Residents appeal Station 32 plans to Board of Supervisors

Appeal to Board of Supervisors is final step in appeal process

A group of concerned citizens filed an appeal with the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors last week against the recently approved land use permit for Fire Station 32 in Alamo. This latest appeal to the board comes after the county Planning Commission rejected a similar appeal in August.

The commission and county zoning administration have both approved the land use permit for the station in question, a 1.24-acre lot at 2100 Stone Valley Road on the corner of Miranda Avenue. Purchased by the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, the lot would house a 9,255-square-foot station that would replace the currently used 53-year-old station.

"It's been a long process, we've been working to get a land use permit for three years now," Fire Chief Richard Price said of the appeal. "Development is tough these days. There's a lot of hoops to jump through when you build something."

Alamo resident Diann Tilley Christensen filed the appeal on behalf of six couples on Sept. 1, citing concerns about "code violations in the areas of volatile liquid storage, parking, and decibel levels."

"These concerns are not frivolous or fallacious, several of them are issues of specific code violations of the 2010 California Fire Code," Christensen wrote. "The substantiation for these code violations is documented in the plans submitted by ATI architects."

The appeal outlines concerns with the placement of propane tanks near structures and ignition sources as well as the lack or sidewalk or shoulder space near the intersection of Miranda Avenue and Stone Valley Road. Congestion and inadequate room for traffic during an emergency were also cited as public safety concerns.

Christensen added that the road studies conducted to mitigate concerns took place during holiday breaks when traffic was at a lull.

Christensen also cited a provision in the county's general plan that stipulates allowable decibel levels for the area must not exceed 60 decibels, while the fire station will produce 70.4 from its generator.

"The (Planning Commission) response gets down to a level of detail where there's 1.5 calls a day…and you're talking about two to three sirens a week," said Catherine Kutsuris, director of the county conservation and development department. "The conclusion was that there wasn't an impact."

The original appeal to the Planning Commission, filed by Dan Haller, included requests for a vehicle back-up noise mitigation plan and visual mitigation study "contrasting the visual mitigation and appearance of a fence or the currently proposed visual mitigation program" that would need to be approved by Kutsuris prior to construction. Although the latest appeal does not contain such provisions, Christensen alleges that mere discussion of a fire station has brought down home value at three different locations.

"New development may not negatively impact the existing neighborhood," she wrote, citing the county general plan.

Still, Christensen, Haller and fellow Station 32 opponents may be on their own.

"We've had very, very broad support. Every approval has been unanimous up to this point. The county staff is strongly recommending the program," said Chief Price. "Just demonstrated by the Alamo MAC's 7-0 approval of the project, that's not a group that's 7-0 very often."

An official date for the appeal hearing has not been set, but Kutsuris said the Board of Supervisors will most likely review the appeal in late October. The October hearing is the last step in the appeals process.


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Posted by Jake
a resident of Stone Valley Middle School
on Sep 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Glad to hear that the last appeal is FINALLY upon us (worse than a death penalty case). Let's just hope the new station is built before the old one falls down on top of the trucks. Chief Price sounds like a patient man.

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Posted by William
a resident of Danville
on Sep 15, 2011 at 7:37 am

This is NIMBY to a fault. Those complaining are not interested in the greater good, just their own irrational fears without basis.

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Posted by Gladys
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 15, 2011 at 8:21 am

How can one person with an ax to grind put our whole community at risk? This has been going on for too long! Maybe the new supervisor will help. Ms. DTC must think about others besides herself. I think the firemen know the fire code better than her and the generator might run once or twice a year during a storm or such. Silly.

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Posted by Annoyed
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 15, 2011 at 9:39 am

HEY if you are not effected by this BUTT OUT! Your opinion doesn't matter.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 15, 2011 at 10:08 am

Classic example of the not in my backyard syndrome! What these clowns don't realize is that every delay costs we the taxpayers more money. Costs for construction, materials, etc. just keep increasing. The new fire station is needed and the fire department has bent over backwards to accommodate these people. Every person in Alamo is affected by these delays, so annoyed our opinion does matter, especially when it affects our wallets.

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Posted by Louise
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 15, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Annoyed: maybe you can enlighten us to why it isn't "not in my backyard syndrome"? On the surface that's what it seems like- but maybe we don't have all the facts- some facts would be much more useful than a "butt out"!. And, I'm not a college graduate (yet) but shouldn't the correct word be "affected"? Web Link

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Blackhawk
on Sep 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Alamo is such a lame, boring city!

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Posted by Alan
a resident of Blackhawk
on Sep 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Annoyed, I believe this is the station that would also serve Monte Vista High School & Stone Valley Middle School, so there are many others besides you who are affected by this even those of us who live in Blackhawk, but have our students attending MVHS. Ms. DTC needs to get a grip along with the neighbors on whose behalf she has been fighting this.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 17, 2011 at 10:35 am, my, my, such sarcasm. You better get your comment in line with reality.

"If you are not effected" Do you think the new fire station will only serve you...well you better get your P's and Q's in order.

The Alamo Fire Station serves all of us not just you and those of your misguided followers.

I sincerely hope the construction starts ASAP....

You should take your own advise and BUTT OUT and let the safety of our community move forward.

I am ashamed to call you an Alamo neighbor.

This is Julia Pardini from to be a safer Alamo with our new Fire Station coming soon.

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Posted by dbrower
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm


Alamo is not a lame boring city! It's a Census Designated Place,

We voted down incorporation as a city because we didn't want the overhead and burden of the sort of extensive review of development projects that comes with being a city. Bow, when something they don't like turns up in their backyard, we want it stopped, but hey.

The town motto might be "we're against it", but we can't agree on it.


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Posted by Hary
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

[removed] The land was purchased before approval was made.Maybe a fried owned this property and got taken care of. The land and building will not meet all the requirments that are imposed on you. But they Chief Price is having them changed for this building. The fire station should have gone where yard birds used to be. Wake up ALamo. Look at the costs they are out of control.

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