Home Letter To The Editor Keeping An Eye On Walnut Creek’s Seven Hills Ranch

Keeping An Eye On Walnut Creek’s Seven Hills Ranch



As you no doubt are aware the contested Seven Hills Ranch project goes before the Board of Supervisors Tuesday (today, Nov. 29) with the question before the board being whether a developer can significantly alter 30 acres of open space near Heather Farms Park and replace it with a 354-unit senior care facility.

I happen to be opposed to this project for many reasons, most of them already expressed by others, but I would urge you to give the project your attention as it moves through the approval process.

We can’t afford to ignore the special qualities of lands such as this and how we choose to use them.


Brooke Esterhaus/Walnut Creek 


  1. Good letter and thank you for giving this some visibility. I wonder which of the usual arguments they will use like providing a great social service by building more housing for the unfortunate or the Constitution one popular a few years ago that you are taking away their rights if you deny them use of their land for development and so on. We are already full up here in California and I was just watching the local news with a story how the gridlock on freeways might be addressed by making all roads in the Bay Area toll roads. Fun stuff. I am related to a soulless human like creature who develops land. Secret is he only cares about the money. One project this creature is pursuing is out of state on a toxic waste site where he got an exemption to build a senior living trailer park with the theory that the old people will die of old age before the dirt they live on gives them cancer. Nice guys, developers.

  2. I guess I just never grasped the concept behind granting high profit margins to those who are paving over our land or polluting our air. Hopefully we’ll figure that out and engineer the equation before we tip the scale forever.

  3. They will go through the usual negotiations and the developer will pay for certain features the city can check off against its list and then it will be built – and the people who move in will call and demand that the animals who live there now be removed (killed) when they dare come back.

  4. Zoning is like an arms control agreement for property owners: I won’t overbuild my parcel if you don’t overbuild yours, and we all will benefit from uncongested living.

    Developers buy favors from elected representatives for the privilege of overbuilding, to the detriment of other property owners, eventually starting the density arms race that zoning had prevented.

    Aside from the distasteful influence game, we need a debate as to whether having more residents with a lower quality of life is better than having fewer residents with a higher quality of life. And as to whether mutual restraint on density was ever a wise or even viable strategy.

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