Town Square

Town Council hearing on Summerhill Proposal Tuesday, June 18 7:30 p.m. Danville Community Center

Original post made by SOS-DANVILLE on Jun 10, 2013

ATTENTION DANVILLE RESIDENTS: your Measure S right to vote on residential development proposals for Agricultural-designated Open Space lands is at stake at the JUNE 18TH Town Council hearing on the proposed 66+ home SummerHill Homes project for 200 acres of Agricultural land. The hearing is at 7:30 P.M., at the Danville Community Center on Front Street, next to the Danville Library.

Don't let the Danville Town Council ignore the law and favor developers over the public. Please come to the hearing to stand up for what is right!


Posted by Billy Boy, a resident of Alamo
on Jun 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Did someone say steak?

Posted by Measure R proponent, a resident of Danville
on Jun 12, 2013 at 9:30 am

Thank you to SOS-Danville members for your efforts to make the public aware of how the Town Council is doing a classic "bait and switch" on the public.

I worked on Measure R in 2000. It was a citizens' initiative. The Town Council didn't like Measure R because it gave the people final say on large development proposals for Danville. So the Council---including current Mayor Newell Arnerich and current Council member Mike Doyle--- put their own ballot measure, Measure S, on the ballot to try to defeat the public's measure. Measure R got more votes so it became law. The Town Council promised in the ballot information that measure S would give the public the right to decide on changes in use on open space lands to residential development.

Now the Council says they didn't mean that. They approved the HIDEOUS Elworthy Ranch project---- about 100 units, including 12 apartments--- on a few hundred acres of sloping, slide-ridden agricultural land. They say the land is still in AGRICULTURAL OPEN SPACE USE, so you had no right to vote on the proposal! What a joke! I would laugh, except I am sad because I enjoyed that land every time I drove by and now I can see only a fortress of construction.

Now the Council is trying the same ploy to help the huge SummerHill Homes company build 66+ homes in the worst-congested area of Danville. It is an outrage, plain and simple. Please come to the meeting and help stop the Council from continuing to trammel your rights using your tax money.

Posted by Measure R proponent, a resident of Danville
on Jun 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

Sorry, I meant to say MEASURE S got more votes so it became law. I guess I am still wishing that MEASURE R had won. Then we wouldn't be in this mess.

Posted by Daryl, a resident of Danville
on Jun 12, 2013 at 9:34 am

The council will do what they want considering they approved the ghetto stack and pack low low low entitlement housing. Can't wait to watch the fights break out at our once pristine schools.

Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Jun 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

@MeasureR Propotent: I enjoyed the land your house was on too, once. And all you can come up with is you enjoyed the
Elworthy property when you drove by it in your car. Play out the logic of your argument and it eventually is a losing proposition.

How about advocating for a Danville specific property tax measure that raises funds to buy all of the lands that everyone wants to protect, and make Danville a true gem with its great open, publicly owned spaces. This is a different tactic that requires people to pony up money to protect, which is different that ponying up the minimal effort to get out and make a simple vote. I am guessing the cheapskates of the Danville community will opt for the vote method, which clearly subjects all Danville townies to continued abuse by the city government.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm

@ Measure R proponent:
Since the KB Gulag is "still in agriculture designation" as our fine upstanding council members insist, may the rancher above Remington Loop graze his cattle on the Elworthy front lawns? And if not, why not?

I would love to see someone - anyone - come up with some hard evidence of what exactly goes on that allows these developers to pound their projects through so easily. I'm no conspiracy nut, but you really have to wonder whose palms are being greased.

Posted by concerned voter, a resident of Danville
on Jun 13, 2013 at 10:08 am

@ JT: You are missing a crucial point, JT. It is THE LAW that the public decides on whether Open - Space- designated lands get changed to a Residential use. I see you are an advocate for letting the Council have the final say, but Measure S says otherwise. You see, the voters were concerned about crony capitalism. People buy land for one price and use, speculating that they will be able to USE GOVERNMENT to change the rules of the game, legally or not. In Danville, GOVERNMENT is changing the rules of the game to allow the landowners and huge developers like KB and SummerHill to reap huge SPECULATIVE PROFITS. And they are not changing the rules legally----they are violating Measure S.

Posted by J.J., a resident of Danville
on Jun 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

The Magees have a right to sell their land just as you and I do. They've lived here longer than any of us (I've been a resident for 57 years). We need to concentrate on what has the least amount of impact and offers us resident an opportunity for more open space with out stomping on the rights of the Magee family. Be very careful In your enthusiasm to defeat SummerHill. This may just blow up in our faces, like the unsightly development behind Tassajara Nursery.

Posted by resident of Diablo Road, a resident of Danville
on Jun 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

Let Magee sell his property under its EXISTING ZONING and EXISTING LAND USE. He does not have a RIGHT to rezone or redesignate to make it possible to build more homes than he would have otherwise. The extra traffic and flooding is what we are concerned about, and the covering of the most sensitive land with dense housing, wiping out endangered species.

Try rezoning your own property or redesignating it. Think Danville Council will allow you to? Ha, ha.

Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Jun 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Who is missing the point? Laws are open to interpretation, obviously by the very nature of this disagreement. In advocacy, one hires their own lawyers to provide their own interpretation to counter city, county, state and federal jurisdictions.

I can say one thing about Measure S: It DOES NOT take away the right for the Magees to sell their property and it DOES NOT outlaw the Magees right to make proposals for future developments, and it DOES NOT outlaw the Magees right to make Zoning request changes.

So the reason your are in this mess is because the city is not in a position to tell the developers that they are not allowed to make proposed use changes nor allowed to present development projects for consideration.

So guess what? Even if you get the latest development proposal tabled, another one will surely follow. Because Measure S did not make that illegal, did it?

So THE POINT IS: If you truly want to stop this property from development, you have to figure out how to buy it! I can't say that point any more emphatically.

Posted by danville voter, a resident of Danville
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:33 am

@JT: No one disputes Magee's right (actually "Teardrop Partners")to sell the property under the existing zonings and land use designations. Rezonings and de facto land use designations circumventing the public's Measure S right to decide are what we are objecting to, JT. Developers can make all the proposals they want, but the procedure they must follow on their path to approval or disapproval must be the one specified in the law.

Posted by jt, a resident of Danville
on Jun 14, 2013 at 10:16 am

danville voter... keep holding onto your argument about "the law." I don't know of a law that is carved in stone, do you? On top of that laws are open to interpretation, otherwise we would not have the courts. Arguments about the absolutism of law are typical republican and extremism stances. Well, with greased palms and deep pockets, what would one expect. I was wondering how the city of Danvilles lawyers interpret "the law." To me it is evident. You hired them with your vote, they hired counsel and here it goes. So keep pressing your case as you are and the land will most certainly be developed unless it is purchased by or for the public.

Posted by danville voter, a resident of Danville
on Jun 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

@JT: Now I REALLY am having trouble following your logic. Let's see, asking that Town Council follow "the law", is "extremist" and "Republican". So it is NOT extremist or Republican if government violates the law, so it must therefore be "democratic" and not extremist to violate the law. I think many democrats might disagree with your description of their political beliefs, JT.

Just to reiterate: no one is asking that all of Magee's land "be preserved". He, or rather "Teardrop Partners", may use it as he/they like, and "develop" it as he/they like, OR SELL IT, but WITH THE EXISTING LAND USE DESIGNATIONS AND ZONINGS. Oops, I guess that is the law, and asking that it be followed would be "republican" and "extremist", so I guess that is a bad thing under JT's logic.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Danville
on Jun 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

As I have heard and watched the Danville government in action, it appears that there is some motivation beyond public service guiding their actions. I am not saying they are underhanded. I am not saying they are deceitful. However, there is something guiding them away from supporting the citizenship. I wish they would tell us.

Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on Jun 17, 2013 at 9:53 am

I would suggest you stop assuming "the law" is absolute in that it supports YOUR position. What you assume to be absolute by proclaiming it "the law" is Measure S, as voted by the voting citizens of Danville.
Just out of curiosity, who wrote Measure S? Now that it was passed, the Danville city government must "read" the law, and then they must "interpret" it so they can construe or implement a policy that those in the civilian world can be guided by. Obviously they have done that, so their interpreted version of "the law" is not consistent with your interpretation of "the law." As long as us supporters keep arguing about "the law" we will eventually lose, because times change and money talks. Break out your checkbooks and hire a firm like Shute Mihaly in SF to better present your case.