Despite vigorous opposition from locals who questioned its location, size and long-term impact on traffic and sight lines the Moraga Town Council this week decided by a 4-1 vote to move the Town Center Homes Project further along and into the next phase of the development process.
Councilmember Teresa Onoda cast the lone dissenting vote.
The majority approved the Conceptual Development Plan for the 36-unit project next to Station 41 on Moraga Way despite the citizen-sponsored appeal and legacy opposition to the development’s placement by the Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District.
On both Wednesday and Thursday of this week it took about 15 minutes from the time I got to my car in the Orinda BART lot to the time I got to the BevMo intersection. I just sat in my car looking at other cars. Overdevelopment and incompetence matters.
This development makes very little sense to me I’m afraid. I just don’t get it. It’s like building a home next to an outdoor shooting range. Who would choose to live there???
Baffling. A contingent of citizens is opposed, the FIRE DEPARTMENT is opposed, and yet it goes forward. Baffling. And then civic leaders SCOLD neighbors for requesting quiet in their neighborhood. Sometimes I think we’ve all fallen down the rabbit hole.
Isn’t it newsworthy to report who on the council voted “against”?
It is, Drew… councilmember Teresa Onoda cast the lone dissenting vote.
Thank you, Sir — I had guessed that, but was curious. As always, thank you for your great local reporting.
Grateful to have you with us, Drew.
I’m not trying to downplay long term traffic concerns from development, but I’m not sure this week has been a good week to judge traffic. Pavement grinding and repaving through the Orinda crossroads, and a motorcycle accident on Moraga Way have made this a particularly bad week.
MOFD opposition to the City Ventures probably HELPED pass the project, because it gave CV a useful legal angle and proximate litigation threat, had the appeal been upheld. MOFD came across as seeking to control how the subject property was developed, in an effective “eminent domain” manner, without offering compensation or following due process. A truly stupid strategy.
My personal sense was always that the CV project would be approved, because two sitting council members (Metcalf and Trotter) are the architects behind the Moraga Center Specific Plan (MCSP), and this project is key to the eventual completion of MCSP. Plus Phil Arth has always been supportive of private property rights, thus was likely to support the project. I wasn’t surprised by Onoda’s opposition, and didn’t know what to expect from Mayor Wykle.
I don’t think the project will be as bad as the opponents alleged, and I expect the units will sell rapidly. We should spend the next few years thinking about traffic mitigation strategies, as the coming development is likely to make traffic worse over time. Better bus routes, expansion of the Commutr program, encouraging high schoolers to rideshare, encouraging bike commuting, and looking into further staggering school start times are all ideas that could help reducee traffic. I hope that now the decision is made, Moragans can come together and welcome the new residents that will be moving to our community, while continuing to work on positive initiatives that keeps our Town vibrant and livable.
I like Onoda’s opposition to that and I am glad she is on the council. She was out this Sunday afternoon going door to door to speak to residents about an upcoming issue before the city council. She actually cares about what the residents want. This was on her own time, by herself to understand what those directly impacted believe about the issue. When do you ever see any of those other council members except one week before an election?
If I were on the Orinda or Lafayette City Council I would be thinking Toll Road about now. Maybe Moraga could reopen the old train tunnel through the hills. The Moraga Bar(n) could once again realize its true destiny providing comforts to the weary and thirsty commuter. Billiards upstairs, just like Lonesome Dove.
NEWS24-680 volunteers to be the saloon keeper. It would be a classy joint under our reign: spittoons and fancy over-the-bar paintings. “Swamper, bar towel!”
or was that Unforgiven?