November 24, 2014

Faria development would flatten San Ramon hills

Aerial view of the two ridges that would be flattened for the “Faria Preserve” development. Note the two red symbols denoting earthquake epicenters.

Aerial view of the two ridges that would be flattened for the “Faria Preserve” development. Note the two red symbols denoting earthquake epicenters.

Lafferty Communities, a developer, has applied for approval to build 740 housing units in northwest San Ramon, on 289 graded acres of the 440-acre Faria property, just north of Crow Canyon Road and bounded on the west by Bollinger Canyon Road and on the east by San Ramon Valley Boulevard.

The developer says that the “Faria Preserve” development project would require at least 2 – 3 years to grade the existing hills and valleys into flat land for building homes and apartments. The sprawl development would permanently destroy the beauty and natural values of these environmentally sensitive hills and valleys. Oak groves would be chopped down. We are concerned about the project’s impacts on streams, drainage, wetlands, and adjacent land recently acquired by the East Bay Regional Park District. The Calaveras Fault (probably capable of M6 earthquakes) passes through the site. Grading the ridgelines into the lowlands here would mean building housing on loose fill in a significant earthquake zone.

The over 2,500 new residents would more than double the current population of northwest San Ramon, overwhelming the capacity of local roads. In particular the project would exacerbate the already terrible congestion entering or exiting I-680 at Crow Canyon Road.

The General Plan requires such a project to include 15 – 20 acres for a school, but the current proposal includes no new schools. As local schools reach their limits, students would have to be reassigned to cross-town schools.

In 2007 the Sierra Club and East Bay Regional Park District sued a previous developer over a previous proposal for this location, and in 2008 had signed a settlement agreement allowing a project that would have met environmental concerns (see January-February 2009 Yodeler, page 16; and May-June 2006, page 16). We are disappointed at this step back from an environmentally suitable plan.

WhatYouCanDo

Sign the Stop Faria Preserve petition at 3zx.org.

The Planning Commission will be holding two public hearings on the project, one on Tue., Nov. 19, and one, we expect, some time in December. Please attend and speak up against “Faria Preserve”.

If after the second hearing the commission approves the project, we expect that the project will then go to the City Council, where we are hopeful that it can be stopped.

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