The Danville Town Council has officially taken a stance in opposition of the 125 single-family home Tassajara Parks housing development project, which is set to be reviewed by the Contra Costa County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
Council members approved the resolution by a 4-1 vote, with members citing the significant policy and environmental issues the town claims the project presents. Councilman Robert Storer was the lone dissenting vote, asking the council to table the discussion.
"This has been a six-year process. It has been one where we have initially been at the table and subsequently we haven't been and that's not through any fault of ours," Town Manager Joe Calabrigo said During the special meeting Tuesday. "The project is ready to move forward to the county planning commission and is being brought to you this evening because staff believes that it's better for the town to take a position before the county does."
"The town for the last few years has raised valid policy and environmental concerns related to the project mainly because town residents stand to be those most directly impacted by the downstream impacts," he added.
Located in unincorporated Contra Costa County just east of Danville, the Tassajara Parks project is composed of two, noncontiguous, areas of land, divided as the “Northern Site” and the “Southern Site.”
The northern site proposes a 54-acre development footprint (of the total property's 771 acres) that includes 125 single-family homes, public streets, related grading, a neighborhood park, drainage facilities, staging area and other improvements.
The Project would require a change to the Contra Costa County Urban Limit Line (ULL) to include the 30-acre residential development area in the Northern Site, a move Danville council members vehemently opposed.
"It doesn't give me trust in the people who made that vote for me. I looked at that first and I said if you can make these exceptions (to the ULL), people are going to stop trusting into the system on why we do the things we do," councilwoman Lisa Blackwell said.
Calabrigo further argued that making an exception to the voter-approved ULL would need voter approval.
Town officials also took issue with concerns over the lack of available water that could service the project and new housing development, with the East Bay Municipal Utility District saying there is currently no viable source of water currently exists to serve the proposed project.
The final decision on the project will be made by county officials; however, town staff hope that coming out in direct opposition to the project will help give the town a seat at the table and potentially influence the decision by the Contra Costa County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
"Us saying 'no' isn't going to stop the county from doing what they are going to do, but we need to weigh in if we want to have the ability to push it any further," said city attorney Rob Ewing.
In casting the lone dissenting vote, councilman Storer stated that he was not in favor of the project, going so far as to say that it served "no benefit to Danville," but believed that the decision should have been tabled until a future date.
"We could just sit back to see this thing unfold," he said. "If we say no right now, we're not at the table anymore and at some point we may want to be…" he said. "Instead of just saying 'opposed,' why don't we just say neutral or reschedule it? Let's just kick this can down the road a little bit to try and understand from other jurisdictions where we are at with this."
The project was scheduled to be reviewed by the Contra Costa County Planning Commission during its regular meeting on Sept. 30. However, that meeting was canceled and will be rescheduled for consideration sometime in November.