County approves fire station 32

Construction should begin in one year

At its Tuesday meeting, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve plans for a new fire station in Alamo -- despite qualms from several residents.

Plans for Station 32, which will sit on a 1.24-acre lot at 2100 Stone Valley Road, were contested in September by a group of 12 concerned citizens who alleged that the project would have significant aesthetic and safety issues. The group also appealed to the county planning commission, who also rejected the claim.

"It was supported unanimously upon my recommendation," said District 2 Supervisor Gayle Uilkema, who noted that the board made no modifications to the plan. "The way I saw it after reviewing's an improvement for meeting our future and our present service needs."

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. The new station would employ 18 firefighters and house six at any given time.

"It's a beautiful station and it's going to be a very functional station. Station 32 is the oldest, smallest station in the district and has far outlived its useful life. It under serves the community in many ways," said Fire Chief Richard Price. "This is going to be a major improvement to the capabilities for the town of Alamo."

Valley Fire held 35 public forums on the project over three years and the resulting dialogue influenced much of the station plans, Price told the board. The new station must comply with 60 restrictions resulting from said forums, including the addition of a landstrip on the sidewalk surrounding the station.

"We had a righteous project -- trying to do the right thing for the community wee serve and we were proud to present that project. Any time we could try to address a concern in the community, that was a win for us."

Despite concerns most recently outlined by Alamo resident Cathy Harvill surrounding noise from the station's generators and the safety of bicyclist and pedestrians, neighbors of the current Station 32 expressed satisfaction with the department.

"Jan and I have lived next door to the Alamo Stone Valley Fire Station for nine years. During that time we have never once felt that their presence was a detriment to our safety, the value of our property, or continued enjoyment of our home," read a note from Randy and Jan Nahas. "In fact we are saddened that the District feels that they need to move to better serve the community as they are great neighbors."

The fire district will now create construction drawings for the station and must submit the plans for review before receiving a building permit. Once in possession of the building permit, the district will conduct a public bid for contractors, a process which will take at least a year. In the mean time, Price said, the district will tear down an abandoned house and grade the lot in preparation for construction.

"We're very happy to be at the end of this process, it's been three years now. One of the things that is probably most satisfying to me is we had unanimous votes from start to finish," Price said.

Supervisor Uilkema echoed Price's excitement and said she is looking forward to seeing the completed facility.

Tuesday's hearing was the final step in the appeals process for residents.


Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Congratulations to all of us. This was a long time coming and is long overdue. Thank you SRVFPD for listening to the community and seeing this through to the end. A good day for Alamo.

Like this comment
Posted by [clarify]
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Dear Editor,

Of course this is not the story!

County processes only create the overview of what must happen at the community level. Chief Price and the SRV Fire Board know that they have mitigation to achieve with Alamo neighborhoods, Stone Valley parents and west Alamo residents that would be cut off by freeway collapse in a major earthquake. This was never anything that the county could resolve and was always a community of neighborhoods issue.

Now Chief Price has to deal with Danville diverting additional traffic onto the Green Valley/Stone Valley corridor. Certainly, county supervisors and their advisory agencies are not prepared to face the politics of such traffic "dumping" by Danville.

It becomes a community mitigation without the politics of supervisors.

We shall move forward as Alamo neighborhoods.

Like this comment
Posted by ron
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 2, 2011 at 2:00 am

@ [clarify] - Talk about a nonsense straw man argument. The least of West Alamo's worries in a quake big enough to "collapse" the Stone Valley freeway overpass is not having a couple of fire engines on the East side. A quake big enough to collapse the freeway would see massive destruction and a handful of firemen would't be of any meaningful use.

Moving the fire station is long overdue - the current location is a safety hazard.

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2011 at 6:10 am

Finally the NIMBY issues have been put to rest. The school traffic issue was a red herring as anywhere near a school between 8:15 AM and 9 AM is a mess. The old station was vastly outdated and Chief Price and the SRVFD are to be commended on doing a thorough job.

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 2, 2011 at 9:49 am

Wonderful news about the new fire station for Alamo. Finally good judgement is being practiced.

I totally agree with Ron, Bill and Jake...and for Clarify, wake up. Your comment is way off base.

A great day for Alamo almost as great as voting down our township, that was a very good day for Alamo also.

Thank for listening, Julia Pardini from beautiful Alamo

Like this comment
Posted by mirandamomma
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 2, 2011 at 10:02 am

Isn't it nice that Randy is allowing his home next to the fire house be sold "Short". Locaiton anyone?

We will miss him!

Like this comment
Posted by [removed]
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Dear Editor,

To further my clarification, SRVFire, neighborhoods and parents need to mitigate the new fire house's relationship in its surrounding neighborhoods and in service to neighborhoods throughout our region. That is not a function of county approval or any ability of CCC-MAC Alamo. What neighborhoods, including parent groups, are doing is standing ready to work with Chief Price and the SRVFire Board on making the adjustments to facilities and operation to make sure our Alamo region has superior fire and emergency services coupled with quality of life for surrounding neighborhoods and safety of students' access to Stone Valley.

The goal is to mitigate remaining issues without anger growing during the construction and start-up operations of the fire house. There are further issues to impact such mitigation including Danville diverting expanding traffic from Diablo Road onto the Green Valley/Stone Valley corridor that will specifically impact Miranda intersection traffic flow.

As neighborhoods build community in the Alamo region, it is important to discharge anger caused by development with real solutions that are not forthcoming from county departments or CCC-BOS considerations. We must expect such solutions to come locally and cooperatively. By Chief Price's responses, we can be confident that Alamo neighborhoods and SRVFire share that common interest.

Like this comment
Posted by Informed resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Great job by everyone involved! This move towards improved services was long overdue.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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