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Owner Of Lafayette’s Cross Hill Offers A Chunk Of The Local Landmark To The City – As A Park

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A sizable portion of the landmark hill bearing homemade crosses and the names of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan could become Lafayette’s newest parkland if a deal proposed by the landowner comes to pass.

Owner Charles Clark wrote the city council Sept. 7 and proposed that 2.6 acres of his family’s 5-acre parcel between Thompson and Oak Hill roads be given to the city so he can re-align the property lines of two adjacent parcels he wishes to sell as homesites.

Although working against tight deadlines and hoping to offset capital gains taxes from a prior sale of family property, Clark wrote that the city could expect to take ownership of “The Crosses” before years’ end, giving Lafayette the steep, exposed flank of the hill bounding Deer Hill Road as well as a “beautiful wooded park setting along Thompson Road facing north, away from any freeway noise.”

“As this final sale took place in 2017, this land donation must also be completed before the end of 2017, in order to offset the last of our capital gains,” Clark wrote.

The council will weigh placing Clark’s offer on a future agenda when it convenes Sept. 25. There was no immediate word on what, if anything, would become of the crosses for which Cross Hill is known.

9 COMMENTS

  1. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” What is the gentleman who “owes me ten bucks” talking about?

    • @Danielle – Scratching our nubbly little heads over this one, Danielle, would you clarify?

  2. News24/680… I’m referring to a comment on Facebook – the “vest and trousers” comment from a gentleman in Orinda. I don’t expect you to remember that I took him up on his “ten dollar bet” regarding a home invasion in Moraga last year – (whether or not it was drug related).

    The first sentence is “biblical.” The second sentence I clarified.

    • @Danielle – Can’t keep up with you guys! Vest and trouser references, biblical references, side bets, all kinds of interaction!

  3. It’s an ancient biblical reference, likely transcribed improperly since hardly anyone could read or write, and there are no originals. C’mon, it’s meaning is cryptic if not nonsensical in today’s art of the deal. Given where we are, “owes me ten bucks” seems more topical.

  4. Nice gesture to give the parcel to the city of Lafayette for a park, even though motivated by personal financial gain. But my main worry would be that the Park would attract vagrants off of Bart and start a troublesome trend in the area.

  5. @Danielle: ??? Google only points me to one bet I made with you, and you conceded (is the money still at OCC? If so, please donate to charity of your choice). Did subsequent facts prove me wrong? Happy to pay up, with interest.

    My vest and trousers metaphor may have been cheesy and clumsy, but I think easy enough to decode, no? I was just being my typical cynical/robotic self and pointing out that this purported (for social and, apparently, tax purposes) donation might in fact be more business negotiation than charity. To be clear: it is entirely possible that a five acre lot zoned for one house is more valuable as two 1.25 acre parcels and giving away an unbuildable adjoining 2.5 acre parcel / park. If true, I would call the package deal more “shrewd” than “generous.” As always, I have no actual knowledge of the actors’ true motivations.

  6. Chris… I didn’t concede. I said “if I owe you money, I will leave at OCC.” I heard it wasn’t drug related (I grew up in Moraga). I also read on Moraga town website that “there was no wrong doing on the part of the family.” This was several months ago – don’t know if it’s still there. I would think if MPD thought it was drug related, I wouldn’t be reading this on the town website.

    You don’t have to pay up. You leave me with the impression that you’re very generous with your money. You can keep it…

  7. I remember the item about a home invasion in the Campolindo neighborhood many months ago. Was there ever any update released by the police or follow-up by the media? Of course, it is news because of the rarity of home invasions in Moraga and the concern about more occurring _if_ the one reported was not targeted. Not to paraphrase Chris N., but I believe the thinking is that if you have a one-off home invasion, it usually proves not to be a random crime, but targeted, whether the target is drugs/drug money, caches of goodies espied by the household help, or something else.

    IMHO, the above, which doesn’t even rise to anecdotal evidence, doesn’t prove one way or the other whether drugs were involved. The bigger question, to me, is why those who don the badge seem to prefer to treat us “civilians” as mushrooms — I assume all know what that means.

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