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Measure Y: Danville voters to settle debate on Magee Preserve project

Original post made on Jan 29, 2020

Voters in the town of Danville will have the final say in deciding the fate of the hotly-contested Magee Preserve development project located along Diablo Road, when Measure Y appears on the March 3 Primary Election ballot.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 4:58 PM

Comments (27)

Posted by Todd Gary
a resident of Danville
on Jan 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm

And to learn more complete reasons why this rezoning ordinance and development project is Wrong for Danville, visit

Posted by Danville homeowner
a resident of Danville
on Jan 29, 2020 at 9:18 pm

Ryan Degan. This is a very one-sided article. You didn’t even include Danville resident’s website, but you included Davidons. The town of Danville is lead by an architect, developer and a full planning commission of developers and realtors. Sadly, this article misses the mark about the real reasons why residents oppose this development. To learn the truth about this measure, visit

The traffic impacts and added fire risk should be enough for any reasonable person to Vote No on Measure Y.

Posted by What!
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jan 30, 2020 at 6:35 am

Vote "NO" -- bad for Danville! Unfortunate, because I live in Blackhawk (unincorporated), I am NOT able to vote!

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:07 am

Please consider voting no and asking the town to go back to the drawing board. This will not be good for our town.

Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:37 am

We all know Diablo Road is a nightmare due to cyclists and cars together using this very narrow road with blind corners. Someone is going to get killed. And traffic jams pile up behind slow moving cyclists. Adding 800 additional car trips per day to this road is going to make things worse.

The Yes on Y folks try to trick voters, saying their plan will provide, “new safer options to Diablo Road for walkers and cyclists. And all of it at no cost to taxpayers.” They make you think a bike path will be built on Diablo Road.

In fact, the plan would only give an easement to Danville to build a bike path. Danville would need to acquire funds and develop that project at a later date. Where’s that money going to come from? How long until the path would be built? How much would it cost?

Be upfront about all this. Stop trying to deceive us.

Posted by Clarissa
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 8:23 am

This project is wonderful for Danville. Small, planned growth, open space, beautiful design. This development is not responsible for the existing traffic on Diablo Rd, they do have to mitigate future traffic. The Diablo residents have led a NIMBY campaign and they do not even have a vote on this project.

Posted by Danville Lover
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 9:23 am

Existing traffic is a nightmare on two lane Diablo Road! This development would add more! Proud to wear the badge NIMBY if it keeps my neighbors safe. Not the right location unless they can widen Diablo Road my vote is NO!

Posted by Jake
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 11:43 am

Why would anyone be opposed to this? I see no negatives to this project: 1) it develops only 29 acres and the rest is protected forever from development, 2) it converts 381 acres of private property to an EBRPD park for access for all, and connects important trails together 3) improves traffic conditions and bike safety on Diablo Road and 4) the fire district says there's no concern. Definitely a Yes on Y for me.

Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 12:04 pm

I am somewhat surprised at the lack of understanding and the misinformation that continues to surround this proposed community - It seems that many of us would prefer to simply complain, and repeat sound bites like "any new homes are too many" or "I'm proud to be a NIMBY, if it means 1 more car on the road". I think many of us are simply not digging deep enough into the issues to become well informed. It's understandable since we are all very busy with our lives, but take one example - the bike path. Someone posed some good questions about the bike path, but finished their comment with "stop trying to deceive us" I have read quite a bit about the bike path from both sides of this argument, and I can't confirm one way or the other that anyone is trying to deceive, or mislead us regarding this issue, but it does take a bit of investigation to find the answers to this question, as well as answers to any of the questions relating to this proposed community.

The city has already conducted a feasibility study of the bike path. You can find this on the city website. In addition, the city already has funding of approximately $2 million dollars in place for creating a proper bike path. This money has been in place for a very, very long time. Yes, there will still be more money needed to fully fund the bike path, but the central issue that has inhibited further funding and moving forward has been obtaining an easement over the land. The approval of this community will finally grant that easement to the city and a bike path will finally be able to be constructed once the balance of funding is obtained and a final design is complete.

We all know the bike path is needed - it will not only help to prevent injuries to bicyclists, but will improve traffic conditions as vehicles no longer have to compete with the cyclists for space on an already very tight road. I am not a cyclist, but all of the cyclists/cycle groups I have spoken with are in favor of this community.

If we vote no, it is a given that the city will not obtain the easement and the bike path will definitely not happen no matter how much money the city has sitting in it's account to build this path. After looking at all of the information I can find, at this point, I am of the opinion that if we truly say we want a safer road, then we should vote YES.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 12:37 pm

Voting yes on this. The No—side scare tactics aren’t working on me.
Good for Danville . Preserve open space, sustainable and controlled growth. Minimal impact for most residents.

Posted by Frank
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 30, 2020 at 1:09 pm

The project is a very well thought through proposal that delivers an excellent public benefit for a relatively minimal amount of development. The land will be developed one way or another, and in light of the State legislature demanding more dense housing development in future residential projects, this project should be approved as soon as possible for the maximum benefit of all stakeholders.

Posted by Westside Resident
a resident of Montair Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. Does anyone know how much the bicycle path will be projected to cost? There is already $2 million in the bank. How much more will be needed? A concern I have is around the zoning. It has not been possible to find out the history of the zoning of this land. That is important to me because Measure S is supposed to require a vote of Danville citizens when zoning changes are requested. A council majority can also change zoning, which was done for this project in the middle of the night. About half of the land has been under some kind of rezoning that the owners did for 10 years for some kind of tax purpose. I would like to understand the details. Until then, it is difficult for me to accept the statement that the property will be developed with housing eventually. I agree with previous comments that this article reads as for the measure. I know it is difficult to find the facts about this, but I would prefer to read a more balanced article. How was it that the council missed the amount of interest that this has generated and created a situation that required lawsuits and the cost of an election?

Posted by Frances
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 4:32 pm

If Diablo Road was wider with shoulders this project wouldn't be so highly contested. Sorry, but I feel Danville Town Council got this one wrong. Voting NO.

Posted by Joanne
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Thank you for the balanced article that shows the facts of the Magee Preserve project! This is a win-win for Danville.

It is not open space now - the property is owned by Jed Magee. His family is one of Danville's longest ranching families - real pioneers of our region. They are offering the open space (381 acres) in exchange for just 69 homes on 29 acres. If you've not been up there, you should speak to Jed or his son, Tom. They are happy to welcome you and give you a tour.

Traffic will be mitigated through the widening of Green Valley / MacCauley / Diablo AND a smart traffic light at Mt. Diablo Scenic. This takes this intersection from and "E-F" rating up to a "B" rating, for its level of service.

Moreover the fire district has stated that the project meets or exceeds fire code regulations.

Definitely a firm YES from me! I really appreciate the work the Town Council and staff have done to present the facts.

Posted by stanigu
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jan 31, 2020 at 9:24 am

I think 69 homes in exchange for the improvements and new trail system over 381 acres is a good trade off. I'd love to have new hiking area that would connect Diablo and Sycamore. Plus the new bike lanes on Diablo Road would add safety.

Would the traffic increase? I would assume so. But in reality we're talking about 69 homes--not a huge development of 100's of homes. So the impact would be limited, and with the new bike lanes, may even actually improve. (we live in Blackhawk, our kids went to Monte Vista, so yes, I know how bad the traffic can get).

Yes on Y for me.

Posted by Diablo Hacienda
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2020 at 10:56 am

Measure Y, is asking if you agree with the town councils decision (Ordinance No 2019-06) to rezone a 410 acre parcel to create 381 acres of permanent open space. That’s it!

I asked our Town Planner if Y fails, will or can the land be developed as private homes?
Here is the answer I got from the Town Planner (1/30/2020 @ 4 PM)
“Our analysis found that the property could be subdivided into up to 78 lots, most of them five acres in size.“ So, if I understand this correctly, a NO vote equals more driveways on Diablo Rd. 78 private estate over 410 acres land, no park for the community. Just 78 very private estates. There is already one very private estate in that area with a driveway on Diablo Rd very near Clydesdale. The town maps show that there will be more driveways in that area exiting onto Diablo Rd if Y fails and and definitely no pubic park land.

Posted by Duy Dang
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Feb 1, 2020 at 4:51 pm

The open space, easement for bike path, 3-5 miles of trail are compelling reason to vote for the development. But unresolved issues with traffic safety, traffic congestion and fire hazard are the most compelling reason to vote against Measure Y.

Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2020 at 5:17 pm

A Yes vote on Measure Y would be a no brainer for me IF it included the developer coughing up the extra costs (above the $2MM already saved) of building the 'already designed' bike path, so that it can be constructed prior to the houses going up. I'm a "No".

Posted by Long Term Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2020 at 9:40 am

The addition of 69 homes will increase property tax revenue. Danville is one of a handful of the most financially sound cities in the state with zero long term debt. The town council has a long standing policy of "pay as you go". I don't know the exact numbers, but I have to think the added tax revenue from the new houses will help fund the bike path and other improvements (hopefully including Diablo Road)

Posted by Fish
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 3:17 pm

As a Green Valley Rd resident who already has a miserable time getting out of their driveway during the day, I'll be voting no. Along with the rest of my street. The last thing this part of town needs is more houses. If they connected all those driveways to their own ramp on 680, it may be worth it. Until then, no way.

Posted by Rocky
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 11:56 am

Thank you for the facts. I hope our wonderful Town welcome 69 new households into the community. This project is well planned out and makes sense.

Posted by DanvilleLife
a resident of Danville
on Feb 5, 2020 at 9:22 am

Wow, I was going to vote “yes” for bicyclist’s safety (not a biker, hate sharing narrow roads with them) until I read the fine print....Danville “COULD” create a safe biking trail but would need more money for improvements which = another bond = higher property taxes. No thank you! I voted NO!

Posted by Katie
a resident of Danville
on Feb 6, 2020 at 4:20 pm

Voting Yes. Someone asked earlier about the zoning. That question was already answered in court. The no people tried to claim this private land is open space. It is not. It's private just like where our homes are - some past rancher built our neighborhoods so we could live here.

Posted by Olivia
a resident of Blackhawk
on Feb 24, 2020 at 10:46 am

Measure Y is not on my ballot and I’ve lived in Danville 25+ years. I’m an absentee voter and ready to vote!

Posted by Charles
a resident of Danville
on Feb 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm

This is as close to a no-brainer as it gets. Definitely yes on Y for me. It trades off 381 acres of forever open space for 69 houses on 29 acres, all at the bottom of the hills with no homes on hillsides or ridges. It provides the easement for the construction of a bike path - you would need to raise money for a bike path either way, but currently there is no easement so it is a moot point. The smart traffic light and new turning lane will decrease the wait time at the light dramatically.

The No on Y argument contains a lot of misinformation. The land is NOT open space, it is privately owned and zoned for development - all of it, including hillsides and ridges. Traffic volume would increase by 4% when all homes are built, which can easily by handled by the proposed road improvements. There will be public access to the 381 acres - it is currently closed off because it is private, but there are a number of entry points that can be accessed simply by unlocking locked gates. It seems that the main reason for opposing Measure Y and to prevent any development in the Diablo area, even if it benefits Danville residents.

Posted by Singh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2020 at 12:24 am

The misinformation about this development and what a No on Y means for homes being built on this property is ridiculous. It’s beyond me folks do a little research. The main point is:
- if this project fails at the current unit count then the applicant will not appeal they will simply withdraw the application and remove apply for the full amount of units permit able by the current zoning. Which means 78 period and they will get it and there is nothing voters can do about it.
The above is true because the state has passed legislation that specifically speaks to referendums and Local Jurisdictions that limit the units being approved to a lesser amount then is approval by current zoning.
So I’m a nut shell the No on Y folks are the only ones misleading the public as they are not informed and don’t know State Law.

As for making the developer cough up more fees and money for bike lanes and paying for things that 20 and 30 year Danville residents that only paid $30,000 for their homes want is ridiculous. The amount of fees that are in place today from simple permitting, plan check, impact fess etc. in many cases out pace the cost of the land itself. This cost is passed on to the folks that have to buy homes today at the inflated price points, which feeds this false idea that developers are making a killing so let’s make them pay. All this does is make the millennials that are now actually entering the home buying market have to pay and feeds the housing crisis and the reason SB330 was passed. When the main cost in a project is fees you have a huge problem, the idea that the Developers are rich make them pay is such a fallacy that NIMBY folks have fueled for a very long time.

Why is traffic a nightmare on Diablo because you have people traveling from Alamo Creek and Blackhawk to a high school on the west side of Danville not because of a few more homes on Diablo. Get educated prior to jumping on the NO band wagon!!!

Posted by AC
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:10 am

I am for it overall however very skeptical that East Bay Regional Park District will do a decent job of maintaining the trails or expanding. EBRP does NOTHING to expand the current trail system, the maintenance is horrible.

Much of EBRP land is leased to ranchers and trails covered with cow manure, will this be the case for Magee? Adding 5 miles of trails is really not much.

We have beautiful land and one of the worst trail systems in the country, its sad.

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