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.
The proposal by SummerHill Homes would rezone and subdivide the site into 70 single-family lots, with six lots on Magee West and 64 lots on Magee East. The project proposes to locate the lots on approximately 108 acres of the flatter portions of the site, avoiding the steeper slopes and ridges and leaving approximately 300 acres as permanent open space.
The project would entail the construction of a new driveway from Diablo Road/Blackhawk Road adjacent to Jillian Way, which would serve as the primary entrance to the subdivision; access to the proposed custom homesites would be provided by separate project driveways located near Diablo Road /Clydesdale Drive and south of the intersection of Diablo Road/McCaully Road. The development would also include an eight-foot decomposed granite trail adjacent to Green Valley Creek.
The draft EIR was prepared to identify potential environmental impacts associated with the development application and discusses mitigation measures for various impacted populations. The EIR identifies several animal populations -- specifically, the western pond turtle, nesting raptors and migratory birds, burrowing owls, American badgers -- that would be "less than significantly" impacted by the development.
The document also notes that construction would result in a less than significant impact in terms of dust, diesel exhaust emissions and other grading and excavation-related activities. Potentially significant impacts to the area include the removal of 38 trees on the site and 18 trees along the Diablo Road/Green Valley Road intersection.
Several local activist groups have publicly opposed the development as inappropriate land use (in accordance with the General Plan). In April, citizens group Save Our Creek accused the town of Danville of illegally limiting voter approval of the controversial project. Because the development is located on land designated for agricultural uses in the 2010 General Plan, Save Our Creek said the project triggers provisions of the Open Space Preservation Initiative, or Measure S, which limits development on agricultural land and requires voter approval by ballot measure in order to move the development forward.
Although Magee Ranch is located in one of 14 "special concern areas" identified in the 2010 General Plan (four of which have been built out or are committed to development), the draft EIR states that the project is consistent with that plan's policies and goals.
"Because the policies and goals in the Draft 2030 Plan are the same or similar to those in the 2010
General Plan as they relate to the proposed project site, the consistency analysis herein applies to both the 2010 General Plan and the Draft 2030 Plan," the EIR reads.
Recent Planning Commission meetings, including one on Tuesday, have seen lively debate regarding the 2030 plan and future development within the town. The Commission meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the community center (420 Front Street).