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Editorial: Vote Yes on Measure Y in Danville to approve Magee Preserve project

Original post made on Feb 3, 2020

We recommend a Yes vote on Measure Y on March 3, in favor of the Magee Preserve residential development with 69 houses clustered strategically on smaller portions of the property and the remaining 381 acres reserved as permanent open s

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, February 2, 2020, 9:48 PM

Comments (40)

Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 12:39 am

Now the editorial board is paid off just like the corrupt town board.

No mor houses!

Posted by Bob Rowland
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 8:37 am

Well said. Addressed and explained both sides of the issue explaining why a positive endorsement.

Posted by Joanne
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 8:55 am

At last! This editorial does a great job of outlining the facts. Those who continue to suggest that this project doesn't create open space and doesn't improve traffic flow have been misleading the residents of Danville. Thank you Danville San Ramon Express editorial board for meeting with both sides and coming to the logical conclusion that benefits Danville residents.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 8:59 am

I will be voting NO!

Posted by Westside Resident
a resident of Montair Elementary School
on Feb 3, 2020 at 9:04 am

I read that "Save Mt. Diablo" got $10,000 from the original developer (Summerhill) before they endorsed the development. Also, the zoning history is murky and it is difficult to figure out what really happened. A supporter of the development stated in a Facebook post that there was a switch of zoning for half the property a few years back. The land that was originally zoned for no development at all was changed to A-2. The post says that the zoning change was for tax purposes and was only good for 10 years. What? I wish that the editorial board had addressed these two things. They have the time to do the research and the space online to write up what they find. When it is left out of the endorsement, it makes me wonder.

Posted by Susan
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 9:17 am

This nicely states the fact that development on this property is inevitable and this proposal is the right thing Danville! Also, this does a great job in calling out the opposition's constant effort to mislead with false information.

Posted by GreatDane
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 9:38 am

Keep the land zoned as agricultural as now.
Leave the land for California wildlife and cows, as it is now. Wildlife will have nowhere to go but to die. Frogs, coyotes, jackrabbits, birds, snakes, bobcats,'s also their land.
We do not need to use any more open land for housing. Plenty of land already zoned for housing in Danville.
NO to measure Y!
NO to measure Y!
NO to measure Y!

Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 10:18 am

To my fellow Danville residents - - the open space already exists!!! - Measure Y creates nothing but traffic - and, perhaps - vigorish for proponents in video/audio/print media. Strong "no" to more traffic on an already congested section of Danville.

Posted by GreatDane
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 10:39 am


What information is "false and misleading" from opponents? You cannot just say it IS without arguing what and why.

This sad trend that we can just call things a hoax, a lie, etc. without stating the what and the why.

The reality is that this article is "an opinion". We all have a right to read the opinion and disagree or agree.

In my case I choose to disagree.

My vote is a NO because I believe Y will remove or disrupt land currently available to wildlife, and mean significantly more traffic.

And I live here - as opposed to almost everyone in favor. And I don't think money should always drive a decision.

Posted by Bruce
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 10:59 am

SOS Danville claims that houses will be built on "open space." This claim is misleading because most people think that "open space" is open to the public, such as Shell Ridge Open Space or Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve. The houses will be built on private property, not open space.

Don't be misled by a small number of homeowners who don't want even one more car to drive on Diablo Road. Most Danville residents would gladly trade a few more cars for 381 acres of new open space where we can hike or bike. Don't be a NIMBY or a BANANA when you're clearly offered a good deal.

Posted by Cole
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 11:02 am

The editorial is accurate. The land is not open space as it is zoned rural residential and agricultural-private. Both zonings allow 1 residential unit per 5 acres (total 78 units--nothing to do with open space designation unless created by Measure Y).
A no vote allows traffic to grow on Diablo Rd. with or without the development as it has in the past. It provides for a dedicated biking trail and hiking trail as a safer alterative to Diablo Rd. The NO vote also does nothing to promote bike safety as required by the courts. A yes vote improves the commute time on Diablo with a new street light at MT Diablo Scenic and longer lanes at the Green Valley/Diablo intersection.

Posted by Long Tem Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 11:25 am

This has certainly been an emotional issue which has played out for almost 9 years now in town council meetings, court rooms, etc. It is too bad those opposing it have to accuse the supporters of being paid off by Davidon Homes or the Magee family. I'll bet many who accuse Davidon of being out for profit work for companies which also are profitable. Why is that a bad thing? As for the Magee family, they are honorable people who have been in this valley before all of us (that's saying a lot as my family has been here for 65 years!). Take a look at Magee Park on the border of Danville and Alamo as an example of what they have already contributed to the community.

Diablo Road is narrow and has heavy traffic at certain times of the day. The opposition call it unsafe. Despite their claims of it being unsafe, I haven't seen an outlandish number of reports regarding accidents or fatalities on that road. Much of the traffic appears to be related to schools. I live by a school and see a lot of single drivers picking up single students from school. There appears to be little or no attempt to carpool or have kids walk/ride bikes to school. We live in one of the safest communities in California, yet parents seem reluctant to let kids walk or ride to school. I understand there is also bus service available. If buses are being used, have parents considered requesting more? Voting no on Y certainly isn't going to help the situation. Voting yes gives us the hope of bike trails, Diablo Road improvements, and more tax revenue for the town of Danville to make further improvements.

Posted by 30 year Danville resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 12:38 pm

This might be the most misleading, biased editorial I've ever read with this news outlet.

It starts off by name calling and labeling anyone on the opposite side of Davidon Homes development of Danville's open space "no growth" residents. Most of the people who live in Danville, particularly those who live along the Diablo Rd corridor, are not anti-growth. They are pro-safety, pro-environment, and pro-Danville community.

The major development's top supporters are Ginger Jui (Oakland resident), Seth Adams (Martinez resident), and Bill White (Pleasant Hill resident). Davidon has spent $450,000 in campaign paraphernalia and political consulting services, according to their publicly available form 460s. They've blanketed our town's right-of-way with HUNDREDS of illegally placed yard signs for 6 months! The Town never removed any of them. The 50 yard signs that were finally placed by the No-on-Y grassroots Danville group this past weekend were immediately removed by the Town of Danville. These signs were placed alongside the yes on y signs; so much for freedom of speech.

The pro-safety, community-centered No-on-Y Danville residents paid for Diablo Rd improvements many years ago - per Contract C-55B. The Town never made those improvements. Where did that money go? Now they want to add 841 additional car trips per day to a sub-standard road. This analysis was done by the Town of Danville - and it's probably even higher and doesn't account for 4 years of heavy construction vehicles. The town has rated Diablo Rd TRAFFIC CONGESTION LEVEL F, which is the worst possible level of congestion.

So, before labeling the people who care about their families, their quality of life, and the safety of anyone using Diablo Rd, you should walk in their shoes and learn the truth about this bogus development.

All of the project facts and documentation are available on the no-on-y website:
Web Link

Posted by Danville Lover
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Wow, this editorial is another example of labeling people who don't agree with your opinion. Very sad. Voting NO. This development is not good for Danville. Vote NO. Vote NO!!

Posted by Danville resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 3:19 pm

This editorial (along with Degan's incredibly biased and unbalanced "article" about the project) makes clear that "fair and balanced" isn't in the Danville San Ramon Express's lexicon. Note how they say "69 houses (and resulting new car trips)", instead of using the actual number of daily new daily car trips the EIR says it will generate: 841! It would have been so easy to be fair and accurate by using that number - but they hid it instead! (And yet simultaneously have the gall to label the opposition as misleading!) They fawn over what they describe as 381 acres of open space. This project is across the street from the 20,000 acre Mt. Diablo State Park (plus nearby Las Trampas, Sycamore, etc.) Is the addition of a fraction of 1% of the existing open space worth the horrific impacts of this cluster development on Danville residents? This editorial board apparently thinks so. Danville residents don't. We will be voting NO on Measure Y. Loudly.

Posted by Who owns Danville?
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Who wrote this biased piece of garbage? Jeremy Walsh or Ryan Degan? You guys have sold your souls and are no longer worth reading. What a waste of news media space.

Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Hi everyone,

I would like to take a moment and address a comment made above by '30 year resident' regarding campaign signs being taken down.

After seeing the comment, I checked in with our Maintenance Services Director to see if some signs had been picked up. And the answer is that maintenance has picked up signs from both the Yes on Y and No on Y campaigns, as well as other political signs that were placed in the public right of way. These signs are picked up in accordance with the Town of Danville sign ordinance, which does not allow for political signage in the public right of way.

At the same time, if campaign signs are placed on someone's private property without the property owner's permission, the owner can also remove the signs.

Signs removed by the Town are stored at the Maintenance Services Building at 1000 Sherburne Hills Road. Signs can be recovered at that location during normal business hours. To arrange a pickup, call (925) 314-3450.

Hope this helps.


Geoff Gillette
Public Information Officer
Town of Danville
[email protected]

Posted by Diablo Rd. Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 7:41 pm

YES ON Y! This post nails it. This property is currently private property, and by voting yes on this project it permanently protects 381 acres of this 410 acre property from ever being developed and allows for public access, connecting the east bay regional trail system. This is a well thought out project and a wonderful addition to our Danville community, and I've seen a lot in the 30+ years I've lived here. Those arguing that fire and traffic are a concern, please read the EIR, read the reports from our local Fire district experts, read the traffic studies done by experts, call the town of Danville to ask your questions. I did and I feel 100% confident in voting YES on Y!

Posted by Scott Bull
a resident of Danville
on Feb 3, 2020 at 9:32 pm

Folks who are still trying to decide how to vote on March 3rd should consider the long-term consequences of voting “No” and understand that a No vote won’t stop new home development, but rather preventing the rezoning of the existing lots. The advantage of Magee Preserve is that it fits with community goals of Danville and includes measures to help mitigate worsening traffic. I see signs saying the project is “Not Right for Danville”. If this plan is not fit for Danville, then what is? Please consider voting Yes on Y. It is rare that a development plan brings this much upside to the community by converting private land to new public open space that adds to the desirability of Danville.

Posted by JamiTurner
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 7:33 am

I was hardcore NO until I started reading the EIR on the project and other facts presented. Sadly I was blinded buy the mistruths from the no on y website. It’s filled with lies and I was sucked in deep. I’m a YES vote now. Great article !

Posted by Danielle
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 8:27 am

I have read and done my research and feel this particular project on Diablo Road is exactly what the No on Y peeps say. It is wrong for Danville. Calling people liars on either side is childish.They both have their opinions. So happy the Town can Vote. Yay for democracy!

Posted by Anne
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 9:08 am

Would like to point out that the NIMBY "No on Y" crowd used paid petition gatherers to put the Magee project on the ballot. Those paid gatherers, like most all paid petition gatherers, said whatever it took to get people to sign the petition. I've been hearing that they're using paid workers again to lit drop throughout Danville. This costs ten + thousands of dollars BTW.

They are clearly using a paid political consultant, as they are running paid ads on Facebook, yard signs, and a glossy mailer (the first of several I'm assuming). This too costs ten + thousands of dollars.

The point is that the NIMBYs are not so innocent. They are running a paid political campaign just as Davidon is doing. REMEMBER: the NIMBYs forced Davidon to spend money to protect their project. REMEMBER: the NIMBYs have cost Danville taxpayers significant amounts of money to fight the CEQA lawsuit and now to deal with this election.

The NIMBYs have done NOTHING in the years between Summerhill and now to help make road/safety improvements on Diablo Road - NOTHING. I don't hear anyone in Diablo volunteering land easements to expand Diablo Rd! No, the most the main group of opponents have done is to prevent bicyclists from riding on their taxpayer maintained roads forcing bicycles onto Diablo Rd, the very thing they claim to be fighting against. They are NOT advocates for the environment. They simply oppose change and that's what makes them NIMBYs.

It's unfortunate that they do not recognize the property rights of the Magee family. It's unfortunate that they are misinforming the public about the Magee family's zoning. Every City in California is required to designate 'open space' lands, i.e. lands that are undeveloped. Ag lands fit this designation thus the zoning requirement. It's a technicality not a mandate. The Magee property is private and they can develop it.

Compromise is a dead word in politics today, but the Magee Preserve project is a great compromise. It gives public right access to trails and links many trails. It creates MORE evacuation opportunities for the area with the development. And it allows the family to develop a small number of homes that, despite the calls of the NIMBYs, is not pushing our Town to become Dublin or even San Ramon these days.

I'm vote YES on Y. I hope for our children and grandchildren's sakes you do so as well.

Posted by 30 year Danville resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 9:58 am

This comment is in response to Geoff Gillette, Town of Danville Public Information Officer, where he states "After seeing the comment, I checked in with our Maintenance Services Director to see if some signs had been picked up. And the answer is that maintenance has picked up signs from both the Yes on Y and No on Y campaigns, as well as other political signs that were placed in the public right of way. These signs are picked up in accordance with the Town of Danville sign ordinance, which does not allow for political signage in the public right of way."

I find it fascinating that he has allowed the yes signs to cover Danville's right of way for six months without removing one sign! This shows the town's bias - they are willing to bend their rules for things that they want. They let this manipulation of the public occur knowingly and with intent. If a sign is against what the Town Council (who've been around for 93 years cumulatively since there are NO term limits!) wants, the sign gets pulled. I wrote above that this is the only time the yes signs were ever removed by the Town - only when the NO on Y signs appeared next to them.

Nice try to sound fair and unbiased Geoff, but the facts speak for themselves. We have pictures to prove that the yes signs have been allowed to remain illegally for months. Each picture is time-stamped. We've recorded locations and number of signs because they often placed 2 yes signs next to each other.

This town is full of corruption, and this proves our point. However, it will be sorted out because the moral, ethical people of this town will not tolerate it any longer. We need new representation on the Town Council. The majority does not support measure y.

VOTE NO ON Y - Wrong for Danville, wrong for our neighbors.

Web Link

Posted by 40 Year resident of Danville
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 10:28 am

Lets focus on the merits of the project not bash each side over signs and any statements of corrupt government. As a 40 year resident I am proud of how Danville has managed growth and continues to do so with Magee.
The community benefits of additional biking & hiking trails, improved commute time on Diablo Rd required of the builder and the improved bike safety amongst other little mentioned benefits are well formulated.
The no on Y side only has no solutions or community benefits. The EIR drafted by an independent consultant hired by the city, not the developer contains facts that the NO on Y won't accept even after adjudicated by the courts. Vote Yes on Y for the community. Its Right for Danville!

Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 12:46 pm

@30 Year Resident,

If you would be willing to share your information on these signs, I'd be happy to have our maintenance services folks take a look. While we do our best to remove all signs in the public right of way, it is certainly possible that we missed some. And we are happy to remove ones if we are made aware of them. Feel free to send me your information at [email protected]

Residents who see political signs illegally placed can also report them to the town via our Danville Connect app. You can download it for free from both the itunes store and google play. It allows you to take photos of what you are seeing (streetlight outages, potholes, signs) and the photo is geo-tagged to better allow our staff to take care of the issue.

As I mentioned though, if you would be willing to share your information via either my email [email protected], the app, or by contacting maintenance at (925) 314-3450, we will be happy to investigate and if the signs are illegally posted on public right of way they will be removed.


Geoff Gillette
Public Information Officer
Town of Danville
[email protected]

Posted by RacerX
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 1:51 pm

I grew up here and have been riding my bike up Diablo road for 45 years to the mountain.
You try riding with people going 50mph inches from your handle bars!
I am never going to stop riding, and you will never agree and do something to fix it, so I'm pretty sure I'll be run over someday.
I'm sure glad everyone is voting No, if they changed the road after 45 years I'd miss the excitement of motor pacing. When they get right behind you and rev the engine...

Posted by Bob
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2020 at 10:11 pm

All lies. Absolutely voting NO!

Posted by Chrissy
a resident of Danville
on Feb 5, 2020 at 3:58 pm

Just like JamiTurner, I was hardcore NO until I learned the facts. I’m a YES vote now. Thank you editorial board!

Posted by Rocky
a resident of Danville
on Feb 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm

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 Cheryl
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2020 at 7:45 am

After hearing both sides it sounds like this project is far superior to what else I've seen in the area. The traffic signal seems like it will help traffic flow rather than hurt it, and as I understand it, this project is the first step to ever seeing a bike path along Diablo.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2020 at 10:33 am

Shame on danvillesanramon express for publishing such biased article. The Danville Town Council fought tooth and nail to prevent a public vote on this until they were forced to do so by a signature petition.
Davidon Homes has resorted to sending fake text messages, robo calls to citizens of Danville and creating a fake "town hall" telephone meemting. The Danville Town Attorney has asked Davidon Home to cease and desist from doing so. The robocall and conference call is being paid for by the “Yes on Y campaign”, whose ONLY funding is from Davidon Homes Corporation.
You can read more about this issue here Web Link">Web Link and here Web Link">Web Link

Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2020 at 12:04 pm

Can the Editor of this publication confirm that they received no monetary or non-monetary benefits from Davidon Homes in writing this article?

And can the editor also confirm whether they refused to publish an advertisement or article paid for by the "No on Y" people?

Given the fake telephone "town halls", robocalls, letters and text messages sent by Davidon Homes to the residents of Danville, its alarming to see a publication such as this is taking sides on this issue.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2020 at 12:26 pm

I think the "editorial board" is either too naive or incentivized to turn a blind eye to the residents of Danville who are against this project.

The article says "there is a broad coalition of local residents and organizations backing Magee Preserve -- namely Save Mount Diablo, East Bay Parks, Bike East Bay and Mount Diablo Cyclists."

Where was the so called broad coalition of local residents, when those opposing this project essentially forced the Danville Town Council to bring this to a public vote via a signature campaign? A few youtube type videos shot & posted by Davidon Homes on their website, do not make a broad coalition of local residents.

Also, Save Mount Diablo is based in Walnut Creek, East Bay Parks & Bike East Bay is in Oakland. Why would they care about the residents of Danville? Especially if there are financial incentives involved to look the other way. The previous builder Summerhill Homes paid a contribution of over $10,000 to Mount Diablo Cyclists for their "endorsement". You can guess how much Davidon has paid them. I am sure given enough incentives the Golden Gate Park or some other committee will also indicate support for this project, since it does not really affect their residents.

The "Editorial Board" should do some research first before using their website to make these grand statements and taking sides on this issue.

Posted by Curious Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2020 at 11:06 pm

Its just interesting that Danville Mayor Karen Stepper and her Husband Tony Stepper are licensed real estate agents in CA. More specifically Tony is a Real Estate Broker and Karen is a Real Estate Salesperson. Both hold active licenses in the state of CA.

Posted by Patricia
a resident of Danville
on Feb 10, 2020 at 7:58 am

The Town Council has been rotating assignments for many years while supporting this project regardless of any planned developer. They denied us voters back in 2000 a public vote by Measure S passage. They now play the scare tactic that the state is forcing more housing development on them. An extremely corrupt group of members. Anything for a dollar. If we let them force this project on the area with lies we will pay a huge price in the short future. Many of my friends and neighbors like I are experiencing exorbitant homeowner insurance or cancellations do to the potential fire danger created by growth in the area. Traffic, parking potential flooding is a real issue on a regular basis. Don't close your eyes to the BS they are selling. VOTE NO March 3rd

Posted by hamilton
a resident of Danville
on Feb 10, 2020 at 9:57 am

As always, follow t

Posted by hamilton
a resident of Danville
on Feb 10, 2020 at 9:59 am

Funny thing, my above post was cut off. It should have read:

Follow the Money!

Posted by Barbara
a resident of Danville
on Feb 14, 2020 at 1:34 pm

My book club looked in to this together last night (none of us were sure how we were voting) and we pulled up the BIY website. The comment made regarding "A small group of NIMBYs" deciding they didn't want any development in the area was our deciding factor. We're all voting no. If they wanted to present a reasonable argument, they should have someone without an obvious chip on their shoulder write the copy. I don't trust anyone who paints an entire neighborhood (mine, btw) with a broad brush stroke.

Posted by T-Dawg
a resident of Danville
on Feb 18, 2020 at 7:17 pm

Definition of EDITORIAL: a newspaper article written by or on behalf of an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue. It’s an opinion folks! His/her opinion! Obviously there are two sides to the argument. No need to get upset and be rude. I sadly cannot vote on this measure, but if I could it would be YES! EBRPD will take over 381 acres of privately owned land and maintain it as open space. This is someone’s private property. It is not solely up to you, as residents, to make that decision for them because you might be impacted. VOTE YES! Have a fabulous night!

Posted by WFS
a resident of Danville
on Feb 20, 2020 at 9:49 pm

Unfortunately the 69 future homeowners in this project don’t get to weigh in on their neighborhood approval. It’s a fatal flaw in our housing development process in California. And one of the major reasons we have a housing crisis in the state. This is a ‘poster child’ project for why the state is going to be forced to eliminate local control of housing decisions.

Owning a house does not give people more property rights than the Magee family ownership of land with the LEGAL right to build houses. In other words, it’s just absurd for Davidon/Magee family to advocate for surrounding neighbors to tear down their homes to create less impact on their it is for the No on Y folks to be opposed to the Davidon development because it will impact their lives.

Please vote YES, so we can all go for a hike on this future permanent OPEN SPACE.

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