By Tim Hunt
New heights for NIMBYsUploaded: Aug 28, 2014
Many San Ramon Valley residents are taking NIMBY (Not in my back yard) attitudes to new heights.
An estimated 450 people gathered last weekend to protest against the Creekside Memorial Cemetery proposed for an unincorporated parcel in the Tassajara Valley. It's located on Tassajara Road between Windemere Parkway (the connection from the Dougherty Valley) and Highland Road that runs east to Livermore.
Frequently, residents complain about high-density housing or additional single family homes that could add to traffic and more students to schools. They fear their quality of life will be negatively affected by more people.
None of these objections apply significantly to burial plots?yes, there will be traffic from mourners attending burial services. The plans call for only about 30 percent (60 acres) of the 221 acres to be developed for the cemetery and its structures. It will be quite challenging to find quieter neighbors, although there are few residences in the rural countryside.
The cemetery plans have been mired in the Contra Costa County planning process for more than eight years, but a final environmental report was certified last year.
One valid concern is water. There is ground water in the Tassajara Valley, but there is no outside source. If developer Sid Corrie wants to create a traditional cemetery with lots of green grass, then he needs to figure out how to tap recycled water that is over the ridge in the Dougherty Valley. The alternative could be a drought tolerant landscaping of native plants in a different approach to a cemetery.
Opponents claim the cemetery is too big?it's beyond expected demand. It may be, but that's the gamble the developer takes, not an appropriate decision point for agencies dealing with whether the use of the land is suitable.