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Archive for April, 2011

Moraga to share bandshell plans

The Moraga Park Foundation will host an event this Thursday to unveil the plans for the Moraga Bandshell at the Moraga Commons Park. The plans include an expansion and renovation of the food service facilities.

The event will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Hacienda de las Flores, located at 2100 Donald Drive.

In addition to the unveiling of the plans, there will also be wine and snacks available.

The event is open to the public, and all local citizens interested in the plans are encouraged to attend.

For more information, visit the Town of Moraga’s website at or send an email to

Posted on Monday, April 11th, 2011
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Orinda to hold workshop on Moraga Way traffic

From the city of Orinda:

A Moraga Way Traffic Community Workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Founders Auditorium at the Orinda Community Center, 28 Orinda Way. The purpose of the Public Workshop is to gather input from the community on traffic issues on Moraga Way. The Traffic Safety Advisory Committee of the City of Orinda is hosting the forum and has invited guests including representatives from Miramonte High School and Orinda Union School District. A consulting traffic engineer will also be available to answer questions. For more information, including previous traffic engineering studies along the corridor, click here or contact City Engineer Janice Carey at (925) 253-4260.

Posted on Monday, April 11th, 2011
Under: Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

Spring Egg Hunt this Saturday

A Spring Egg Hunt will take place on Saturday, April 16, at the Moraga Commons Park. The event, which is sponsored by the Moraga Junior Women’s Club, is open to children ages 1 to 6.

Two separate egg hunts will take place starting at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. A variety of games and activities for all participants will be available from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

The cost for a wristband for the event is $10. The wristband will allow each child to participate in one egg hunt and unlimited games and other activities. The wristbands can be purchased online at or at the Moraga Parks and Recreation Department office, located at 2100 Donald Drive.

Posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2011
Under: Moraga | 2 Comments »

Gordon Nathan is Moraga’s Citizen of the Year

The Town of Moraga recently announced Gordan Nathan as the 2011 Moraga Citizen of the Year.

Nathan has a history of volunteering with the town’s fire department. Nathan started as a volunteer firefighter and was later named to the Moraga Fire District Commission. When the Moraga-Orinda First District was formed, he was named to the original board of directors, spending eight years on the board including two runs as chairman.

Nathan has also been a key player in organizing the Community Emergency Response Team in the area, serving as the coordinator until 2009.

Nathan also spends considerable time helping the Rescue One Foundation.

Posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2011
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Acalanes Sports Bash

The Acalanes Boosters Club is hosting their 2011 Sports Bash on Saturday, May 7, in order to raise money for the school’s athletic programs. The event will take place at Temple Isaiah, located at 3800 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. The night will be filled with dinner, dancing, auctions and a raffle.

A reservation form for tickets to the event is available through the Acalanes Boosters website. Tickets are $65 and must be purchased before April 16. There is also a form to make donations for those not attending. For more information, visit the Acalanes Boosters website at or call 925-899-8527.

Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2011
Under: Lafayette, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Events at the Orinda Library

The Orinda Library will be hosting a talk about “The Three Sisters” on Tuesday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. “The Three Sisters” is currently being produced by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. A question and answer session will follow the talk. The event is free and open to the public. It will take place near the fireplace in the library.

The Orinda Library Mystery Book Club will be meeting on Friday, April 15, in the Orinda Library’s Tutoring Room at 3:00 p.m. The club will be discussing “The Lost Garden: An English Garden Mystery,” which is this month’s book. The club is open to all who are interested.

Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2011
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Orinda crime statistics for March

There were nine arrests made by the Orinda Police Department in March. There were two arrests made for drunk in public and one arrest each for possession of unlawful weapon, interfering with public officer and stolen vehicle. There were also arrests made for a previous warrant, an unidentified felony and an unidentified misdemeanor.

There were eight cases of residential burglary and three cases of auto burglary reported. There was one car reported stolen, and two previously stolen cars were recovered. There was also a report of petty theft from a vehicle.

The Orinda Police Department also responded to 76 false residential alarms during the month of March.

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

Lafayette eyes another potential parking lot

In its ongoing quest to create more parking in the downtown, the city has identified another parcel that could be available for just that purpose.

The City Council will go into a special closed-session meeting Monday night to discuss purchasing the roughly 0.3-acre lot at 954 Mountain View Drive.

A house and garage currently sit on the property, which is listed on Google as the address for Pacific Pipeline Products and owned by Alameda resident Virginia Hayes.

The city bought land on Moraga Road last year for conversion to a city parking lot. The Mountain View Drive property is within quick walking distance of the Trader Joe’s/Diablo Foods shopping center, Celia’s restaurant and Desco Plaza (including city offices).

View Larger Map

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Plans for Lafayette apartment complex online

Want to get a little more detail about the 315-unit apartment complex proposed at Deer Hill Road and Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette? The developers have launched a website:

You can see the project plans by clicking on the “Resources” tab.

View Larger Map

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Lafayette Downtown Specific Plan: Buildings taller than 35 feet still possible, but with a new catch

If you’ve been following the Lafayette Downtown Specific Plan you undoubtedly know that the height and density debate won’t be completely resolved until the final City Council vote on the plan (and probably not even then). But the Planning Commission came to a pretty significant consensus on the issue last week.

Planning Commissioners agreed the downtown height limit should remain at 35 feet, with an additional 10 feet — up to 45 feet total — allowed if certain conditions are met (see below). That’s not much different than what’s been floating out there the past couple of years.

But what is different is they limited the number of stories to three. That’s an incredibly important distinction. Without that limitation, a 45-foot building could theoretically be four-stories tall. With it, a taller building does not necessarily mean a denser building because, even with an additional 10 feet, a developer can not add another floor of apartments or offices.

Nothing here is final. Planning staff still has to go back and revise the downtown plan with ALL of the Planning Commissions recommendations, then bring it back to commissioners for more public hearings and final approval. Then the whole thing heads to the City Council. The city is hoping the council can make a final decision on the plan in September.

The Planning Commission’s recommendation appears to be somewhat of a compromise. Many had concerns that with additional height would come additional density, and with additional density would come traffic and safety problems. At the same time, the business community said developers needed flexibility, particularly to attract high-quality retailers who often demand more vertical space on the first floor.

What the Planning Commission has come up with won’t appease those who worry taller buildings will block views or hurt Lafayette’s small-town charm. But that’s a concern the city may not entirely alleviate unless it agrees to keep the height limit at 35 feet or set it lower.

Want a couple examples of what this could look like? Take a look at the Lafayette Mercantile Building: A taller first story with high-end shops, then two floors of office space. Three stories, 42 feet tall.

Then there’s the Lafayette library, which is an example of a building that needed additional height due to the topography of the land on which it sits. The library is only one (big) story at Mt. Diablo Boulevard, but significantly taller, at least from a perception standpoint, at Golden Gate Way, thanks to the steep decline of the terrain along that block.

Developers, of course, wouldn’t get the added height just by asking nicely. Their plans would have to hold up under the city’s usual general plan and design review scrutiny, plus satisfy additional criteria specifically for buildings taller than 35 feet.

City Manager Steven Falk describes it in his “Friday Summary” last week:

Additional height over 35’ and up to 45’ will be granted only if the building complies with the City’s design guidelines, does not adversely impact its surroundings or views to distant hills, and provides benefits to the community which are significant and over and beyond what is normally required by the City.

It would be up to the Planning Commission to determine whether they can make the findings to allow the additional height.

“The findings for extra height had to be really strict because it is not the intention for the Planning Commission to approve every request for increased heights,” said Planning and Building Manager Niroop Srivatsa.

Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | 1 Comment »