The Clark Road Project proposed in 2003 has been withdrawn. However, the same site is once again under threat from developers.
At a recent meeting called by the buyer’s architectural consultant, Ark Studio West, the below information was made available to the public:
A new project is being planned for the Clark Road site. The size of the area being considered is 160 acres. This is somewhat larger than the
previous proposal, because of the addition of parcels at the top of Leisure Lane.
Their plan calls for a total of 162 homes to be built - 146 homes placed below the 400’ level, on both the Clark-Boas trail and the Leisure Lane
sites, and 16 “super green” homes on five acre parcels placed above the 400’ level, all the way up to the regional park boundary. The Hillside
Ordinance forbids building above 400’, but there is a new Richmond General Plan and it’s not certain that the Hillside Ordinance survived the
new iteration of the Plan. If it did survive (which we fervently hope it did) we must presume that they will ask for an exemption to the H.O.
based on the "green-ness" of the homes. It is also possible that they know they can't build there, but will try to present the removal of these
homes as "working with the community".
Expected asking price of those homes below 400 feet is $750,000. One can only imagine what the asking price of the estates above 400 feet will
be, given the views and exclusivity of the parcels.
The buyer is in the process of determining the feasibility of their plan. They have a 60 day contingency in place which will allow them to back
out of the purchase without loss of capital. We don't know when that started and they won't say - it may have been as long as a month ago. Factors
that will determine the feasibility are the geotechnical and hydrological issues presented by the site, proximity to fault lines, advisability
of building on old landslides, community response to increased traffic, potential damage to homes below the site from runoff and new landslides
and loss of habitat, and other issues.
They claim a heightened sensitivity to the watershed, ecology and geologic concerns with minimally invasive remedies for those issues. Their
realtor made the statement that these buyers were much better than the earlier ones and that we should not oppose this plan because the next
buyers would be worse. From where we sit, the plan doesn’t look much different than the previous one…except this one builds above 400 feet!
The buyer’s agent stated that the buyer might be interested in selling to a public entity, such as East Bay Regional Park District or a Land Trust.
In the past, EBRPD has shown no interest in acquiring the property. They do not like to acquire lands that have been previously altered by man
(there was an old quarry on the site) and they also have a shortage of funds for the maintenance of the properties they already own. But it is of
course possible that they would have a change of heart. Another pleasant alternative is that the land would be acquired by a Land Trust.
Posted on September 18, 2014
Please see the NEWS section for information about a letter writing campaign pertinent to this issue.