Sunday, October 12, 2008


In July, the ultimate configuration of the Stone Valley/680 intersection was taken off the table, in no small part to community resistance. This either demonstrates the County really listening, or the County scared to do something that would drive the town immediately into Incorporation. We'd guess the latter.

The redevelopment of the Danville Hotel site is an ongoing discussion. There's a proposal for a three-story building with an underground garage. Comments in the Forum are not positive. This is also raising discussion about what height limits are appropriate for downtown Danville. In the context of Alamo, a similar debate may ensue whenever Hay and Grain goes bye-bye; in Danville it's being held in Danville. In Alamo...

The local mayors of Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and San Ramon spent some time patting themselves on the back for working together. They

credited their unified approach to dealing with regional problems for major improvements in the outlook for transportation, air and water quality and state and federal assistance for projects that can benefit the area.

Of the towns involved, neighboring Danville also seems closest to Alamo in other respects:

[Mayor Candace] Anderson said that Danville, which this year is celebrating its 150th year as a town, is nearing residential buildout.

"I don't see huge changes in Danville in the future except that we will keep updating and working to improve our downtown," she said. "We have a community that continues to attract new residents because of our excellent schools, a great downtown and yet still has that small town look and feel. I don't see Danville looking much different in future years, just becoming more charming."

Danville has more land open for development in its Master Plan than Alamo does, with planned restrictions - mainly the foothills West of SRV Blvd between Sycamore and San Ramon, and the ranch land near the Athenian; both are not particularly geologically stable, but have been eyed.

Alamo, in contrast, has less land in the county plan plausible for housing development, and is not coherently developed downtown. The most likely targets for redevelopment would be the Hay and Grain site down to Cherubini's and the stretch from Kahn Jewelers through the Car dealership. You can probably consider from Rotten Robbie through the Woman's Club in play as well. The really ambitious might say that most of Alamo Plaza except the Safeway could stand to be re-thought. Everything else in downtown seems new enough that redevelopment is probably not feasible.

Do the residents want a coherently planned, "charming" downtown? Probably not, as that would be more change than most folks would like for reasons of "character". (Or maybe they do, for personal values of "charming!")

Do they want haphazard development as it occurs opportunistically? Most probably don't want that either, but some might prefer it to aggressive planning , even if successful (see: Crescent Drive in Pleasant Hill)

What most folks probably want is no change, or only the change we like.

That is not always realistic, since change is inevitable, and the people who make change do it on their own agenda, not that of the by-standers.

The problems are how to decide what change we like really is, what we're willing to do to figure it out, and what we want to do about it. Do we do this by ourselves, or as allowed by the county supervisors? Should we feel blessed that they actually listened to us about the "ultimate configuration", or annoyed that we could only hope they would?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great comments - keep em coming.