SummerHill Homes out as Magee Ranch developer

Owner company substitutes in as applicant for proposed 69-home project

Development company SummerHill Homes is no longer participating in the proposed 69-home project on Magee Ranch land in Danville, and Magee Investment Company -- one of the site's owners -- has taken over as the project applicant in the town of Danville's consideration process.

Company president Jerome Magee Jr. asked the town in a letter Friday to substitute his company in as the new applicant because SummerHill Homes isn't associated with the project anymore.

No reason was given for the change. SummerHill Homes representatives did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

Town Manager Joe Calabrigo confirmed that Magee Investment Company is now considered the applicant. The project proposal remains unchanged otherwise, with officials poised to complete a study of the potential bicycle-safety impacts of the development as ordered by the court.

"Nothing else changes and the project status remains the same -- 69 homes proposed; currently in the process of addressing the one environmental deficiency that was identified by the lower court," Calabrigo added in an email Monday afternoon.

The 69-house development, proposed for part of a 410-acre site near the southeast corner of Diablo and McCauley roads, had been approved by the Town Council three years ago, but the project stalled amid litigation initiated by environmental advocacy group Save Open Space-Danville (SOS-Danville).

The courts ultimately upheld one of SOS-Danville's arguments -- that the town failed to adequately analyze bike-safety impacts before endorsing the projects -- and as a result, the town was ordered to rescind the 2013 approvals. Town officials could reconsider the entire project after completing a bike-safety review.

"We are hopeful that the withdrawal of SummerHill Homes from the 'Magee Ranches' project will be positive for the community," Maryann Cella, an SOS-Danville representative, said Monday. "We don't know, however, what the intent of the land investors ... is in substituting in for SummerHill Homes as the applicant for the 'Magee Ranches' project."

She added, "SOS-Danville Group's goal remains to obtain for any proposed Magee Ranch open space residential development a fair, livable and safe result for local residents and other users, including bicyclists and motorists, of the traffic-choked, flood-prone Diablo Road corridor."

Calabrigo said there is no timetable for when the bike-safety study will be completed and incorporated into a new final environmental impact report, which would then be released for public review. Town officials would need to hold public hearings on the updated EIR and the development proposal before taking final votes.

As proposed, the project would cluster the 69 single-family homes on approximately 38 acres, which would be rezoned from agricultural land to planned-unit development. The remaining 372 acres would be designated as permanent open space.

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7 people like this
Posted by Miles Young
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 2:08 pm

After six plus years of conversation and litigation and thousands of dollars invested Summerhill pulls out of the proposed Magee Ranch project along the East Branch of Green Valley Creek. A group of concerned citizens came together and fought a long battle never once being intimidated by the huge bankroll Summerhill brought to the table. It's not just a victory for SOS and its support groups; the end result is beneficial to all the residents of Danville. Had the project continued in its present form Danville would most likely have lost one of its true treasures, one that can't be claimed by its neighbors. The East Branch of Green Valley Creek is home to a significant colony of the California red legged frog which just happens to be California's State Amphibian. Many communities talk about how "green" they are and how much they care about the environment and then they watch their native habitat and its flora and fauna disappear under housing developments. For now,until the next challenge to the creek and its inhabitants citizens of Danville can say they are truly "green" and the have living proof in their backyards.

5 people like this
Posted by C. Kwon
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 4:29 pm

To all the folks who'll celebrate this decision, and then turn around and bemoan the oppressive regulations that California imposes on development, your nimbies are exposed. Be careful, lest your head explode, trying to contain all those contradictory impulses.

Like this comment
Posted by Dewey Hinds
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Oh yes, the red legged frog. What would life be without them.Now let's all sit around the camp fire and sing kumbaya, kumbaya.
One doesn't have to look far to see why the cost of homes in beyond the vast majority of buyers. The do gooders are still at it.

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

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