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Attend a public hearing today on the SummerHill Homes project

Original post made on Jan 24, 2013

Danville's Planning Commission will hold a hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 29 to receive public input on the proposed Magee Ranch – SummerHill Homes project, a 410-acre site located at the southeast corner of Diablo Road and McCauley Road. The public hearing will focus on the draft environmental impact report (EIR), which will be available for public review through that day.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 3:06 PM

Comments (47)

Posted by Dedicated Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 7:43 am

Why can't these planners just leave Danville alone?!
We are unique in being a small town with beautiful hillsides, trees, etc. We DO NOT NEED TO GROW - there are a ton of new residences in San Ramon - we don't need growth in Danville. Developers can make their money elsewhere - leave Danville as is! Focus instead on redoing the storefronts in north Hartz to look as beautiful as the rest of Hartz (do not rezone it as residential, just update the look of it) and don't add homes to increase our population. Diablo road to Blackhawk road is the last meandering, beautiful drive we have here - leave it as is. If builders want to make money focus on remodels - or make your millions elsewhere - not at our expense.
Sadly, these Planning Commissioners don't listen to us - hopefully our newly elected town council will. Watch how they vote people - we need to know who we can trust to keep Danville as is.

Posted by Danville Lover
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

To add to your comments, it's in their own best interest to add more homes and residences to Danville... Just think of all the additional permit fees, individual taxes, school taxes, property taxes, etc that get collected as a result of adding 70 more homes/people. This proposal only helps the government officials and their desire to add more "revenue" which we all know is taxes and fees. Keep Danville's community alive and keep our town small!

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:46 am

Would have been nice if the Danville Express article mentioned that the lots were 1/4 acre for 4000 foot homes with casitas for low income housing. Also, would have been appreciated if the article mentioned that the streets have been configured in the neighborhood so tightly, to squeeze in as many houses as possible, that the Traffix school bus will NOT be able to service this area. All those kids will be driven to/from school on an already overcrowded and dangerous Diablo Road. Maybe the Danville Express could have mentioned that the town has declined to meet with Contra Costa County Flood Control, an agency that has serious concerns regarding this proposed development. Oh, and would have been great if the Express would have clearly stated that this project REQUIRES a vote by the people of Danville under Measure S. The town is attempting an end run around Measure S with its new 2030 Plan where it unilaterally reclassified all property that would trigger a vote. People, there's nothing wrong with Dublin or Fremont or Oakland, areas that have chosen a certain type of development different from Danville -- people choose to live in various places for all kinds of reasons. Danville is unique and special for its own reasons -- let's try to keep it that way. If you like the small town feel of Danville, please let your opinion be heard at the 1/29 meeting.

Posted by Danville voter
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 9:09 am

Where do our Town Council members come down on this? They are the ones who have the final say, right? Hopefully they too want to keep Danville small, refrain from allowing these hills from being torn up, protect our schools from overcrowding, keep our downtown safe and relatively free from crime, keep our housing values from falling, etc. All this changes with a flood of high density, low income housing. (It's not just Summerhill, it's the plan to find 9.7 acres for low income housing in Danville! There go our schools...)This Planning Commission is planning the demise of Danville.

Does anyone know where our town council: Mr. Arenrich, Mr. Storer, Mr. Doyle, Ms. Stepper and Ms. Morgan come down on this?

Hopefully our Town Council are listening to the voters and we can support them in future elections - if they don't represent us, maybe we need to have a recall election to put in council members who will look out for our best interests. Don't they have the final say? They need to say to heck with ABAG - we withdraw our membership - so we lose ABAG money - who cares? That's a smaller cost to pay than the ruin of our town. If they have the courage to vote against the developers and the Planning Commission, they can save Danville and be the heroes in this story.

a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 9:28 am

The City Attorney admitted at the last Planning Commission hearing on the draft 2030 General Plan that before the ink was dry on Measure S, a 2000 ballot measure that gave Danville residents the right to vote on whether to approve projects like the ill-conceived SummerHill project, THE TOWN WAS TALKING WITH SPECIAL INTERESTS AND OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNSEL ABOUT A PLAN TO CIRCUMVENT THAT RIGHT TO VOTE!

That is just plain outrageous. And what makes all that even worse is that Measure S was put on the ballot by the Danville Town Council to DEFEAT A CITIZENS' INITIATIVE CALLED MEASURE R, that would have given voters A LOT of control over future development in Danville. But apparently the Town Council members (current Council members Newell Arnerich and Mike Doyle were on the Council then, too) weren't satisfied just with defeating Measure R. They were already planning on circumventing their own Measure S!


Posted by LOUISE
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:08 am

Town council and planners are on power trips and have their own agendas. Newell Arnerich is an architect, why would he be against development? Others on council and certain planners want to see more development for their own selfish reasons. We have foxes watching the hen house in Danville and many are not aware or don't pay attention. Slowly but surely infill development is going on and parking and traffic are getting worse. Just look at the development of condos on E Prospect behind retail. A once only retail location that housed a store is now high density condos. Where are the residents going to park? There is no parking provided. They can park on an already crowded street with very little parking. How did that get approved? Well, it did by our town council.

Posted by Arlene
a resident of Diablo
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

Friends - Please follow this issue closely and especially reread comments from Danville Resident four comments up.

This project will seriously affect all of us along the Diablo Road corridor. The Town of Danville is in the process of negating the Measure S vote by Danville citizens that requires a public vote to change the zoning of Open Space Land such as the Magee Ranch agricultural property. This project will cause havoc with its excessive traffic on the already small and hazardous Diablo Road. If there were any emergency like a fire, etc., people would not be able to get to safety. In addition to commute traffic, four schools are in the area and already contribute to horrendous traffic. The construction work itself will cause extreme problems and additional danger. Plus, the development will cause an adverse effect on our schools, creek and erosion problems, and overall damage to our property value. MAKE YOUR POSITION KNOWN AT THE VERY IMPORTANT MEETING ON JANUARY 29TH!!

Posted by Magee Ranch Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

I too am very concerned about the proposed Summerhill project located off of Diablo Road. I have examined the DEIR and I believe it to be highly flawed! I am most concerned about the traffic impacts at the Diablo Road/Green Valley/McCauley Road intersections. From what I can see they were not discussed in the summary of significant impacts section. The effects of this proposed development on the already congested Diablo Road are very significant to me. Furthermore, public documents and the town's zoning maps show that the agricultural parcel is zoned A-4. The proposed Summerhill project would require a rezoning of this land to A-2. Therefore a Measure S public vote is required. We need to preserve the beauty and serenity of this truly unique community!

Posted by William
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

The MTC and ABAG marriage is bureaucracy trying to find a reason to substantiate it's own existence. The Summerhill project is the wrong project for the wrong reasons in the wrong location. It is a joke of planning and a clear violation of Measure S. How much do we the taxpayers of Danville pay to belong to ABAG to be told by them how to run our town? How much to we pay to the MTC? All good questions. The MTC voted 8-6 in October to purchase 390 Main Street for $93 million and will spend $74 million to retrofit the building. Now that's a fair chunk of change and they have to be doing quite well. What is the master plan they have in mind. One Bay Area sounds frightening and not unlike One Bay Area government. Come to the meeting on the 29th to hear lots of baloney and bureaucratic speak. Then let's state our position as it will take legal action to shut this whole thing down.

Posted by Steve Lincoln
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Well, let me say first that I like the small-town feel of Danville. I've lived here for many years and enjoy all the wonderful features of our town.

But, the fact is that we are not the small farming town that we once were. We have grown only slightly in the past 10 years. But, we are much larger than we once were -- over 42,000 residents now. We are not the town of 4,600 people that we were in 1950, or even the 15,900 of 1970.

I wonder what people who live here now would have done instead if the Danville residents of 1970 had said that 15,900 people was enough and they weren't going to allow any more development because they didn't want their "small town" to change. Many of the houses that we live in now would not have been built.

But, they were built. And, as many of you may know, residents of that era rose to the challenge and advocated for the several parks that we now enjoy and for the preservation of open spaces. They put in place a General Plan in 1982 that outlined where development could be done and set design guidelines for housing along the Sycamore Valley corridor. They helped the town maintain its small-town character by working for balance in the way that development was done. And we all benefit today from that planning and that advocacy.

The challenge, it seems to me, is not to believe that we can stop all growth. But rather, it is to accommodate modest growth without changing the fundamental character of our town (the look and feel of downtown, scenic hillsides, etc.), and without overloading the existing roadways, schools, natural resources, etc.

We can't be an island unto ourselves. But, we can handle smart growth if we make an effort, as citizens, to help shape that growth.

If you look at downtown Danville, there was a time when most residents (except for the few ranchers on the outskirts) probably walked to where they wanted to go throughout the downtown, because they lived there. Quite a few of those houses along our downtown streets have now been converted to businesses. So, not as many people live in the immediate downtown area anymore. Most of us live father out.

But, it wouldn't be a bad idea, it seems to me, to have a few more housing units, including smaller units, located closer to downtown, where people could walk more -- especially senior citizens (who may be lower income), and empty-nesters who are downsizing, and our children who are just starting out in the working world (but who can't yet afford and don't need a big house).

I don't subscribe to the assumption that I've heard from some on this blog that all people of lower income are undesirables who must be kept out of our fair town. Don't we all know some senior citizens, who have led exemplary lives in modest careers, but who now subsist on Social Security and maybe a small pension or part-time job? Maybe a widowed parent who desires to live in the same town as their children, but maintain their independence in a small downtown apartment? Why wouldn't we be welcoming to people like these? Do we really want to be a town that pulls up the bridges and says that no one else can enter until someone else leaves.

I think we can be better than that. But, it will take some real effort and thought -- not just a reflexive "no" to everything. Our predecessors in the 1970s and early 1980s made that effort. Let's see if we can, too.

a resident of Los Cerros Middle School
on Jan 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Steve: You are missing the point. Who should be deciding about local housing growth? Bureaucrats in Sacramento and working for ABAG, or Danville's people and their local government. Land use is traditionally a LOCAL matter. Have you been to the Planning COmmission hearings on the draft 2030 General Plan? Have you studied the existing Land Use Designation Map for Danville? The 14 so-called "Housing Opportunity Sites" are places where land NOT DESIGNATED IN THE 2010 GENERAL PLAN FOR HIGH/MED. DENSITY HOUSING ARE BEING REDESIGNATED FOR THAT WITH NO PROJECT-SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTAL OR OTHER REVIEWS REQUIRED!The amount of redesignations are never something that Danville would have done otherwise.

Wait until you start seeing the consequences of the redesignations. For example, it looks like the Danville Bowl will escape redesignation this time around, but there are 2 more "cycles" of redesignation over the life of the proposed General Plan. How will you feel when a site near you that you thought was "safe" gets redesignated? And no, Steve, all the low-income housing will not be filled with seniors and our own kids. Get real, Steve. Talk to people in Livermore or the Dougherty Valley about some of the low-income housing there. You live in a dream world. Do you know what Oakland USED to be like?

Posted by Danville Voter
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm


It's not just the low income aspect, it's the HIGH DENSITY. No one would be opposed to a street of single family homes or townhomes reserved for low income people - as long as it were bringing in A FEW families - not the thousands of people proposed by the 2030 general plan.

I disagree that we can not be an island unto ourselves - we most certainly can.

People work hard to be able to live in Danville because there is something to be said for living in a small town where you see people you know as you run errands - where you can leave out your chair 4th of July eve and it's still there the next day - we are a small tight knit community, and if we grow too much we lose that. It's just where people choose to live: if you want a bigger city they are everywhere - Walnut Creek and Concord, Dublin and sadly San Ramon is becoming big too. If you want a small town, Danville and Alamo are the only ones close by, and those of us who chose to settle down here for that reason should be allowed to continue our lives in a small town without outside forces imposing their beliefs on us and forcing us to become a larger city.

There are a ton of existing options for young starting out and for seniors: apartments very close by in San Ramon, and a plethora of condos/townhouses in both San Ramon and Danville. Many of us were raised here, started out renting in San Ramon or Walnut Creek and made our way back to raise our own families in Danville because it's small and safe.

We ABSOLUTELY can refuse growth to keep our small town feel - that's why many of us chose to remain here since childhood and are fighting to keep Danville as it is.

Posted by Steve Lincoln
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Danville Voter -

Where do you get the "thousands" figure?

Once again, what if our predecessors had rejected all growth?

Posted by Danville Voter
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Steve: respectfully, from page 8 of the Danville Draft 2030 plan: 9.6 acres, density of 25-35 dwelling units per acre - not at all the 3-5 homes per acre you mentioned, but 25-35 dwellings per acre - where do cars for 335+ units go? Where do the kids go to school? That's the current RHNA requirement of we buy in - what numbers will future assessments require? That's not all however, that is in addition to Summerhill's proposed development, and in addition to the huge neighborhood development currently under construction in the Southern Danville side of San Ramon Valley Blvd against the hills. Those are just the 3 newest projects we know of... Where are all these kids going to fit into schools? Where are we putting another high school to accommodate this growth? Are all these teens going to go to San Ramon High or Monte Vista?

As far as our predecessors - I've been here since the 70's and watched the valley explode around me, anf frankly I wish they had not developed the land as much as they did. I miss all the agricultural land - we used to be able to go on country drives - now it's all developed. You can't back up and rethink once you develop the land - it's done and gone - we're leaving no natural beauty for our kids and we are losing our small town. We don't need to grow any further. "Fixing what's not broken" leads to more problems than anything. Danville is pretty great as is.

a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Steve: The draft 2030 General Plan allows for the redesignation of up to 35 ACRES OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS FOR MED/HIGH DENSITY HOMES! That could easily result in thousands more people and cars here.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:20 am

Steve should visit Redwood City or Freakmont to see what they have turned into....the low cost housing ain't for granny!!! Watch little Danville Johnny get jumped for wearing red or blue!! See the graffiti and gang tagging on our future play structures.... Watch the work crews repair the park vandalism. Plenty of cities for the bleeding hearts----we earned to live in Danville without the entitlement---"where my Obamaphone?!?" grifters.

Posted by Business Hartz
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:46 am

The planning committee seems to be deciding to re-zone our business district (with the help of the PDA) from business to housing because they think it would "look better". I don't believe this is how decisions about re-zoning should be made. There needs to be analysis on the impact to our thriving business district. The heart of Danville is its unique small town feel -- that is an 'old fashioned downtown'. If we rezone downtown from business/office/etc. to housing, we will lose business and become yet another bedroom community where people have to drive to San Ramon or Walnut Creek to go to the dentist, doctor and to shop. This is not sustainable living.

Danville is ALREADY losing business to the neighboring communities because land owners know this is being discussed and are not renewing leases in preparation for their bill payday (selling land to developers for housing development in the heart of what we now have as downtown Danville).

The planning committee needs to analyze the risk and "environmental" impacts of losing businesses to other communities.

If you read the General Plan, it is part of the plan to NOT provide parking. The plan states it will further encourage use of mass transit and that busing and shuttle busing will be provided from the Sycamore park and ride to downtown. This will be the final nail in the coffin for downtown businesses -- NO PARKING!

We need to remove the PDA and the rezoning of downtown from the General Plan.

Posted by Same story
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:32 am

The land owner has every right to sell his land. The zoning was established well before the current council was in place.

I have lived in Danville since the early 70's. I will also be impacted by any development as I live off Diablo road. As I was with the development of McCauley, Magee and Blackhawk. That was all farm land.

The future residents of Summerhill will be the next residents to protest growth in the future as the residents of farm land developments are doing so now.

Not in my neighborhood as it affects my world is the message I see being sent. No aggression and a non emotional compromise is the best solution.

Posted by one Danville, not One Bay Area
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:44 am

My dear neighbors - a quick suggestion to not make an enemy of the good: there are Danville people of both parties who are united on this issue, so maybe we should be careful to keep Republican/Democratic banter out of our discussions.

We don't want to hurt our cause, which is to protect the citizens and small businesses in our town by preventing us from being forced by outside groups (ABAG and MTC) to grow into a city, and to deal with the Planning Commission who are ignoring the wishes of our citizens. There are many good people in our town on both sides of the aisle who can agree on keeping Danville as is, but people may not want to identify themselves with one political ideology or another, so may become reluctant to join voices on this issue if they disagree on the broader political topics.

It may be more productive to focus on what affects Danville: that is ABAG, that is the One Bay Are initiative, that is elected officials (Town Council) who should be representing the people who put them in office, that is this Planning Commission who are destroying our town and ignoring our voices. We need to spread the word to those who will help keep our Town Council accountable, but maybe we should keep national politics out of it so people of both political parties can come together to defend our small town.

By the way, Business Hartz: what a great point about lack of parking destroying our small businesses. Where do these planners think 9.6 acres of 35 units per acre worth of cars are going to go? We don't want an eyesore parking garage either! How did this planning commission come to be? Were they elected?

Posted by Danville Proponent
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:05 am

Dear neighbors,

Maybe it's time that we pass an ordinance or measure that simply says, 'If you own land, you can never sell it. You and your descendants will be caretakers for your section of Terra firma for perpetuity'. For the developers and capitalists that bought properties like the Magee Ranch when the old man (Hap) passed in the 1980s, write-it off as a loss to your business. We will not accept this kind of revenue generation in this town. Yes, this would be something of a Socialist move but it's okay if the intention is to prevent unwanted overcrowding in our community. More so, I would be in favor of striking the historical names from our most treasured landmarks, roads, etc. of those founding and pioneer families as their decedents sold us all out by selling the family ranch all for what, money?
While the emotion and incentive is strong amongst us, let get this done folks.

Posted by Same Story
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I am for striking our Danville history from any signs. We will just need to add to the grade schoolers history walk of Danville, the piece about our earlier settlers (for them any land owner from 2000 or before) that when the Spanish starting selling their land to non Spanish buyers that was the start of the over crowding and over expansion of Danville. That is why we removed all historical signs and referances.

How many parents went on the grade school walk that now oppose Summerhill?

We are who we are today because of a wonderful job by the Council over the years to use the laws in place to guide growth. It has taken a collaboration of many. I appreciate their vision and determination, as Danville is a special community.

Posted by Danville resident
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm

We are not here today because of the wonderful job by the Council. Danville was a very charming place because of zoning that was long in place before Danville incorporated. The thing we need to worry about is the willingness of the Town Council to do away with zoning standards and rely upon Planned Unit Developments that come with their own zoning.

It is abundantly clear that Steve has never drivin in the morning or afternoon school traffic on Diablo Rd.

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Jan 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Modern Era Population Estimates:
12,700 in 1960; 15,900 in 1970; 21,100 in 1975; 26,500 in 1980; 40,484 in 2000; 42,182 in 2011 (estimated).

The 1980 Federal census showed that approximately 82 percent of Danville's 26,500 residents arrived after 1970.

In 1982, Danville citizens voted to incorporate their community.

One should consider many factors when determining when the 'charming' came to town.

Posted by mask it all you want
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

These comments have been an enjoyable, humorus read. I like to change all the code words to get to the real meaning... for example, substitute "low income" and insert "Black and Brown" people.

Nothing better than some good old fashion covert racism!

Posted by Steve Lincoln
a resident of Danville
on Jan 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Danville Voter -

If we are going to have a discussion, you will have to avoid misquoting me, and you will have to be able to do math.

I never mentioned anything about 3-5 dwellings per acre. Maybe you were reading some other post.

If 9+ acres are re-developed for high density units (25-35 units per acre), that still only yields approximately 250-350 units total. And at about 2-3 people per unit (which is what Danville averages; and smaller units are likely to be below that average), fewer than a thousand residents would be added.

Linda's comments are just plain offensive and don't merit a substantive response.

Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

OK Danville.... enough said.

7:30 p.m. 420 Front Street


Let's face it, we live in Danville for the "small-town feel" and how we bump into people we know as we run errands, but honestly, we enjoy living in an exclusive enclave. We've worked hard to be able to own a home here and we don't want our properties devalued. Would Alamo allow such a development? How about Moraga or the countless other smaller wealthy zip codes?

The Summerhill proposal threatens us with home devaluation.


Posted by tango
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2013 at 9:38 am

If the Summehill project goes thru then the writing is on the wall and this current city council has fooled us all. As a long time Danville resident I have seen what has happened to San Ramon and Dublin and it is not pretty. Danville is a charming town and we do not need this development from any perspective. Diablo Road will be a mess and the flood gates will be open for future precedent. Lets also take into consideration, Summerhill builds a lousy home !!

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

Dear Wealthy Neighbors (of the 94526 and 94506 zip-codes),

I believe that Danville Mom has said it, like she truly means it. So please, put down the caviar, tamp out the Montecristo (cuban), place the champagne back on ice, ask the nanny to work a few extra hours tomorrow evening and come represent yourselves in full regalia at tomorrow's meeting (hearing for her as she is likely bringing her own counsel). Please let your drivers know that limo parking may be at a premium. It is the place to be seen and heard dear Wealthy Neighbors. Think of it as an early Oscar's party. Bring your money, as your very stature will be increased amongst those you 'bump into'.

“I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
― Pablo Picasso

Posted by Tago
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

Conservator, I am one of the few in Danville that only make $500K so no limos, caviar or Montecristos ! Would love to know what your post is trying to say ?

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Tago (typo?), It's pleasing to to see one of modest means as well commenting on this board. I for one and quite proud of the means by which a lifetime of work has afforded myself and those I take accountability. However, as one who respects what pleasures and corresponding responsibilities that fortune and wealth bring find it exceptionally distasteful to call the wealthy to metaphorical arms so as to defend the exclusive enclave.

BTW, how in the world can you subsist on just $500k in either of the aforementioned zip-codes?

Posted by Samantha
a resident of Danville
on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm

A snarky planning commissioner and council member said 300 people at public hearings won't sway them. Come to a meeting people---

Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Jan 29, 2013 at 9:38 am

Of course some intellecutally challenged person had to use the race card to point out that Danville didn't want other races here. That is not the prime objection at all. It is about high density housing and traffic and crowding primarily. Firstly, the rate at which the "black and brown" to quote the braniac who used those terms, are moving into the East Bay is not even a consideration when for the most part they are quickly becoming the majority. If they pay taxes, take care of their property and respect their neighbors and their property, most don't care. Oh, it might be nice if they came here legally, but now with the proposed Dream Act we are giving many a free pass.

Posted by Tango
a resident of Danville
on Jan 29, 2013 at 9:54 am

Conservator, it is very difficult to sub-sist on $500K but we manage. Maybe the issue with Summerhill should be your focus ??

Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:05 am

Louise, you are so generous of spirit to deign to allow "black and brown" people to live here on equal footing (well, almost equal, maybe) with you.

Guess what? Many of those "black and brown" people don't have to "come here legally." They were born here -- full U.S. citizens, just like you and I.

My black/brown children were born here and live right here in Danville.

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm


First, you are right that Summerhill should be the principle focus of our discussions. I would remiss if I did not commend you on what I presume to be exceptional financial management skills. Perhaps it would not be impudent to recall that you did ask me to clarify an earlier offering.

I am actually 100% behind the people's right to a Measure S vote on whether this should go forward or not. Not at all to satisfy the always visceral (perhaps just old and miserable) individuals on this post like 'Louisa' who found the Internet as an appeasing venue to rant so late in life. Rather, I prefer to point out the easily overlooked facts in counter to so many opinions regarding the creation of Shangri-La (i.e. Danville). So, if you are so inclined, I encourage to use a moment's time to investigate the work of an exceptional group of local historians at the Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association ( This is not a group of 'tin-foil' types nor horticulturally savvy hippies (well, perhaps not anymore) but very astute and respected regional historians. Their work will take you back to the Spanish through to the present with exception detail. One might even gain an unexpected level of appreciation for a developer or two as your home would not likely be here if it were not for them. We must all be grateful to Ken Behring, no? Who knows, they certainly earn their fare share of public angst. I'm no defender of theirs. I would rather point out that if one bought a home in this area and perceived that it was better today then it was yesterday or could ever be tomorrow, well, sadly our regional history doesn't substantiate that opinion with the usage facts our prized valley.

If i've explained my perspectives on the Summerhill initiative, I will respectfully move on from this one. However, if you would not mind, please post a few play-by-play highlights of the raucous and rancor that occurs at tonight's Planning Commission meeting. I'm sure it will offer more entertainment to those of us that can't attend then the thing this Sunday...

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Danville
on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:52 pm

@Conservator: I'd have thought you'd be a big fan of the Poe-Boys in the Sunday set-to.

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Danville
on Jan 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I bought my house over 25 years ago @ 25 yrs old. I worked VERY hard to be able to afford a nice home in a community that values family, integrity, intellectualism, and appreciation of the beauty of open spaces. This was the intent and basis for raising my children here.
Danville has surely grown. Town council has taken advantage of getting things passed that didn't require community votes. We whom have remodeled or improved our homes have paid dearly to the planning commission and , in turn, had our property taxes increased through the roof.
The Matadera Estates slid through even though there was a threat of the red frog disappearing. Guess what? Matadera is not only a cheap excuse to imitate a tiny example of Tuscan-style architecture (a joke) with hollow walls and particleboard, but those stupid idiots covered up,the creek with a weird "green belt " strip of grass with vent holes on top! What the hell???????
So, guess what else? The red tree frog is GONE. We wait every Spring to remind us seasons are changing and there are no frogs to be heard. They've ruined mother natures house again permanently.
IF this stupid summer hill thing goes through, I'm suing this town for property tax increases for no good reason, you will see alot more accidents, people injured, pollution ruining landscaping, traffic jams on a two lane road, and that's enough. The whole idea is just retarded. The morning traffic is bad enough with at east seven schools in the immediate area. They better do their Math and the rest of their homework!!!

Posted by Inquiring Minds
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2013 at 9:08 am

So -- what happened? (or is it still going on?)

Posted by Chris Cesio
a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on Jan 31, 2013 at 11:54 am

PLEASE listen to the residents that will be impacted by the Summerhill project. The reason we moved here, to raise our family is for the unique small town feel, projects like Summerhill will only add to congestion on the streets and overcrowding of the community. Expand and build somewhere else!

Posted by Brian Cullen
a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I am a long time resident of Danville opposed to the SummerHill proposal for three very simple reasons.
1. Increased already unbearable traffic at high commute times.
2. Current local schools are already at max capacity
3. Our Emergency teams (fire, EMT, police) will have challenges getting through the additional traffic in reasonable times.

I understand the need for growth, but this location is clearly the wrong place to try to wedge it in. Please find an alternative place that makes better sense.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

I think most Danville residents just like to whine and complain. You whine and complain over land owners running cattle on their land in order to keep their livlihood and here you are again over this home project. Which is it? So many green spaces in Danville are still used as agricultural grounds - that is exactly what all this land used to be! You move in here and when your home backs up to these green spaces, you whine and complain about it nonstop. You aren't happy either way.

Get over yourselves.

Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

I hate conspiracy theories but this ABAG and MTC and the behavior of our planners and town council is a real head scratcher. It isn't rocket science to understand that the Summerhill project is a stupid and poor plan. Why is the town seemingly so afraid of these unelected bureaucrats from ABAG and the MTC that seem to want to hold us hostage for their utopian dream of the "One Bay Area" plan. It is time to force our elected and appointed representatives to get us out of ABAG and the MTC and let them toy with other communities. Corte Madera has already had enough of them and is no longer involved. We need to have some of out citizens get in touch with this community and find out why they left and how it has impacted their community. Maybe they just got tired of being dictated to by ABAG.

Posted by Tango
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2013 at 8:19 am

To: Danville resident. One question, in what department at Summerhill do you work in ? This project is just wrong !

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

Please. I have been a life long resident of Danville. My family has been here for generations. It is developments like this that put 90% of the current residents in Danville here!

New families move in and then it's the same story - "Not in my backyard!"

The damage has already been done here...and it's not just Diablo. Look at the land on Tassajara - all of those rolling hills opposite Highland road have already been sold! Its just a matter of time before another large development pops up there.

Posted by Tango
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2013 at 10:13 am

Danville resident ! The areas like " opposite Highland " are open space with plans for traffic, etc. The Sumerhill projet is in an establlished area that is already beseiged with trafic, congestion, etc Not an " apples to apples" comparison. I also know several people who have bought Summerhill Homes and they are not constructed well, follow-up is very poor and overall Summerhill not a good neighbor. The project and location just stinks and town planners and councel are complicit

Posted by 18 years in Danville
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Feb 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm

There is too much traffic already. Our beautiful open space is at risk. Wildlife will become scarce. Stop the development. We don't want to be another San Ramon.

Posted by Arlene
a resident of Diablo
on Feb 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm

So....What happens now??? Over several meetings we've heard The People's strong opposition to the Summerhill Development but what will the Town do?? Will they represent us or the developer??

1. Traffic is already horrendous on the Diablo Road Corridor.
2. Our safety is compromised and will be further compromised in any kind of emergency. Fire, police, EMT will have extreme difficulty with the addition of Summerhill and its 70-100 dwelling units.
3. Local schools are already at max capacity
4. Further erosion and creek flooding will occur as will damage to nature and the environment. (Plans call for removal 56 trees – 18 along the Diablo Road/Greenvalley Intersection.)
5. Loss of rural, small town beauty of Danville with this development that squeezes large homes on small lots.
6. This development is in THE WRONG LOCATION – not near the freeway or public transportation.
7. The approval of Summerhill requires a vote by the citizens of Danville as required by Measure S. The Town has no right to negate the will of the voters by changing the zoning of the Magee Property from agriculture to residential. If the Town succeeds here it would open the floodgates to the rest of the agricultural land.

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