Is Danville in decline? One reader argues that the town, beloved by residents for its quiet and leafy appeal, is losing out to “hub” cities to its north and south. Is it?
“Danville, why has it lost its importance?”
The reality is Danville is at-odds with itself as government versus neighborhoods. Danville government is also at-odds with our region by policies that are major negatives to Alamo, Diablo and Blackhawk. Danville government, most of all, is at odds with its own economic future with a tired downtown and little focus on economic growth.
To understand that reality, Danville government was incorporated to be opposed to rational economics and to foster residential development. The original incorporation effort focused on the Wells Fargo Building on Diablo Road as cause for “local control” of development. The result has been a declining Old Town and San Ramon Blvd business corridor. The failed solution is to renovate the heritage of Old Town without provision for anchor retail and commercial facilities. Clearly, the Veterans Hall was a tear down, as a key location for anchor economics and illustrates the failed heritage view of a government trapped in the past centuries with a reverence for WAR.
What is obvious in contrast is the residential development in progress and planned that simply consumes open space and add nothing to Danville’s economic growth. Rapidly, Danville is losing its commercial development region to high-density residential south of Old Town and yet protects the hodge podge of the past centuries between Love Lane and Sycamore. The need for commercial facilities to anchor the downtown and bring shoppers/diners to Old Town is fully ignored in favor of some mystical concept of heritage.
The most interesting reality is such residential development will eventually defeat Danville governments’ romance with the past centuries. As is reality in Alamo, Danville neighborhoods are emerging with demands for urban luxury and an economic center of anchor retail and quality shops and services. For now, Danville is economically divided between two HUBS, at Diablo Road, with Walnut Creek as the HUB city north of town and Pleasanton as HUB city south of town. The result is Danville has no identity except as a location of many bedrooms.
Danville stopped being a destination in our corridor in the past century and ended its region influence when its government became at-odds with the interests of neighborhoods in Alamo, Diablo, Blackhawk and other communities in our corridor. Walnut Creek erased any attraction to Danville for shopping and commercial services and became the downtown for our region including Danville neighborhoods.
As you consider explanation of Danville’s decline as economic and political center in our region, you need only explain why it was incorporated and how Danville government has not progressed beyond the blind devotion to heritage.
Best wishes for continued success in 2013,
Harald Paul Arthur Balle
Alamo CA 94507