By Daniel Borsuk
After listening to 15 speakers knock down Concord-based Discovery Builders Inc. for allegedly skirting state environmental impact report laws and potentially imposing accessibility safety hazards in the tony Alamo Summit neighborhood, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors axed the proposed 13,888 square foot mansion on a 5 to 0 vote Tuesday.
District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of San Ramon made the motion to deny Discovery Builders’ appeal to use its 1992 development’s environmental impact report for what was then a 32-unit housing development on three lots and to consolidate those lots for the construction of one massive dwelling.
According to the staff report, “the project site is located within the boundaries of Alamo Summit, a 37-lot subdivision (SD 7553) that was previously approved by the County. The Alamo Summit subdivision is located on a hillside at the southern terminus of Castle Crest Road, approximately ½ mile west of Danville Boulevard at Livorna Road.”
Concerned that the 1992 environmental impact report might not meet 2018 standards, the supervisor said, “I move to deny the appeal. The developers must do a reversion. They must start CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) from scratch.”
Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond seconded Andersen’s motion.
Supervisors backed a Planning Commission’s and Department of Conservation and Development recommendation that the development should be rejected because of the “significant hazards” to residents that would exist on Ridgewood Road, especially during construction of the proposed house.
Discovery Builders Inc. president Louis Parsons left the supervisors board hearing room so quickly after the supervisors vote that this reporter was unable to track him and down to ask him and Albert Seeno, III who was also present in the supervisors hearing chambers, whether the Seeno affiliate company plans to abide by the supervisors’ ruling and draft a new EIR that could cost thousands of dollars and delay the development for at least several years. A telephone call to Discovery Builders Inc. went unanswered.
In looking for cost-cutting measures during construction, Discovery Builders plans to use gravel rather than paving the road with asphalt when construction trucks ramble up and down narrow Ridgeway Road that is 16 feet wide.
Prior to the supervisors’ action, speakers hammered away at the proposed Alamo Summit residential project.
“This is an incomplete proposal,” commented Brenda Hoppler of nearby Rossmoor “because the California Environmental Quality ACT has expired, and the developer would need to do a separate environmental review.”
Ken Hoffman of the Castlerock Homeowners Association said a new environmental review is necessary because Ridgeway Road is only 16 feet wide and would probably mean the temporary closure of the road during construction of the Discovery Builders development. “This would mean some residents would be trapped in an emergency,” he said to the proposal to provide a gravel road during construction won’t work in an emergency.
Contra Costa Fire Protection Report Requested
Board Chair Karen Mitchoff has requested that the Contra Costa Fire Protection District submit a written report in response to a Bay Area News Group article that was published on Sunday, June 3, that more than 400 apartment buildings in the Bay Area have not undergone inspections by local fire departments.
The article said in Contra Costa County 25 percent of the apartment buildings have not undergone inspections. Overdue apartment building inspections were found mainly in Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, and Antioch.