherwise it will go bankrupt like Half Moon Bay, Mammoth Lakes and Desert Hot Springs. Don't you see that these are towns in the middle of no where ? In real estate, its all about the location. What builder is going to sell multi-million dollar homes in Mammoth Lakes and Desert Hot Springs ??

You are also implying that, Danville needs the additional tax base provided by these homes, otherwise it will go bankrupt. I am not sure about that. There are cities like Stockton, Vallejo, Elk Grove, Mountain House that allowed rampant builder development, supposedly increasing their tax base, but 2 out of 4 still ended up in bankruptcy.

On your third point about "big government". It is the Town Council, that is making a "big government" decision on its own, without calling a vote, as required by Measure S.








Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 4, 2013 at 8:46 am

Dave,

I can not predict whether the Danville Citizens will Vote For or Against the Builder. But here is the math,

Danville has about 20,000 registered voters. The voter turnout for non-mayoral elections has been around 15% to 17%. But lets assume 30% turnout for this "exciting" measure S election. Which is 6000 voters.
Approx. 4,500 voters have already signed a petition against the builder. So they are highly motivated to vote against. 4500 out of 6000 is a 75% landslide majority voting against the builder.

THE TOWN COUNCIL KNOWS THIS AND HENCE THEY ARE OPPOSED to bringing it for a VOTE.

The builder is proposing 60 homes to be built. The average selling price for these high end homes will be $2M. Assuming a profit margin of 40% for these high end spec homes, the builder stands to gain $48M. Depending on financing and other leverage, the ROI may be much higher.

What is the builder, who stands to gain approx. $50M, doing to benefit the Danville residents. Other than planting a few trees ??
Is there a new school being built ? new library ?

How exactly does the Summerhill Development, benefit the town of Danville ? And why should the Town bend its zoning laws to allow this ?


Posted by MyTwoCents, a resident of Danville
on Aug 4, 2013 at 8:58 am

Calm down, SD. Clearly, neighbors do have Some interest in what happens next door, but I think California laws, in total effect, afford them a say that's all out-of-proportion with that interest. Doesn't really have much to do with democracy, as many other democracies do it differently (pls hold the "then why don't you just go live There if you like it so much!" comment). Your mileage may vary on that point, but "it's called democracy" is a clown comment, bro.

As to "which is it?", it's one dispute. Delay and lawsuits are just tactics in it. I think it's an unfortunate waste of taxpayer and other monies to send some lawyer's kid to college because folks won't compromise. And you are simply, massively misinformed if you think the Town won't have its own expensive lawyers, churning away on my tax dollars at $500/hour.

In their righteous zeal, The well-heeled Diablans of Save Our Convenience are overplaying their hand, and alienating folks like me. We are numerous, and we will vote -- in Danville. If there IS a vote, the campaign will be another huge waste of money, and then you'll lose. Congratulations.

By the time this thing is over, the Opposition will have spent a great deal more time opposing this than they Ever will in traffic, after it gets built, anyway. Pardon me, but that seems like a poor investment of one's limited time on this earth -- but hey, it IS called democracy.


Posted by Danville Voter , a resident of Danville
on Aug 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm

@MyTwoCents: You must have been talking to the Mayor of Danville, who has been attempting to paint SOS-Danville as a group of "outsiders" bent on challenging the Danville Town Council. In fact, SOS-Danville's lawsuit is being funded by residents throughout the Danville area, including many who resent the fact that they were denied a vote on the former Elworthy Ranch, now KB Homes' "Quail Ridge" development. And yes, some SOS-Danville members live in unincorporated Danville and Diablo, and they like everyone else in the Diablo corridor are being endangered by the SummerHill Homes project.

You should be complaining about your tax dollars being spent throughout this process to defeat the people. Let's start with the Town's efforts to defeat the SOS-Danville initiative petition. High-priced outside lawyers were paid nearly $20,000 to review and "strategize" about that citizens' initiative petition. You really do love government, don't you "Two Cents"?

And for the record, the developers will be paying for the defense of the lawsuit. And when SOS-Danville wins, its attorneys' fees will likely have to be reimbursed. That is justice.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

Sorry, SD, I'll dumb it down for you: Mammoth Lakes, Half Moon Bay and Desert Hot Springs all prevented property owners from developing their property in a manner the owner actually had a right to do. The developers sued, the cities lost, and the multi-million dollar judgments overwhelmed the cities' budgets. Is that clear enough for you? It's got nothing to do with property tax revenues. The impact of the property taxes generated by the homes in the Summerhill project on the city's budget would be literally inconsequential.

Your ignorance of the potential consequences of the actions you insist the city should undertake is revealing.

As to whether Measure S is violated by the approval, I don't know. That's a legal issue. But the city seems to be pretty confident that the development approval did not require a vote, and my guess is that they're better informed than you are about that. (See above.)


Posted by MyTwoCents, a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

Why does anyone believe that the developers' interests equate with the Town's, or that they will pick up the Town's legal expenses -- or, for that matter, that Save Our Whatever's costs will be reimbursed? Several posters have said such things, but none has said "why" they believe it to be true.

I'm generally with Will Rogers on such claims ("it ain't so much what folks don't know, but what they Think they know that just ain't true") until somebody answers 'why,' -- and if you've invested in this lawsuit expecting to get your money back, don't spend it 'til you do!

As to whether I'm a shill for the mayor, it is the mark of a zealot to believe that there's only one side to any controversy. I needn't have ulterior motivation simply because we disagree (and I don't).


Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Huh?, your ongoing assumption every Summerhill opponent is a right wing tea nut is odd to say the least. You call others ignorant but seem to have little understanding of zoning/rezoning law. I'm a life long lefty/green party member and I am astounded by your acceptance of what our council members pulled. I am not, nor have I ever been, a right winger.

If the Mt. Diablo folks lose this case, so be it, but should they prevail it will send a strong message to Arny, Doyle, Morgan, et al that their job is representing the citizens, not large corporations.
"Property rights" is an oblique term that seems to imply a right-leaning disposition, but the phrase covers too much to be labeled with such simple-mindedness. In some situations I believe the property owner should stand their ground. I don't always side with the "other folks".
The widespread misuse of eminent domain laws often provokes issues where I would indeed side with property owners and invoke their "rights". I can cite you specific examples in the south bay where former mayor Ron Gonzales (and a certain p.r. shill/redevelopment agency head by the name of Susan Schick) thought he could run roughshod over certain commercial property owners. One of those owners from the east side of SJ filed suit, won their case, and it changed the entire complexion of City Hall's attitude in a most profound way. Slimeball Schick, in fact, lost her job within months of the legal decision.
Siding with a bunch of wealthy Diablo home owners is not something I would normally do. And I will admit the open space access that is being promised is a good thing. But a legal win by these folks would have wide ranging implications far beyond just this one project. How may people do you think you could find Mr. Huh? who don't think Elworthy is the single worst eyesore in our town? Ten out of 20,000 maybe - and all of them would be directly involved with Fort Homely. Another Elworthy should never, ever be allowed to happen again.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I think all the SOS people should just buy the land from the Magee family and leave it the way it currently is. After all that is better than big government determining what the land should be used for or just letting some developer build on the land they way the want to. And of course clearly in this Tea Party era there is no way the Magee family should have the right to determine what to do with their land.

So SOS the ball is in your court Buy out the Magee family (or the Summerhill developers, who may own it now). Then you can either build 1 house per 20 acres, which I am sure you will find a ton of buyers for or leave it as is.


Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Dear SOS, Thanks for your community efforts in advocating for responsible development. I will note that in the discussion that there is a lot of NIMBYism... Which I am NOT disparaging, just recognizing that you are part of the interested parties showing resolve on the local issues relevant to you. This is the type of community activism that has POSITIVELY shaped our beautiful communities, from Brentwood, to Livermore, to Dublin, to Martinez.

Please take the comments in the thread above as something to consider in your strategy. Many of us not in the immediate impact area of the Magee development proposal, want to see, first and foremeost, the land PRESERVED, or, at the minimum, that is developed in a way that preserves open space for future generations to enjoy, and potentially becomes a major characteristic of Danville's socio-geography.

That said, government does not have the right to PREVENT development of the property. Rather, it has the unenviable position of being the broker/mediator between a property owner/developer and parties affected by the development proposal, that be SOS.

This is why Save Mount Diablo has come out and taken a position that recognizes that the development preserves the open space and preservation attributes of this property. No doubt SMD would love to see this property preserved in its entirety, however they have many battles to fight throughout the tri-valley area. And I am sure if SOS needed consultation on how to buy the property and donate it to EBRPD for future management, they are ready to provide the guidance.

The important point is seeing the property developed where it makes sense in a negotiated deal. The downside of all this is the possibility that if the development is delayed, that at some point in the future it will be developed with far more severe impacts. In San Diego County, there is a extremely large parcel of land, 10s of 1000s of acres, that in the 1970s could have been purchased by the state of california, and was not. Everything was done to have the state purchase it but it was vetoed by the governor at the time. 40 years later, the current owners want to build a huge leapfrog, worse than Blankhawk, community. Read up on Point Conception, one of the major non-developed coastal lands in all of California, that is being subjected to non-stop development proposals from current hedge fund owners.

Make the best deal you can on this land and move on. Now will be better than later.

Good luck.


Posted by Danville voter, a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm

@Tom: You are laboring under some fundamental misconceptions.
1. The land is worth one price if the Town refuses to allow a Measure S public vote on it, and a far smaller price if there is a Measure S public vote.

2. If the Town applies the existing zoning to the project, there will be far fewer houses built, with far less environmental consequences. Therefore, no one will need to buy the entire parcel.

3. There will be plenty of Open Space under the existing zoning. Indeed, Ag. land is a category of Open Space in the Danville General Plan.

4. Your attempt to build resentment for the opponents of the project by labeling them "wealthy" is misplaced. The wealthy ones are SummerHill Homes, and the investors in the land to be developed.


Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 6, 2013 at 6:35 am

Huh? I am surprised by your desperation and the misinformation you are spreading, in your support for the Builder. Your scare tactics and shallow conclusions will not work in Danville.

Let me educate you,

1) In Half Moon Bay, the city deliberately flooded the property owner's land and then precluded its development on the grounds that it was now a wetland. The city also manipulated expert testimony.

2) In Mammoth Falls, the City had a signed contract with the developer which fell thru because of Federal Aviation rules, that the City ignored before signing the contract and then reneged.

3) In Desert Hot Springs the lawsuit was about an mobile home park for low income families. For discrimination and for violating the Fair Housing Act.

The situation in Danville does not fall into any of the above categories.

So please stop spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Dis-information, and let the people VOTE on Measure S and decide the fate of this development.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Aug 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

So, SD, by your logic, Half Moon Bay was in the clear because they did not involve Federal Aviation rules, correct? Because if the ***exact same*** reason isn't present, there's no reason to take it into consideration, by your logic.

The underlying issue is private property rights. Government can restrict those rights within reason. The problem arises when government goes beyond a reasonable exercise of its regulatory powers. Whether that would be the case if the SOS folks' agenda was met or not I don't know, I just know it's something to keep in mind. The devil is truly in the details on these things, and a lot of people posting here seem to be pretty short on awareness of the details.

If the Summerhill development approval actually triggers Measure S there should be a vote - period. But if it doesn't, it doesn't. So let the court decide - that's their job. I have never read Measure S so I'm not going to argue one way or the other. My guess is that the city is probably better informed on the question than the opponents, but you never know until the court rules, do you?

Derek, I'm aware that the SOS folks aren't all Tea Party types. I just recall the initial frenzy a few months back of the opposition to Summerhill all lumped in together with Plan Bay Area, U.N. Agenda 21, "stack and pack" blah blah blah and I'm amused at the "government is always bad except when it's enforcing my opinion of what you should do" mentality of it all.


Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Aug 6, 2013 at 11:17 am

This is a downside pessimistic analysis, so bear with me:

The existing 410 acre Magee Ranch has some zoning on a portion of the land that allows one home per 5 acres. They are proposing 66 home sites on 410 Acres of Land for a total of 38 developed Acres and 372 as Permanent Open Space. That is space that is permanently protected, not privately owned. That means no houses an about 90% of the property.

It would appear that Summerhill is nuts. They could apply under many legal precedents to change the zoning of the land to much higher densities. It would just take a while, say 10/15/20 years for the zoning change to legally change with required waiting periods. Then Summerhill could come back and propose 1 home per 1 acre, or even more profitably one home per half-acre, and skip the open space enticement entirely, just cover the entire property with houses. Why give any land to the public, really. With this far more profitable proposal, they could easily fund a new route for traffic onto a fully upgraded four-lane, straightened, safer Diablo Road with Bike lanes, upgrade the Green Valley intersection to Blackhawk standards and with traffic problems solved, off they go. They could even fund an improved 4-lane road all the way to the 680 along Diablo and El Cerro.

It is highly likely that the NIMBY population won't be able to railroad the zoning request changes, as that does not require any EIRs. And if the Magees are short cash, I am sure Summerhill would be happy to negotiate a yearly right to develop fee with the Magees or even just buy the land out entirely. That way we can have only Summerhills' owners and investors to negotiate with, and the question you have to ask then is: "will Summerhill cut a better or worse deal than the Magees, who have local ties?"

Hmmm.


Posted by Member, a resident of Danville
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I am a member of SOS and a resident of Danville. The Town Council has ignored the voices of over 4000 registered voters who signed a petition to bring this whole issue to a vote under measure S. Instead the town found a loop hole to negate the petition. Let's see this as what it is, the leaders of this town are more interested in developers interest's than it's residents. It is not an outsider issue.


Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 7:00 am

Huh? The builder sued those 2 other cities because they reneged on a signed contract. In case of Half Moon Bay, the city committed fraud. None of these are applicable in Danville. Nice attempt to scare people though !

As the previous poster pointed out, over 4000 Danville voters signed a petition to bring this issue to a vote. The Town Council rejected it on the basis of a technicality. After which, they added more houses to the proposal before approving it at 2am in the morning, when only a few people were present.

So if anything, the Town Council is heavily leaning towards the interests of the developer. Which is the problem here.

Individual property rights are respected, but they are within the limits of the existing laws and zoning regulations.



Posted by MyTwoCents, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

As many a disappointed petitioner learns, signatures can flee when folks are presented with the other side of the story, as they surely will be if you get your vote.

It's also interesting that when the developer responds to community pressure by clustering the homes and leaving much, much more permanent open space than they might have, this positive development and concession gets perverted into a claim that they're only trying to reduce their costs. Can an attack of "stack-and-pack" be far behind?

I would also like to renew my request for someone, anyone with actual facts, to explain WHY they think the Town hasn't had, and won't have, its own expensive outside legal representation in the SOS kerfuffle? The developer can't indemnify the Town, and their interests differ markedly. Thanks.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:12 am

SD, your repeated insistence that the city can do anything that isn't exactly like what some other city has been successfully sued for doing is foolish. But if you want a close and very similar example of a city being sued for refusing to allow development you don't have to look any further than Pleasanton, which lost a lawsuit in 2010 and was ordered to not only issue mare housing permits, but specifically to enable the construction of more low income housing. Web Link
Is that the unintended consequence you're angling for?


Posted by Danville citizen, a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

@Huh: Pleasanton was sued for not allowing the permitting of enough ABAG mandated high-density developments because it was simultaneously permitting office buildings bringing lots of jobs to the area.

The Magee Ranch project is not a high-density project and will supply only 7 or a little more low-income ABAG -mandated units with its 2nd residential units. The Town has no trouble meeting its ABAG numbers for high-end houses. And it is not permitting new office buildings bringing jobs.

So, Huh?, there is no threat of a lawsuit from low-income housing advocates over the Magee Ranch project. If anything, Magee Ranch will contribute mightily to the suburban sprawl far from services that ABAG despises.

Your viewpoint seems to be that the Town Council should do anything to avoid lawsuits from special interests, but should not care about suits from its own citizens. If the Council had done a fair EIR and allowed a Measure S vote, there would have been no lawsuit from the public. I am thankful to SOS-Danville for representing the public, and not the special interests you seem to be concerned about.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

No, Danville "citizen", my viewpoint is that a city has a right to enforce reasonable regulations but has to balance that with respect for private property rights, and that if the city is too aggressive in preventing people from using their property in the manner they choose the city can be sued and can lose. There is a limit to that power. Is that really so hard to understand? Some posters here seem to think that McGee should be prevented from building anything on his property, even in line with existing zoning - but haven't suggested stepping up and buying the property. I suspect that legal difficulties might arise if that were done.

As to the suit by the SOS folks, if the city loses the suit you will have been right. If the City wins you're just a blowhard. I don't know how it will play out - I've made that clear. I'm part of "the public" and SOS doesn't represent me. I suspect I'm not alone. Having said that, it's their right to file suit if they think they have good cause. That's what courts are for. If they win, more power to them. If they lose - tough darts.


Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Huh? I showed pointed out the flaws in your 3 previous examples, so now you came up with a 4th one, which is equally flawed, as another poster pointed out. So I don't think the Town Council is being aggressive here at all.

Actually in this case, by ignoring the 4000+ registered voter signatures based on a dubious (as best) technicality, actually the Town Council has opened themselves up to a lawsuit from the citizens and guess what, if enough more citizens join in, there is a chance that, it may even be a class action lawsuit.

MyTwoCents, the "other / developer side" of the story has been presented in the Town Council meetings, but it just does not resonate with the Danville Citizens. Also, by clustering homes closer together, it will actually be harder to re-zone the property, if I understand the zoning categories correctly.

The Town does NOT have to hire their own attorney, if they withdraw from the lawsuit by rescinding the EIR approval and/or holding off on issuing permits to the developer, until the lawsuit is settled. If they withdraw the case is done. And so, if the developer requests that they do not withdraw, well, have the developer pay for their defense using an independent attorney of the Town's choice.

In either cases, the Town does not have anything to loose or fear by denying the permits until the lawsuit it decided upon.

Most Town Council officials and Developers think that, the Citizens will never be able to get together and sue them, since it takes so much coordination. So this is a surprise for them at best....

Danville is NOT Mammoth Falls,Half Moon Bay or Desert Springs etc.

Huh? may be you can find some examples of citizens suing the Town Council / Developer and see how that turned out...


Posted by MyTwoCents, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm

SD: most of the voting population does not attend Council meetings. Fear them.

Apparently your argument about legal fees is that if the Town folds its hand -- no problem! Web Link I wonder if they've thought of that -- have you?


Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Unfortunately for upstream Diablo Road residents, this development actually appears to be a pretty good deal for the town of Danville, given the amount of land that is being donated as open space. Assuming a cost to purchase the land at $100,000 per acre for 372 Acres (=$37,200,000, however assuming that is high), it is probably worth something north of $10,000,000. No wonder the city and the SOS don't want to pony up the money to buy it. SOS just wants to make a bunch of Nimby noise to stop the irritation of traffic jams, like stopping this project is going to make the existing traffic go away. Or like stopping this project is going to make floods never happen, even though floods, in this area, are relatively minor compared to how a real river floods. Or that all of a sudden emergency access is going to become impossible, so people will start dying in droves.

But I like SOS's idea to have it go to a vote. Based on what I know now, I would vote for it. But I am a downstreamer who deals with all the traffic you SOSers have foisted upon me/us. What your homes did to us is way worse.

That said, I will weigh your concerns versus the project if/when it comes to a vote. But right now the needle tilts to For, so you have some work to do to win your vote, and well to get it to a vote.

Not sure why the town council would not encourage Summerhill to go to a vote, but the downside of a loss is that the project morphs into something way worse over time.


Posted by traffic hater, a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm

The Town Council and SummerHill obviously think the public will vote no on the SummerHill project, which is a "good deal" ONLY for the developer and the land investors and the developer-friendly Town Council.

Why on earth would any Danville residents want more development? Please provide ONE reason, JT. If the Council expected the public to vote yes on the project, why would the Council have tried SO HARD to avoid the vote, including attempting (and failing because of public outcry) to change the Danville General Plan to stop the application of Measure S's voting requirement?

The Citizens for Civic Accountability group sued the Town over the Weber development across from Green Valley School and WON. The Town was ordered to prepare an EIR, which they had refused to do. SOS-Danville will be successful in requiring a Measure S vote on SummerHill.


Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm

MyTwoCents & JT, if the Town Council and SummerHill already knew they will win the vote, why didn't they just put it up for vote in the first place ?

As I posted before, my guess is, here is why.....

Danville has about 20,000 registered voters. The voter turnout for non-mayoral elections has been around 15% to 17%. But lets assume 30 to 40%% turnout for this "exciting" measure S election, forced by the Court (if it does happen). Which is 6000 to 8000 voters.

Approx. 4,500 voters signed a petition to call this for a Vote under Measure S. They are already miffed that the Town Council pulled a last minute technical trick to reject the petition. Hence, now they are doubly motivated to vote NO again. 4500 out of 6000 or 8000 is a majority voting NO for the development.

As someone pointed out, the tax revenue obtained from this development is negligible. So how exactly does the Summerhill Development, benefit the town of Danville ?

And can someone find one "example" of where Citizens have voted for more McMansion housing type development if there is no benefit for them or the town ??

As I mentioned before, the Town Council/Developer probably never thought, that Danville Citizens will actually bring a lawsuit to their doors.....


Posted by MyTwoCents, a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2013 at 7:17 am

SD: any idea why there are so many lawyers and they are so prosperous? It's because it is human nature to over-value your hand, and overplay it as a result. You are doing that now.

Web Link

It is also human nature to seek and value the arguments that confirm the wisdom of your course, and discount the evidence to the contrary. That's why so many mergers fail. You are doing that, too.

It's too bad that there isn't somebody who can see above the fray, and stop all this unproductive bickering over property you don't own. I think that's what the rest of Danville would like to have happen.


Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2013 at 10:43 am

Why would anyone want more development in Danville? Why stop there, how about anywhere in Contra Costa? California, Unites States. Sorry but this is NIMBYism at its worst. I stand atop the hills and knolls in the area and wish for the days none of us were here. Why did we need to develop any of this land.

The basic reason Danville does what it does is they do not have the power to not allow an individual to develop their property, but rather to shape it. Why would Danville not do an EIR right off the bat, cause it costs money and you would have to question the wisdom of contracting out EIRs for every development.

In fact, if Danville ordered up EIRs for every development, many would likely accuse them of recklessly spending money.

And like 66 homes is going to turn Danville into East Oakland or cause Caldicott tunnell traffic delays.

If you were really serious, you would start buying up all the private property around the Danville area and donating it yourself.

Stop pretending that Measure S was a vote to ban all future development on what many people erroneously assume is open space.

Like I said, the owner can quietly apply for a zoning change under the Williamson Act, wait ten years and come back with something worse. Have you considered that?


Posted by local resident, a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2013 at 11:02 am

@JT: The Magee Ranch Ag. parcel is no longer under a Williamson Act contract. Zoning changes can only be sought after such a contract expires, and that is what has happened here. Ater the Magee Ranch Williamson Act contract expired, SummerHill, on behalf of the land investors, filed an application for the zoning changes needed to enable its development.

Rezoning applications legally require public notice. If SummerHill is defeated, any future zoning changes will again require public notice.


Posted by SD, a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm

MyTwoCents, its also human nature to get philosophical and speak in generalities, when you run out of specific things to say. You are doing that now !

JT, my question is "Why would anyone want more development in Danville IF THERE IS NO BENEFIT TO THE PEOPLE OR THE TOWN". You conveniently left out the last part, hence I capitalized it for you...

The Town Council & Developer took away the right of people to Vote and decide. They probably never thought, that Danville Citizens will actually bring a lawsuit to them. So may be the Courts will re-instate the Citizens right to Vote on this now. I don't know, if the property owner has anything to do with it, since the land is probably already sold and now owned by Summerhill.

Who knows, if the Town Council had allowed a Vote on this in the first place and an orderly debate, it may have gotten approved after all. But that's hindsight now...


Posted by just say no, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm

The Council, SummerHill Homes, and the land investors know this project is bad. That is why they are so terrified of the public vote. It is obvious to everyone.

And any member of the public that might have voted for it, will now vote no because to vote yes is to support the forces that tried to deny the vote.


Posted by MyTwoCents, a resident of Danville
on Aug 9, 2013 at 7:56 am

SD -- nope, it was a warning of specific application to this situation, but of course it doesn't apply to You because you are the font of all objectivity and wisdom, and your cause is Just, Righteous and Special. It will go unheeded, which is too bad for all concerned, but that makes it no less true. My apologies -- and please be sure to seek a thank-you note from Mr. Flashman, Esq.'s, chauffeur.

Here's a specific comment: if you will buy me a beer at Pete's on the day Summerhill breaks ground on this project, I will buy you one the day they finally abandon it. Note: this offer applies only to SD (although I'd be pleased if Huh? would accompany us -- I like the way he thinks). I don't drink That much beer to accommodate all possible comers.


Posted by Just Say No, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm

@MyTwoCents: Your defeatist attitude is exactly what the Town Council, SummerHill Homes, and the land investors counted on. They have ample money and access to the government's resources. They all stand to gain millions (the Town has gained hundreds and hundreds of thousands in permit fees, and will get $90,000 year in taxes)if the project goes forward. So they thought they could get away with denying the Measure S vote and promulgating their fatuous EIR.

Luckily, everyone didn't just retreat. We stand to LOSE money from the project. Money in lost property value and damage to our properties, money in wasted gas, and losses that are less quantifiable harms: risks of car accidents and bike accidents, delays in emergency response and evacuation, destruction of pristine habitat for endangered species, more overcrowding of schools.

So those that stand to be the big losers ponied up their own cash to file the lawsuit to preserve your right to vote, MyTwoCents, and your right to have significant environmental impacts acknowledged and possibly mitigated. Enjoy your free ride.


Posted by MyTwoCents, a resident of Danville
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm

JSN: sorry -- can't do that, but I will enjoy that free beer.