Home NEWS Government Some Moraga Businesses Miffed By Parking Grab For New Town Council Chambers

Some Moraga Businesses Miffed By Parking Grab For New Town Council Chambers

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Moraga finally has a much-anticipated venue for civic meetings and the town’s volunteer leaders plan to crack a celebratory bottle of faux champagne over the site at 335 Rheem Blvd. before their inaugural meeting there later this month.

But some local business and property owners chafed at a rosy announcement of the venue’s technical capabilities and its “ample parking” spaces which, they said Thursday, are actually theirs and which they appear to be contributing to the town at no cost.

“I, frankly, am a little appalled that they would do something like this without first asking,” said Mahesh Puri, owner of the Rheem Theater property across the street from the shiny new council chambers. “To me, it’s like it’s 100 years ago, when the man comes and says: ‘this is what you’re doing for me.'”

Puri was not alone, at least two other local business owners expressing concern over the town’s apparent appropriation of their businesses parking without their consent, but saying they were waiting to see what comes of a recent outreach by town officials.

“I will say that if a private citizen had done this, left the issue of parking for a planned development to the end of that process and then said ‘there’s plenty of parking nearby, I’ll use that,’ the town would be upset,” offered Matt Shriner, owner of BrightStar Home Health Care Service at 333 Rheem Blvd.

Although turnout for some past town meetings, held until this month in the auditorium at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, have been heavily attended by constituents lining up to have their say about a local issue, town officials say the broadcast-ready capabilities of the new chamber will eventually enable many potential attendees to watch the action from home.

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. I wouldn’t trust the Moraga town council to competently manage a game of rock-paper-scissors so this does not surprise me.

  2. The above is one of those emails you believe in, but don’t actually hit the send key. I was tired last night after watching a school concert. Let me be a bit more professional about this:

    I lost my confidence in the Moraga City council for a number of reasons. The “jump the shark” moment for me was in a meeting over the noise and light pollution from St. Mary’s college. Nearby neighbors prepared remarks and did presentations before the council and even compared the decibel levels to what could be considered unacceptable. The St. Mary’s president then spoke. At the conclusion, the council member running the meeting apologized to the St. Mary’s president that residents had complained. What? I could understand giving more weight to the president’s position for whatever reason. That could make sense. But the council apologized to the college that people complained. So one particular resident whose kid had trouble sleeping because of the noise outside, should apparently be ashamed that he himself hears St. Mary’s? That, in my opinion was extremely poor judgment by the council.

    But it gets worse. That same week (maybe it was the next day), the council as a group went to St. Mary’s on a pre-arranged visit where they were wined and dined by the staff. In what world would that not be a red flag for conflict of interest. A council member told me privately that it was awkward but it would have been worse to not show up.

    That’s my “jump the shark” moment for me. Of course there is also the 400 or so new units of housing they should not have approved, the trees they cut down to put in a parking lot next to the skate park, and other issues that I object to. That is why I would not expect them to be able to manage a game of rock-paper-scissors without the game turning into a complete mess.

  3. That isn’t just defined as possible conflict of interest – that is conflict of interest. Extremely surprised counsel (do they have counsel?) allowed them to do that.

  4. So the town council’s solution is to remove 2 driving lanes on Rheem Blvd from the new Town Center to the traffic lights on Moraga Road and use those driving lanes as parking spots.

    http://townofmoraga.worldsecuresystems.com/news-1/parking-on-rheem-boulevard

    That’s one of the busiest areas of Moraga and the decision is to remove driving lanes. That is ridiculous and infuriating.

    This decision seems to be have been made last minute and under the radar of the town’s people. Anybody that drives this roadway is now going to sit in a mass amount of traffic during the school and commute hours.

    Ironic that the 2014 building plan, page 10, Section F, called “Parking” clearly rules out street parking as too expensive and lots of alternatives around the area.

    http://www.moraga.ca.us/committees/drb/meetings/2014/0414/331Rheem.pdf

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