Home NEWS Government Orindans Write Their Council: They Want To Look More Like Their Neighbors…...

Orindans Write Their Council: They Want To Look More Like Their Neighbors… Kinda.

Photo: Axiom Images

Ahead of a calendared Sept. 6 city council meeting kicking off discussion of a “facelift” for Orinda’s BART-bisected downtown, dozens of Orindans have been firing up their iPads or typewriters to let city officials know what they want – and the letters suggest it isn’t what they have now.

If there is a common thread to the correspondence it is that Orindans want a new look and feel for their city, possibly guided by discussions with the non-profit Urban Land Institute, an organization whose stated mission is to “provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.”

They want an offering of new restaurants and other venues, not all concentrated as some mentioned in the city’s Theater Square, and they gently – sort of gently – chided their leaders by saying they were spending time and money in neighboring Lafayette and other cities with more to offer.

Dozens of letters have been received so far, with the majority urging a reexamination of priorities regarding the future look and feel of the city and pushing for guidance and a possible relationship with the ULI – though at least one resident questioned the the group’s motives and trending toward infill development.

From the correspondence received thus far it is plain that a sizable contingent of Orindans are not happy with the way their city looks and feels and they’re pushing for an approach to downtown development that makes the area attractive to businesses and residents who depend on them. More boutique businesses, a Rockridge-style “Food Hall,” gym, and a more diverse selection of restaurants were mentioned, along with revitalization of San Pablo Creek – and more than a few whimsical requests for creekside dining options.

We’ll see what else Orindans want – or don’t want – on Sept. 6. At the very least it promises to be a well attended city council meeting on that night.


  1. I like Orinda just the way it is. Growing up in Lamorinda, I knew that if you wanted “more to do” you went to SF or Oakland. Or maybe Walnut Creek (restaurants, shopping, etc.). Lafayette has always had more to do because it’s a larger city. And most people in Lamorinda have the money to travel, and not everyone is that fortunate.

    Whatever they want is fine with me, but I feel blessed to live in Orinda…

  2. So THAT’s why we can’t get a table in our own restaurant or parking downtown any more – ORINDA PEOPLE!

  3. So THAT’S what downtown Orinda looks like from above. If you are a leftie who thinks that only poor neighborhoods get bisected by freeways and railways, come take a look at this!
    Exhibit Orinda.

  4. Tale of two villages. Planning will be critical as the city lies at a transportation junction. although I agree things do tend to empty out at night parking is dreadful during day business hours. Be careful what you wish for here!!!!

  5. I would use Casa O as an analogy for what is happening in Orinda. We’ve been going there for years. Love the look and feel but have watched the menu settle into the same old same old and have been going less and less. The kids like to look at the guns just like we did but we’re entertaining at home more and so are our friends. I can’t think of anything that would draw me downtown currently. We will be interezted to see what people come up with and whether they support it or not.

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