May - June 2010
Sierra Club Yodeler
Vol. 73 No. 3
The fate of Moraga's Rheem Ridge open space still hangs in the balance. After several delays, the Moraga Town Council hearing on the proposed Rancho Laguna housing development is now scheduled for Wed., May 12.
If approved, the Rancho Laguna development will consist of 27 houses on 180 acres immediately east of Rheem Boulevard between St. Mary's Road and Moraga Road: 21 houses on the southern end of the ridgeline that runs parallel to Rheem Boulevard, and six more in the valley adjacent to Rheem Boulevard.
This development would occur despite provisions in the Moraga General Plan to "protect ridgelines from development" and designating this area a scenic corridor. The project would excavate soil from the ridge to fill in the creek that parallels Rheem Boulevard, destroying the riparian canopy and cutting 73 mature native trees. Town staff has pushed for this plan as a means to stabilize landslides undermining Rheem Boulevard.
Last August the Moraga Planning Commission approved this development, but concerned residents promptly appealed the decision to the Town Council. At an October hearing, the Council requested additional information on visual impacts, geotechnical conditions, and alternatives for repairing Rheem Boulevard. According to the Moraga Planning Department, that response has been delayed while staff awaited funds from the developer to cover the costs of preparing the additional materials. The town has since received those funds and expects the Council to review the project May 12, when a final decision will likely be reached.
A strong showing of public opposition will be essential to persuading the Council to say `no' to this development.
Attend the Moraga Town Council hearing, currently scheduled for Wed., May 12, at 7:30 pm in the Joaquin Moraga Middle School auditorium, 1010 Camino Pablo. To confirm the meeting date, check the town's web site
If you live in Moraga, write to:
Vice Mayor Karen Mendonca and the Moraga Town Council
Town of Moraga
329 Rheem Blvd.
Moraga, CA 94556
email@example.com (Ask the clerk to distribute your e-mail to the councilmembers.)
Urge the Town Council to uphold the General Plan and protect the ridgeline and creek along Rheem Boulevard from development. If Rheem Boulevard is to be repaired, urge that it be done using an underground retaining wall instead of filling the creek.
For more information, contact Preserve Lamorinda Open Space at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 878-9682.