The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved construction of the Spieker Senior Development residential care facility in unincorporated Walnut Creek Tuesday, advancing the project despite significant community opposition.
Spieker plans to build 354 housing units within 30 single-story buildings, an 85,000-square-foot medical center, a multi-story clubhouse, a recreation building, a maintenance building, and a parking garage on the 30-acre site.
Currently rolling grassland on unincorporated open space near Heather Farm Park, the developer’s plans call for the removal of some 353 trees, though the developer has said it would be re-planting that number and more. Despite the vocal opposition of neighbors and local citizen’s groups, the supervisors pointed out that the property is zoned for housing and would be developed either way, with a senior housing facility meeting the city’s pressing need for more senior housing.
“Every single-family home that a senior moves out of to move into this project frees up that home for a family,” District 1 supervisor John Gioia told the audience, several of whom identifying themselves as students at Seven Hills School – which other members of the gallery said would be unduly impacted by the four years of construction Spieker Senior Development is expected to take until completion.