proposed project at 373 Diablo Road, as submitted by the property owner Danville Office Partners, LLC,
would be a 150-unit apartment project. Of the 150 units, 13 would be set aside for affordable housing needs.
The project was reviewed twice (in 2015 and 2016) at joint meetings of
the Town Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Board.
It was then reviewed twice by the Design
Review Board and twice by the Planning Commission, before being approved by the
Planning Commission on February 28, 2017.
The project approval was appealed and the project will be heard by the
Council at an upcoming noticed public hearing.
Keep an eye on this website for further information about the
hearing date and staff reports.
The Environmental Impact Report for the 2030 General Plan analyzed 14 different sites, with an aggregate area of just under 35 acres and generally located in proximity to the Downtown or in close proximity to I-680, for this type of development. Eventually, the Diablo Road site was one of two sites selected. Criteria the Town Council considered were proximity to the freeway and keeping higher density development more isolated from existing single family neighborhoods. The EIR prepared for the 2030 General Plan looked at both traffic and school impacts.
The Town satisfied its obligations by zoning the property for housing at a minimum of 25 units per acre. That designation remains in effect until someone comes forward to actually build housing at either that minimum density or at a density within the allowable range of the current land use designation.
The zoning for the property allows for a range of 92 to 111 market rate units. Under the state’s density bonus law, the applicant is entitled to a 35% density bonus above the 11 units (taking the total unit count to 150 units) as long as 13 of the units are held for occupancy as income-restricted units with specified affordability characteristics. So, where the applicant invokes density bonus provisions, the 150 unit project would have components of 137 market rate units and 13 income restricted units.
The average unit size is just under 825 square feet. This project is required to provide 265 spaces, with a minimum of 150 spaces being covered parking on-site. The project proposes 265 parking spaces. The applicant has elected not to invoke rights for an alternate (lower) parking standard that is available under State Density Bonus regulations.
The project meets all applicable development standards with the exception of: (a) floor area ratio (FAR) regulations; and (b) maximum building height regulations. The applicant has requested, and must be granted under the state density bonus law, relief from these two development standards. It is noteworthy that the project’s overall massing has been reduced in size by one third since the initial project submittal.
A biological resources assessment study was prepared for the project. Conditions of approval would impose an obligation to ensure compliance with pertinent policies of the General Plan and compliance to applicable biological resource regulatory standards.
The Town (like every city and county in the state) is required to designate a certain minimum number of acres for residential development at state mandated minimum development densities. This property was rezoned in response to that requirement. A more detailed explanation of the process can be found in the section of the January 24, 2017 Planning Commission staff report entitled “Prior General Plan and Zoning Actions” (see pages 3 and 4 of the report). The report may be accessed at: http://danville-ca.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=243). An application for a development was not received for the property until after the general plan and zoning actions.
While the RHNA numbers assigned by the state focus on income levels, each city’s Housing Element must also include programs and implementation measures to address the needs of all housing sectors. The Town’s Housing Element contains policies aimed at continuing to promote both senior housing and support for first time home buyers. In the past, the Town’s former Community Development Agency heavily subsidized the Sycamore Place senior housing project on Laurel Drive and provided loans to first time buyers. With the end of redevelopment, those opportunities will be more limited but are addressed in the Town’s plans. The cited programs in San Ramon and Pleasanton did not change their assigned RHNA numbers but rather served as programs complementary to their overall housing goals and policies.
Of the 150 units proposed in the project, 137 (91%) would be market rate units (i.e., no income restrictions and with rental rates as provided for through the private market). For the 13 affordable units, the income figures are as extracted for all of Alameda and Contra Costa County – not just for Danville or for the San Ramon Valley. The median income for a four person household for this area (for 2016 and as published in May 2016) was $93,600. To be income eligible for the 13 affordable units in the project, a household would have to document annual incomes lower than $48,750 for a four-person household; lower than $43,900 for a three-person household; lower than $39,000 for a two-person household; and lower than $34,150 for a one-person household. As median incomes adjust on an annual basis, the income limits would see a corresponding adjustment.
The Town is not legally permitted to grant preference to Danville residents or employees for the 13 income restricted units in the project. However, the Planning Commission added a requirement that both the Town and the applicant must provide information about the units to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, the Chamber of Commerce and other local agencies in order to give local residents and employees advance notice.
Notification of the project’s submittal was sent to the Northwest Information Center - Sonoma State Information Center relative potential presence of archaeological sites. The Center’s November 30, 2016 response indicated, among other considerations, that: (a) the Center has no record of any previous resource studies for the property; (b) the property contains or is adjacent to an identified archaeological site; (c) the Center recommends a qualified professional archaeologist assess the status of the resource; (d) the site has been determined to have a high possibility of containing an unrecorded archaeological site(s); and (e) the Center recommends a qualified archaeologist conduct further archival and field study of the site.
The project conditions of approval address the potential for the presence of archaeological resources. In the course of the normal processing steps for the permit for the project’s mass grading work, the Town will require that documentation that the recommendations of the Center have been addressed be supplied prior to the issuance of grading or building permits.
The developer is obligated to contribute one half of the projected cost of a pedestrian bridge crossing of San Ramon Creek, connecting the southwest corner of the project site to the Town-owned Library/Community Center property with an public pedestrian easement extending from the bridge to Diablo Road. The project will be subjected to standard impact fees, including fees for: (a) SRVUSD; (b) Child Care; (c) Parkland In-lieu; (d) SCC Regional Transportation Impact; (e) Tri-Valley Transportation Impact; and (f) Danville Residential Transportation Improvement Program Fees. The impact fees received would be applied to a variety of capital improvement projects.
Public notice of the January 24, 2017 and February 28, 2017 meetings were mailed to property owners within 750 feet of the exterior boundary of the subject property and to other interested parties. A total of 134 notices were mailed. Posting of the meeting agenda served as notice to the general public. The public noticing provided exceeds the minimum standard under state law which requires at least a ten day mailed or delivered notice to all property owners on the latest equalized assessment tax roll within 300 feet of the exterior boundary of the property that is subject to the hearing.
510 La Gonda Way
T: (925) 314-3349
March 9, 2017: An appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of the development application at 373 Diablo Road was filed with the Town of Danville. With the appeal filed, the application must go before the Danville Town Council for their consideration. The appeal date has not yet been set. This site will be updated once the date has been set and notifications sent.
February 28, 2017: The Danville Planning Commission held a public hearing on the development application for 373 Diablo Road. Following the hearing, the Commission voted 5-0 in favor of the application. One member was absent and one member recused themselves from the voting due to a conflict of interest.
Staff Report - January 24, 2017Supplemental Staff Report - Jan 24, 2017
Staff Report - February 28, 2017Supplemental Staff Report Feb 28, 2017