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Danville council to start rescinding Magee Ranch development approvals

Could reconsider 69-home project after new bicycle-impact study

The Danville Town Council is set to begin the process of rescinding its prior approvals of a proposed 69-house development on the northeast side of town Tuesday night.

The council signed off on the SummerHill Homes project for Magee Ranch land at the southeast corner of Diablo and McCauley roads in 2013, but environmental advocacy group Save Open Space-Danville (SOS-Danville) challenged the town's approval process, leading to nearly three years of litigation that left the planned development in limbo.

The case reached the First District Court of Appeal, which in September upheld another local judge's ruling that Danville officials failed to adequately study whether the development would have significant impacts on bicycle safety on Diablo Road.

A Contra Costa County judge then ruled last month that the town must rescind its prior project approvals and reconsider the developer's proposal after conducting a new bicycle-impact study.

Town officials are bringing forward a two-fold rescission process for the council to consider Tuesday night.

Council members will discuss approving a new resolution to aside its prior resolution that certified the original final environmental impact report (EIR) and approved preliminary and final development plan requests, a major subdivision request and a tree removal plan.

They will also consider introducing a new ordinance to rescind an earlier ordinance that approved the developer's request to rezone agricultural land at the site to planned unit development to accommodate the housing project. The project, as previously approved, would have clustered the single-family homes on approximately 38 acres and designated the remaining 372 acres as open space.

If the council approves the first reading of the rezone-rescission ordinance Tuesday, it would return in May for final approval, city attorney Rob Ewing said in his staff report. After that point, the town would inform the court in writing that it complied with the ruling.

The town would then work to complete its study of potential bicycle-safety impacts of the project, a study that would be subject to public review and would be incorporated into a new final EIR, Ewing said.

"The town will then hold public hearings on both the updated EIR and the proposed project, consistent with the direction provided by the courts," Ewing added. "No schedule or timeline has yet been established for this process."

The council meeting is set to start at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St.

In other business, council members will hear regular update reports on the Development Services Department and town investments. They will also present a proclamation declaring this as Alcohol Awareness Month.

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Comments

8 people like this
Posted by Incomplete Reporting
a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2016 at 7:53 pm

"The case reached the First District Court of Appeal, which in September upheld another local judge's ruling that Danville officials failed to adequately study whether the development would have significant impacts on bicycle safety on Diablo Road."

That is entirely incomplete. The court also upheld the Town's interpretation of Measure S that there is no need for a public vote on the development - like most any other development in the Town.


15 people like this
Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:27 am

It took a lot of time and effort to get this to go away. The town was hell bent on another development to generate more money for their coffers and pensions! No regard for the traffic or safety of drivers and cyclists - town planners don't care what locals want they want development. Look at the ugly project on San Ramon Valley Blvd.and what they did in downtown with condos and big retail! Another pizza place going in at Danville Hotel site. Danville now has 10 pizzerias including the new Italian restaurant on Prospect! How much pizza do we need? More traffic, less parking for residents and no landscaping to soften the look of one on top of the other. Glad that the people's voices were finally heard for once!


2 people like this
Posted by Concerned voter
a resident of Danville
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:49 am

This is not going away. It is simply postponed until a new EIR can be produced that will satisfy the bicycle safety requirement. The Town Council has previously indicated their willingness to accept the 69 home development and override the voters ability to weigh in via Measure S. A judge has already ruled the Council has the discretionary right to ignore that Measure and there is little reason to assume the same sitting Council members will change their minds this time around. Although this project has faced significant delays and challenges, the town has seen fit to defend it and once the new EIR is submitted, the second and final approval is but a certainty.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School

on Mar 2, 2017 at 8:52 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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