Saranap Village Wins Planners’ Okay
At the conclusion of a three-hour public hearing in late June, the Contra Costa County Planning Commission endorsed the 198-unit Saranap Village mixed-use project in an unincorporated area near Walnut Creek despite persistent opposition from a small group of neighbors. BIA|Bay Area East Bay Governmental Affairs Executive Director Lisa Vorderbrueggen testified in favor of the project because seven of the eight parcels within the proposed village are identified as housing opportunity sites in Contra Costa County’s state-certified housing element. By way of background, every city and county in California must have an adopted housing element that identifies the areas where its future workers, children and grandchildren could live. Sadly, in community after community, plans for housing on these housing opportunity sites are whittled down in numbers of units through NIMBY pressure, delayed out of economic reality, litigated out of existence or outright denied. In Saranap Village, developer and BIA member Hall Equities has been trying to entitle the mixed-use project for five years and in the process, the number of housing units has dropped from 235 to 198. The project must now secure approval from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, which will hear the application later this year. Click here to view the Planning Commission staff report.