Saranap Avenue / Boulevard Way Planning Process
Share your thoughts on the proposed “vision statement” and planning principles before June 22. Visit the county's planning process website for details.
NOW UNDER DISCUSSION:
Vision Statement and Policies
Governing Boulevard Way Development
MAY 23—The draft of a proposed vision statement and policies governing development along the commercial stretch of Boulevard Way were introduced by the county Department of Conservation and Development at a community workshop held in Lafayette last night. Based on input from an earlier meeting, the vision and policies, once finalized, will be added to the county general plan.
Last night’s workshop was the second in the Boulevard Way / Saranap Avenue Planning Process, which was organized by District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen and the county planning department. The first was held December 4. A companion survey was posted online so those who didn’t attend could contribute their feedback. About 50 people were at that workshop, and 219 completed the survey.
The workshop and survey were designed gather community input on the types of development residents feel should be allowed in the study area, improvements they’d like to see, and their thoughts on the planning process itself. The boundaries of the area under discussion are Old Tunnel Road / Saranap Avenue – where Hull’s Funeral Home and Price Storage are – down to Boulevard Way and east to Rule Court / Palana Court (near Valley Glass).
“What the [first workshop and survey] tell us,” said Senior Planner Will Nelson, “is that the majority of people are open to something happening in the study area, that we need a consensus ‘community vision’ for the area, and that it needs to include roadway improvements.”
Annual Meeting Presentation:
Creating More Affordable Housing
SEPTEMBER 3—A new state law that makes it easier and less expensive to build separate in-law units (“accessory dwelling units”) was the subject of a presentation at the SCA’s annual meeting August 31. The presenter was Telma B. Moreira, a principal planner with the Department of Conservation and Development. She also discussed changes that make it easier to grandfather in or convert existing units of this type that weren’t up to code when they were built to become compliant with current codes.
Telma can answer questions about these laws and parallel changes to county building codes designed to make more affordable housing available in the county. Reach her via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also at the meeting, the four incumbent SCA board members on the ballot – Chhaya Badri, Tighe O’Hanrahan, James Piepergerdes, and Scott Wallace – were reelected for two-year terms. More than 100 Saranap neighbors attended the meeting, which was held at Grace Presbyterian Church on Tice Valley Boulevard.
From the Sheriff’s Department
SEPTEMBER 3—Christina Lind-Winters, a crime-prevention specialist with the sheriff’s department, was scheduled to give a presentation at the SCA’s August 31 annual meeting but came down with a stomach virus at the last minute.
Christina sent along PDFs of three folders she was going to make available that night, and asked that we make them available to SCA members. She tells us they cover most of the points she would have had she been able to join us. One is “Recognizing Suspicious Activity and How to Report It.” Another is “Mail and ID Theft.”
The third is “Neighborhood Watch with Your Sheriff’s Department.” As part of her work, Christina helps set up Neighborhood Watch groups. Her contact information is printed on the folders.
SIGN OF THE TIMES Two days after the board of supervisors approved Saranap Village, a sign appeared at each of the three sites showing the buildings to be built there and giving contact information. This is Site A, at the corner of Boulevard Way and Saranap Avenue.
Saranap Village, 5-0
AUGUST 16—The Contra Costa County Board of supervisors yesterday voted 5-0 to approve Hall Equities Group’s mixed-use Saranap Village project. One supervisor called it “exactly the kind of project we need in the Bay Area.”
Thirty-one people spoke in favor of the development, most of them SCA members, including board members David Dacus and Charles Huddleston. The SCA had previously voted to support the project, based on community input at meetings it held that included presentations about the project.
Speakers, a number of them long-time residents who live near the project site, noted that it will transform the character of a run-down stretch of Boulevard Way into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly “downtown,” with a grocery store, restaurant, café, and retail shops. Many said they welcome the additional housing.
Only four people spoke against the project at yesterday’s hearing. Their concerns would be familiar to those who have attended prior meetings on the project.
Photo of Las Trampas Creek © 2013 by Patrick Mage