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Boutique Hotel? Restaurant? Wine Or Cannabis Dispensary? What Does The Future Hold For Moraga’s Hacienda?

Hacienda de las Flores

It’s a mouth-wateringly lovely property. Nine plus acres smack in the middle of Moraga. Extant garden and groves. Historic California architecture. Fountain. It’s also one of the town’s best-kept secrets – and some among us would like to change that.

Town leaders have sought to maximize return on the property – trapped in a 1960s pre-ADA time warp – for years. Recent meetings to come up with alternative uses for the admittedly underused part-time marriage or Oktoberfest venue have been held and some in town have come up with creative, some might call them adventurous, ideas for possible future uses of the site along with changes to make it more available to the paying public.

As their charter, town leaders set forth the following driving principles:

  • Think creatively with the entire 9.6 acre parcel
  • Optimize the uses of the property and increase revenue opportunities
  • Display an ability to work successfully with developers and investors
  • Optimize the public-private partnership opportunities
  • Exhibit an ability to create balance between a community center destination and income generating activities
  • Retain the historical and architectural characteristics of the property even if some 39 structures are significantly remodeled or demolished

Two recent public work sessions attracted several dozen interested parties who sat through presentations about possible future uses for the Hacienda and who were charged with coming up with some of their own.

Possible future uses and suggested additions to the property put forth at one of the two public meetings on the topic included:

  • community center with classes, hang-out spaces, meeting areas
  • small bed and breakfast or boutique hotel
  • community cafe
  • expanded, more accessible Moraga road entrance
  • cannabis dispensary – possibly tied to edible garden concept
  • expanded, improved kitchen for rent by chefs-classes
  • educational/recreational classes
  • spa and swimming pool
  • small conference center
  • art center

NEWS24-680 found some of the suggestions a little – grandiose – and some of them pretty forward-thinking for little Moraga. Neighbors of the property expressed concern with the potential for increased noise and traffic expanded use could bring – particularly as some past weddings and other social gatherings have drawn complaints about noise and expanded for-profit operations would almost certainly clash with the neighborhood ideal.

But as the town is obviously attempting to tie the property in to its future vision of its downtown and link it to planned bike and walking trails envisioned for the area we thought they should be mentioned and put out there for you all to consider.

Any thoughts? The Moraga Town Council is scheduled to address initial conceptual plans for the property at its meeting Wednesday night.


  1. Of all the suggested ideas the marijuana idea makes the most sense. Obvious base of clientele, use the gardens for “cash crops” and current seclusion hides it away from puritanical eyes. It would probably make the town the most money.

  2. I vote for cannabis dispensary – with Misses Fields Cookie and Hagen Daz businesses adjacent. Moraga wouldn’t know what to do with all the money they would make!!! Time to embrace the future people!

  3. totally down for the dispensary idea. huge cash infusion for a cash hungry college town. keep the students from having to go to WC or Berkeley to score weed and you wouldn’t need to make too many renovations to get it up and running. Who suggested this? Smart IMO.

  4. That would give the kids the “place to congregate” they’re always asking about. Expand the gardens. Add some good food. Acoustic music. Security. Taaa-DAAAA! Brainstorm… and a revenue stream most cities would envy. Better than a bar.

  5. The fountain is nice. I would like to see a large fire-pit added, with stools all around, and a couple of bronzed Rastafari gentlemen seated on bronze stools at one end of the pit, sharing the warm evening, the delights of an evening fire, and some sweet, home-grown, locally certified and taxed, Ganja. It would be even better if the two bore more than a passing resemblance to Bob Marley and Joaquin Moraga. Wedding guests at the hotel/dispensary/wine tastery could sit opposite Bob and Joaquin on wooden stools and ponder the simpler pleasures of a quieter, semi-ruraler time when streaking, shooting stars of light, and pleasant company amid one’s own thoughts were the entertainment, and there were no ringing accessories to life.

    God knows, this would be a real step forward after the sexual predation and cover-up scandals of recent past. Let’s reimagine our past and move on to something more harmonious.

  6. it must be my age, and please do excuse me for being so naïve, but were the comments above for real or were they just kidding were you all planning to have Moraga compete with those ‘opportunists’ up in Mendocino, and invite Gavin to come taste the latest products that the Town would roll out or what!. I’m truly impressed to think we could offer such a wholesome atmosphere which could compete with our Thursday night concerts at the Commons!

  7. We took it as a little bit of wishful thinking mixed in with whimsy. Proximity to the school make it problematic, but it was an interesting mental exercise!

  8. Joan B.: I would not take the conversation on this too seriously. Its too tough to tackle head on which explains all the snark. I think the Hacienda is kind of a white elephant. Its a great building but what to do with it is the question.

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