Neighbors Helping Neighbors Co-Founder
Honored for "Making a Difference"
NOVEMBER 7, 2015—Dawn White, co-founder of the SCA’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, received a 2015 Making a Difference award from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County for her work with the program. Dawn was recognized as the main driving force behind NHN, which provides free services to Saranap residents.
Dawn is a long-time Saranap resident who has worked in elder care for many years. She accepted the award on behalf of the program’s 17 volunteers at the Interfaith Council’s annual meeting, which was held November 6 at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church in Lafayette.
SCA ANNUAL MEETING
Saranap Village Hearings Next Year;
Marketing Center to Open Soon
AUGUST 21, 2015—Public hearings on Saranap Village will take place next year, according to the developer. Mark Hall, CEO of Hall Equities Group, outlined recent changes in his company’s plan for the proposed project in a 20-minute presentation at the August 20 annual meeting of the Saranap Community Association. (See the article below, “Revised Plans Reveal Scaled-Back Project,” for a more-detailed look at the changes.)
“At this point, we’re waiting for the county to complete its review process,” Hall said. Once that happens, the project will move into the final phases of the approval process, hearings before the planning commission and board of supervisors. Hall said these will occur in 2016.
Hall announced that a Saranap Village “marketing center” will open in the next couple weeks on Boulevard Way.
Revised Plans Reveal
AUGUST 1, 2015—Saranap Village, Take 3: Hall Equities Group, the developer, in mid July submitted to the county plans for a project substantially downsized to make it more acceptable to neighbors who had objected to its height and bulk. Under this “mitigated alternative,” the total mass of the project has been trimmed by 22 percent, most buildings are shorter and stepped back farther from the street, and retail space and the number of residential units have been reduced.
While the overall footprint of the project remains essentially the same, there have been significant changes to three of the four sites. Among them:
- The number of residential units dropped from 235 to 196. (The original plan, introduced in the spring of 2013, included 325 units.)
- The amount of retail space has been cut by nearly half.
- The fitness club and wine bar are no longer part of the plan.
Scoping Meeting Set for
AUGUST 2, 2015—A public scoping meeting on possible environmental impacts of the most recent changes to Hall Equities Group’s plans for Saranap Village will be held later this month.
Aspects of the project covered by the California Environmental Quality Act will be addressed in a “recirculated draft environmental impact report” – an updated version of the draft EIR published last September – which the Department of Conservation and Development is preparing. Hall’s revised plan is referred to as the mitigated alternative.
In addition to changes outlined in the accompanying article, the revised draft will address the aesthetics of the project and a recommendation by the county to reclassify Boulevard Way as a “collector” rather than an “arterial,” its current designation.
The scoping meeting on the updated EIR draft will be held on August 17 at 3:30 p.m. in DCD’s offices at 30 Muir Road in Martinez.
Click here to read the complete article – including the answer to the question "What’s next?"
"Silent Majority" Were Project Supporters
NOVEMBER 12, 2014 – Anyone who was at the SCA’s November 6 Community Meeting on the draft environmental impact report for Saranap Village might be surprised to learn that twice as many of those in attendance were supporters of the project as opponents – and nearly two times as many support it as currently envisioned as support it but have reservations about it.
Twenty-six people spoke at the meeting, most stating their opposition to the development or expressing concerns about it. But of the 121 people who filled out comment forms, 52 said they support it in its present form, 28 said they support it but have concerns about it, and 41 said they are opposed to it.
The SCA board included these figures in its letter to the county Department of Conservation and Development stating its position on the EIR draft. The county in turn forwarded our letter to Second District Supervisor Candace Andersen, who had a representative at the meeting.
Photo of Las Trampas Creek © 2013 by Patrick Mage