Alamo News Update

Ball property project is heard by the Alamo MAC

The Ball Estates project has been in the planning stage for a long time. The project consists of 35 new single-family homes to be located at the western end of Camille Drive. The site consists of about 60 acres. 20 acres would be used for the construction project and the remaining 40 acres would be dedicated to open space.

A project of this magnitude affects many aspects of Alamo. This includes traffic issues, zoning compliance, environmental impact, safe routes to schools and access to the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness and other issues.

According to the California Environmental Quality Act this project required the creation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The EIR addresses the issues relating to all aspects of environmental concerns. These include air quality, noise, land use and so forth. The EIR is available at https://tinyurl.com/y8vhlzo4 or, if you don't mind typing a lot, http://www.contracosta.ca.gov/7070/Ball-Estates-Subdivision. Please note that this EIR is a lengthy document with over 27 sections.

The proponents of the project spoke at the October Alamo MAC meeting. A number of neighbors to the proposed project were in attendance.  Most spoke in opposition to the project. Construction noise and privacy were some issues. A major concern was the question of whether or not there would be access to the site via Hemme Avenue. Not surprisingly, this was a hot button issue.

There was concern that school traffic and other traffic would go west on Hemme Ave, pass through to Camille using a new access route via Ironwood Place. This "through" traffic would not be welcome by the neighborhood. However, it was recognized that access for emergency vehicles between Ironwood and Hemme was important. This led to a discussion of having a locking gate on Ironwood Place with keys provided to Rancho Romero School and to designated neighbors on both sides of the gate. This issue is yet to be resolved.

The west end of Camille leads into a trailhead for the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness. Currently, hikers park on Camille to access the trail. A staging and parking area is planned to be part of the project. However, the location of the staging area has not been decided. The East Bay Regional Parks District is vitally interested in the location and design of staging area. This decision has yet to be made.

And in other Alamo News:

The old Fire Station 32 on Stone Valley Road has been declared surplus property by the Fire District. Other governmental agencies are first in line for the acquisition of the property. If no agency expresses interest, then it can be made available to any interested party. Note that the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District have both indicated an interest in the property, so stay tuned.

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