First “Downtown Saranap” Meeting
December 4 at Parkmead School
An opportunity to have a say in the future of our community
The first of several meetings to discuss the “Downtown Saranap Modified General Plan” will be held December 4. The goal of these meetings is to create a set of guidelines for future development along 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). It is expected to cover both sides of Boulevard Way.
The plan will spell out what type of development will be permitted and set height and density limits. This will help developers avoid lengthy, and costly, application processes.
Supervisor Andersen had mentioned the initiative in meetings with the boards of the Saranap Community Association and Saranap Homeowners Organization and announced it publicly at the Saranap Village hearing in August. Hall Equities Group, the developer of Saranap Village, is contributing $50,000 toward the process, and Supervisor Andersen’s office is pitching in $15,000. She said at the hearing that she hoped the plan would be complete by the end of 2018.
Participating in the December 4 meeting will be Second District Supervisor Candace Andersen and John Kopchik, director of the Department of Conservation and Development, and his senior staff.
The SCA board has invited to attend and to extend an invitation to SCA members and anyone else who might be interested. The meeting will be held at Parkmead Elementary School, 1920 Magnolia Way, from 7 to 9 p.m., probably in one of their multipurpose rooms. (There will be signs.)
This is our opportunity to have a say in the future of this part of our community. Please join us!
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 email@example.com.
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