I want to notify Del Rey & Miramonte parents about a proposed housing development that they likely have never heard of before, but directly impacts their children’s safety.
There is a proposed housing development on “Landslide Hill” at the end of Lavenida Drive in Orinda. The development is proposed on a hill where three landslides have been identified, and its plan includes a near quarter acre sized bio-retention pond that will be 13 feet deep and may hold up to 48 inches of standing water. All within feet of 1,500 schoolchildren. Not to mention the heavy-truck traffic impact to the student pedestrian corridor that serves both schools, or the effect of thousands of additional truck trips to the already bumper-to-bumper Moraga Way.
Last Tuesday night there was a planning commission meeting to approve the development. A few dirty tricks were employed by the City:
1. The City of Orinda scheduled another important meeting impacting the same neighborhood and Del Rey and Miramonte students the same night, at the same time, but in different locations! The development approval meeting was at the Library Auditorium and the Moraga Way pedestrian pathway meeting was at Miramonte. Divide and conquer? Poor planning by the Planning Commission? Or a deliberate ploy to minimize community involvement?
2. Conspiracy Theory? Maybe, but also consider that the City only notified homeowners within 300 feet of the proposed development. Did Del Rey and Miramonte parents get notified of a complex construction project that is literally within feet of the two schools? A proposed development on a known landslide area with a quarter acre bio-retention pond and an increase in truck traffic. A development, if approved, that will permanently disrupt the student pedestrian corridor- but no outreach to the parents of the schoolchildren.
3. One planning commissioner, George Miers, was thoughtful and open enough to delaying a decision on the project to give neighbors and parents the time to ask more questions. Instead of heeding common sense, the Planning Commission rushed the decision, ignored the community’s request for a postponement, and has forced a $500 appeal to the City Council just to re-open the discussion.
Equally concerning was how the Planning Commission, with the exception of Commissioner Miers, ignored children’s safety, never even uttered the phrase, but instead fretted and fumbled with parliamentary procedure and insignificant aesthetic issues.
If you are a parent of a Del Rey or Miramonte student, or drive on Moraga Way during rush hour, I ask that you contact the Orinda City Council and Mayor’s offices (925-253-4220 email@example.com) and demand that they re-open the discussion so there is real transparency, real community involvement, and real concern for the safety of our children.
Learn more at http://www.lavenida-lane-danger.com